Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. O'Halloran

Robert O'Halloran

Professor & Director, Hospitality Management, East Carolina University

Bob O'Halloran, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. He is on the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation, Vice Chair of the AH&LA's Certification Commission and on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Prior to joining ECU he was on the faculty of the University of Memphis, the State University of New York/ Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O'Halloran has extensive operational experience as a general manager and a training manager for new properties with Jolly Roger and Trans Pacific Restaurants, Inc., in California. He also has operational experience with a Cape Cod resort in the front office and food and beverage departments and has worked as a hospitality management consultant with Pannell Kerr Forster in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic, he has continued his industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services, the Club Managers Association of New Jersey, the Lodging Division of Marriott International, and the Recreation Division of the United States Forest Service. He was also Visiting Scholar of the National Tourism Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Before moving to ECU in July of 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau (MCVB), the MCVB's Educational Foundation board, the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel and Lodging Association and the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association. He is currently a Commissioner for AH&LA's Certification Commission and was recently elected as Vice Chair and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation. He is also a member of the Educational Institute of AHLA Faculty Advisory Board. He is also a current member of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Board of Directors. O'Halloran is a recipient of the Van Nostrand Reinhold Award for Teaching Innovation through the Council on Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Education and the Outstanding Teaching and Advising Awards in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He has presented seminars and workshops for organizations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, the China Travel Service, the China Travel & Tourism Press, the Hong Kong Hotels Association, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Choice Hotels International, the Grand Teton Lodge Company and others. He is a regular contributor to industry publications and has written over one hundred articles, columns and cases; for trade journals, newspapers, magazines and scholarly publications. He is co-author of a Service Learning chapter for the American Association of Higher Education for the hospitality industry and co-author of the education and training book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators & Trainers published by the Educational Institute of AH & LA. He is also co-editor of two books of case studies published by Prentice Hall and a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.

Dr. O'Halloran can be contacted at 252-737-1604 or ohalloranr@ecu.edu

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.