Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Prestia

Maryann Prestia

Vice President & Hospitality Program Manager, Distinguished Programs

As the vice president and hospitality program manager for Distinguished Programs, Maryann Prestia is responsible for leading and overseeing the primary lines underwriting team for its hospitality, historic properties and cyber liability programs. In addition, Maryann assists with the development and expansion of Distinguished Programs' real estate and hospitality products.

An experienced insurance professional with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Ms. Prestia joined Distinguished Programs in 2018 after serving as vice president of insurance operations for a member-owned program facility serving luxury resorts and hotels. In this role, she led operations including claims and risk management for approximately 130 private resorts, most with different owners, connecting them with security professionals and providing webinars and other educational training resources.

Ms. Prestia began her insurance career as an underwriter, earning positions of increasing responsibility and eventually management roles. Although she now specializes in the hospitality space, she has experience in a variety of insurance sectors, from professional liability coverage for doctors and attorneys to risk management for fire departments and ambulance rescue squads.

Ms. Prestia broadened her insurance experience at Berkeley Mid-Atlantic Group, where she spent nearly 11 years handling the managerial and corporate end of underwriting, rather than day-to-day underwriting tasks. It was during this time that she began to specialize in hospitality insurance, which played a role in her position at Distinguished Programs today.

A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in business, Ms. Prestia is based in Richmond, Virginia. She often works from Distinguished Programs' Bellevue, Washington location.

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

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryann-prestia-5110a728/

Ms. Prestia can be contacted at +1 425-213-5184 or mprestia@distinguished.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.