Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Amerongen

Mark Van Amerongen

Chief Operating Officer, Prism Hotels & Resorts

Mark Van Amerongen is the Chief Operating Officer for Prism Hotels & Resorts, where he brings more than 25 years of professional hospitality leadership experience to an award-winning full-service hotel management, investment and advisory services company.

Mr. Van Amerongen began his career in hospitality with Hyatt Hotels and quickly progressed through several flagship full-service hotels. Shortly after, he joined Marriott International, where he held several executive committee and general manager positions for the full-service hotel division throughout the U.S. Mr. Van Amerongen moved from single property positions to multi-property assignments, including the Regional Director of Operations on the West Coast for Marriott and Renaissance full-service hotels, before heading to Las Vegas as Marriott's Area General Manager overseeing the Marriott Managed Hotels in that market.  Prior to joining Prism, Mr. Van Amerongen spent eight years as Executive Vice President with Western International in Dallas overseeing the growth of the management company from start-up to more than 45 hotels.

Calling on the skills and lessons learned during a career that has encompassed a variety of hospitality leadership positions across a broad swath of the industry, Mr. Van Amerongen brings unique insight and foresight to his role as Prism's Senior Vice President of Operations. The depth and diversity of his highly successful management experience is an asset for a firm that has made a name for itself applying elements of the receivership skill set to a more traditional third-party management role. For Mr. Van Amerongen, and for Prism, that depth of hands-on operational experience is a fundamental piece of the professional puzzle. As a member of Prism's executive committee, his ability to help identify and execute quality opportunities is invaluable.

Mr. Van Amerongen earned his degree in hotel and restaurant management from the State University of New York, and received his CHA designation in 1990. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Mr. Van Amerongen currently lives in McKinney, Texas, with his wife Tina and their two children.

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

Mr. Van Amerongen can be contacted at +1 214-987-9300 or mark.vanamerongen@prismhotels.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.