Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Harrel

Evan Harrel

Chief Operating Officer, Center for Compassionate Leadership

Evan Harrel is the Chief Operating Officer of the Center for Compassionate Leadership. He leads the Center's thought leadership efforts and the integration of scientific and business research into the work of the Center.

Mr. Harrel started his career in the financial sector, where he managed a thirty billion dollar equity mutual fund. In the last fifteen years, he has shifted his focus to work for the greater good. In that time, he has worked in the non-profit field, where he served as the executive director of a group of inner-city Houston preschools, of Houston Habitat for Humanity and, more recently, as a board member, consultant, and advisor to non-profit organizations.

Mr. Harrel has taught about compassionate leadership to both non-profit organizations and for-profit corporate boards. He is an alumnus of Princeton University and Harvard Business School.

The Center for Compassionate Leadership provides global thought leadership and training in the emerging field of organizational compassion. The Center integrates best practices of modern leadership, evidence-based science, and contemplative wisdom. While many people believe that compassion and strong leadership conflict, scientific research clearly shows the many benefits to organizations, employees and communities, including higher employee engagement, lower turnover, improved customer service levels, greater creativity, and a positive impact on the bottom line.

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

Mr. Harrel can be contacted at +1 713-569-3242 or eharrel@gmail.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.