Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Palmer

Mary Alice Palmer

Principal & Director of Hospitality Interiors, HKS

As Principal and Director of Hospitality Interiors and one of the 5 leaders of HKS' global hospitality practice, Mary Alice Palmer provides a distinctly unique vision. With a rich and widely varied career in film, fashion and interior design, her path has been an unconventional mix of creative perspectives resulting in her unique point of view. HKS recruited Ms. Palmer to start the Hospitality Interiors Studio, where in the role of Creative Director, she cultivated that point of view to advance the design process through research, and storytelling to craft a narrative that works as the spine and framework for the evolution of project design.

An education at Parsons School of Design prepared Ms. Palmer for an initiation into interiors in the rarefied world of John Saladino in New York where she worked as a luxury residential designer, but wanderlust led her to California and several years spent working on design in films, TV and videos, ultimately winding up the adventure working with director James Cameron. The art of designing to propel a story became ingrained through the experience of set design.

She has designed some of the most luxurious and intricate interior spaces for brands including Auberge Resorts, Grand Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, St. Regis, W, Le Meridian, LVMH Cheval Blanc, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, etc.

Today, Ms. Palmer works with an exceptional team of creative thinkers, architects and interior designers to realize award winning environments geared to produce magical, inspiring, life enhancing experiences for guests. Through Wellness and sustainability concepts, their approach has health and well-being deeply integrated in the process, instilling better balance in a framework for travel and life. A history of successful design leadership has propelled Ms. Palmer into a globally recognized thought leader. 

Please visit http://www.hksinc.com for more information.

Ms. Palmer can be contacted at +1 214-969-3012 or mapalmer@hksinc.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.