Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chalfin

Lawrence Chalfin

President, Samuelson Furniture

Founded in 1935, father and son duo, Harry and Samuel Chalfin started Invincible Parlor Frame Company, now known as Samuelson Furniture. Inspired by his grandfather and father, Lawrence Chalfin decided to join the family business in 1974 after having completed his college education at NYU and Julliard.

Mr. Chalfin is now President of Samuelson Furniture, the only fourth generation family-owned company solely dedicated to the hospitality sector, providing high-end casegoods and seating for 4- and 5-Star projects. This year, the company has entered its 85th year in business.

With guidance and support from his father, Mr. Chalfin shifted the company's focus towards the high-end residential market as well as seating and accent furniture for the hospitality market. He continued to institute change within the family business and transitioned the company into a hospitality-only provider of premium casegoods and seating in 2002 to satisfy the need for high caliber, custom furniture in hospitality properties.

Under Mr. Chalfin's leadership, Samuelson Furniture continues to provide beautiful and functional furniture for projects located all over the world including luxurious brands such as Rosewood Hotels and full service brands such as Disney Worldwide, Hyatt, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Intercontinental. Samuelson Furniture works with design firms around the globe that are raising the bar in hospitality design including Stonehill Taylor, Meyer Davis Studio, EOA, The Gettys Group, Simeone Deary Design Group, Streetsense, and many others.

Mr. Chalfin is also a charitable role model, having guided his company in corporate giving, both locally and beyond. Giving back is natural for Mr. Chalfin who strongly believes in helping his community, the design industry, and those less fortunate.

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

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrence-chalfin-7b1b68a/

Mr. Chalfin can be contacted at +1 973-333-6090 or Lawrence-forum@samuelsonfurniture.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.