Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. J. Sander

William J. Sander

Chief Executive Officer, Seagate Hospitality Group

William J. Sander is CEO of Seagate Hospitality Group, a premier hospitality management company based in Delray Beach, Florida. His responsibilities are wide-ranging and include oversight of all operations, strategic planning, and management of The Seagate Hotel & Spa, The Seagate Country Club, The Seagate Beach Club, The Seagate Yacht Club, and The Seagate Condominium Management Group and The Lake House Canandaigua.

Prior to joining Seagate Hospitality Group, Mr. Sander was General Manager of the award-winning XV Beacon hotel in Boston from 1999 through 2009. During his tenure, XV Beacon was repeatedly honored by the nation's top travel publications, including as the #1 Hotel in Boston by Travel + Leisure; one of the "Top 100 Best Hotels in the World" by Travel + Leisure; and one of the "Top 100 Best Hotels in the World" by Conde Nast Traveler. The hotel was also honored as "Best Boutique Hotel in the World" by Robb Report after its first year in operation.

Mr. Sander's previous experience includes various positions at other prominent Massachusetts hotels, including the Charles Hotel in Cambridge and Boston Harbor Hotel. He also held executive roles throughout the country at Rosewood Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas, The Houstonian in Houston, and The Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley, California.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Mr. Sander studied for a career in hospitality at Manchester Community College. He furthered his education at the University of Hartford and previously served on the Board of Trusties at the Salem State University School of Hospitality.

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

Mr. J. Sander can be contacted at +1 561-665-4800 or wsander@theseagatehotel.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.