Editorial Board   

Mr. Turner

W. Don Turner

Board Chair, California Lodging Industry Association

Don Turner is founder, president and CEO of Jorad & Company in Napa, a business consulting firm that specializes in operational and financial consulting for businesses. Mr. Turner also owns the Golden Bear Inn, a 43-room lodging property in Berkeley, California, and is the current Board Chair for CLIA--California Lodging Industry Association. Turner's background is quite interesting and his expertise in business, operations, personnel, accounting and financing, came with hard work and risk taking at a young age. At 22, with some college buddies, Turner opened The Caboose restaurant near Orlando, Florida. When he decided to marry his finance from California a year later, he abandoned the business and started The Great American Restaurants, built it to 23 restaurants, then sold it! He also developed, owned and operated The Big Yellow House restaurants and Annie Butterfield's Original Pot Pies. In 1999, he began purchasing lodging properties Jorad & Company offers accounting services and has long term successes in both start-up and turnaround endeavors. Don Turner has lived in California for the past thirty-three years and has founded and co-founded restaurant companies in both Northern and Southern California. He previously served on the board of directors of California Restaurant Association. Mr. Turner has more than 30 years of management experience in the lodging and restaurant industry and held management positions with Red Lobster Inns of America prior to developing his own companies. His personal interests are his family, golf, skiing, sailing, travel and, of course... food and wine.

Mr. Turner can be contacted at 916-925-2915 or joraddon@sbcglobal.net

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.