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 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.