Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. O'Kelly

Belinda O'Kelly

Principal, O'Kelly Kasprak

Belinda O'Kelly earned her Bachelor's degree in architecture at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, a school with a rich history in the architectural field. During that time she studied abroad in Versailles, France at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture, where she savored the tension between the city's old world look and modern culture. Ms. O'Kelly appreciates diverse, urban spaces, which is something she loves about living in Chicago.

Early on, Ms. O'Kelly was captivated by the world of hospitality design. Starting her career with with Aumiller Youngquist, she learned the art of restaurant design from the masters: Bill Aumiller and Keith Youngquist. After building that foundation, she moved on to Simeone Deary Design Group, learning the nuances of hotel design directly from Lisa Simeone and Gina Deary. Here she gained her appreciation for lighting and texture.

Today, as a Principal of O'Kelly Kasprak, Ms. O'Kelly oversees the firm's growth and development while leading its creative direction. With a flair for expression and ingenuity, she guarantees every project to stand out in its own right and leave memorable impressions.

Ms. O'Kelly is drawn to hospitality projects for their sense of tactile fulfillment. She appreciates seeing spaces being used and shared, knowing she's helped create environments that not only achieve their goals, but provide comfort and enjoyment for everyone passing through them. And as a foodie, she is always exploring new bars and restaurants, eager to keep her finger on the pulse and uncover her next inspiration.

One of Ms. O'Kelly's favorite parts of the design process is helping her clients visualize their own ideas. Whether the project begins from a clear and specific vision, or needs to be shaped, she enjoys working closely with her clients to fine-tune every aspect of the design to fit their tastes and needs.

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

Linkedin Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/belindaokelly

Ms. O'Kelly can be contacted at +1 630-674-8933 or belinda@okellykasprak.com

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.