Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Barragate

Susie Barragate

President & CEO, Vocational Guidance Services

Susie Barragate was appointed as the President & CEO of Vocational Guidance Services (VGS), an Ohio provider of personalized vocational training to individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment, in September 2018. She has served with VGS for more than 22 years, joining the organization in 1996 as the Human Resources Coordinator and in 1999 becoming the agency's Human Resources Director.

In 2012, Ms. Barragate was asked to take responsibility for the vocational rehabilitation services at VGS' Elyria facility in addition to her supervision of VGS' HR and Intake Departments. In 2014, she became Vice President of Human Resources and Lorain County Rehabilitation Services.

In addition to processing payroll for four distinct corporations and over 1,000 employees, under Ms. Barragate's leadership VGS' Human Resources Department was responsible for guiding and directing agency personnel policies and practices, while the Intake Department oversaw all the open and closed case files for program participants, while also processing referrals for services to participants.

The Lorain County Rehabilitation Services included a program with the Lorain County Department of Jobs and Family Services, as well as Placement Services, Clerical Training, and Work Adjustment.

Ms. Barragate graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in personnel and industrial relations. In 2013, she was awarded the Innovation Award for Strategic Alignment by ERC and CSHRM's HR Awards, and was named as an Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year by Crain's Cleveland Business in 2014. Ms. Barragate is a graduate of the Cleveland Leadership Center's Bridge Builders Class of 2013.

Please visit http://www.vgsjob.org for more information.

Ms. Barragate can be contacted at +1 216-431-7800 or SusieBarragate@vgsjob.org

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.