Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Walzak

Dawn Walzak

First Vice President, Tishman Hotel Corporation

Dawn Walzak is First Vice President of Tishman Hotel Corporation (THC) in Orlando, Florida. As a respected sales professional with over twenty years of Hospitality Industry experience, Ms. Walzak has also held Sales Management positions with Westin Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. Her strong selling skills, awareness of the overall sales process, technology, savvy and passion for success has resulted in numerous awards. Dawn was also recognized for her leadership in the hospitality industry by being elected as the youngest President of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International in 1997, the largest sales and marketing association in the world with over 4,000 members, and was named one of the 1997 Top 100 Rising Stars in the hospitality business by Travel Agent Magazine, recipient of Florida International University School of Hospitality Management 1999 Alumni of the Year award and was recently named as one of Travel Weekly's "Forty under Forty - the leaders who represent the 'next generation' of travel". Ms. Walzak joined Hyatt Hotels and Resorts as a Corporate Trainee after graduation from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. During her five years with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts she held a succession of sales and marketing positions in several locations. After joining the Westin Mission Hills Resort in 1992, Ms. Walzak continued to break sales records and produced significant market growth. Since joining THC in 1998, she has assisted in the renovation, reposition and re-flagging of the Four Points Sheraton Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport, which completed its first year of operation at 97% occupancy. She has worked on numerous acquisitions and has been able to immediately increase occupancies through non-traditional markets. Her specialties include electronic commerce, public relations exposure, revenue management, and maximization of brand. In October 2002 she completed the opening of the new $330 million Westin New York at Times Square and now oversees a select portfolio of hotels for Tishman. In 2004, Ms. Walzak completed her Masters Degree in Hospitality Management, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors, from Florida International University. As a First Vice President at THC, her responsibilities include overseeing the marketing, sales functions and performance of select THC owned and/or managed hotels. She also supervises corporate projects involving training, research and market analysis.

Ms. Walzak can be contacted at 407-934-1755 or dwalzak@tishman.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.