Editorial Board   

Mr. Boles

Jesse Boles

Executive Director of Operations, FreemanGroup

Jesse Boles joined FreemanGroup in 2007, and assumed the role of Executive Director of Operations in November 2008. He is currently responsible for FreemanGroup's training and measurement divisions, heading projects in conjunction with some of the hospitality industry's leading service providers. Mr. Boles has worked with leadership teams to develop brand service cultures at both existing and new properties for Las Vegas casinos and luxury hotels. He has been integral in the set up and execution of brand-specific measurement programs for Wyndham Hotel Group, Hard Rock International, Delaware North Companies, and MGM Resorts International. Mr. Boles has a passion for opening new properties, and has had the privilege of consulting during the openings of Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, MGM Grand Detroit, Aria Resort & Casino, CityCenter, and the historic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii, among others. He has also helped develop and lead customer service training initiatives for existing client properties for Destination Hotels and Resorts, Windsor Court Hotel New Orleans, and The Mirage Resort & Casino. In 2010, Mr. Boles initiated two of the largest and most complex training and measurement projects undertaken by FreemanGroup. In May 2010, FreemanGroup kicked off a nationwide service training initiative for Trinidad and Tobago, a country of 1.4 million people. The ongoing project targets providers in all areas of the tourism industry, including those in the immigrations, customs, taxi, hotel, restaurant, retail, and other sectors. In June 2010, work began on the development and implementation of an airport-wide service initiative at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest air traffic center. Mr. Boles's profound interest in the ways organizations and groups function has led him to explore a wide array of fields, including behavioral economics, cognitive science, leadership, and motivation. Raised in Wisconsin, he is a product of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and steadfast fan of all things Bucky Badger.

Mr. Boles can be contacted at 972-479-1345 or jboles@freemangroup.org

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.