Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Strommen

Heidi Strommen

President, ProHost USA, a division of Distinguished Programs

Heidi Strommen is President of ProHost USA, a division of Distinguished Programs, a national insurance program administrator specializing in hospitality and real estate based in New York City.  Ms. Strommen joined ProHost USA in 1990 as Vice President of Operations and in 2008 was named company president. In 2019, ProHost USA was acquired by Distinguished Programs.

ProHost provides specialty insurance programs for restaurants and related risks through independent retail insurance agents across the country. The comprehensive program offerings available through ProHost vary by state and include: property, general liability, liquor liability, auto and excess/umbrella.

Ms. Strommen is also a charter member of the Target Markets Program Administrators Association, an organization dedicated to the unique challenges of Program Specialists. In 2013, the Association recognized her as a Certified Programs Leader. She was elected to the Target Markets Advisory Board in 2011 and served a two-year term as the Association president from 2015 through 2016.

Prior to joining ProHost in 1990, Ms. Strommen served as a policy analyst for the Minnesota Department of Commerce

Ms. Strommen has authored articles about insuring restaurant exposures for various industry magazines including Risk & Insurance, Insurance Journal, Agent and Broker and Rough Notes and has participated as a panel member at numerous insurance conferences and events.

Ms. Strommen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Cornell University in Ithaca New York. She also holds a master's degree in business administration from Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidi-strommen-cpl-mba-0943419/

Ms. Strommen can be contacted at +1 952-924-6973 or hstrommen@prohostusa.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.