Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gregerman

Alan S. Gregerman

President & Chief Innovation Officer, Venture Works, Inc.

Dr. Alan S. Gregerman is President and Chief Innovation Officer of VENTURE WORKS Inc., a consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. area that helps leading companies and organizations to develop winning strategies and create successful new products, services, ventures, customer experiences, and ways of doing business. His customers are a wide range of Fortune 500 corporations, growing firms, start-ups and nonprofits including Discovery Communications, Marriott International, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Lockheed Martin, L-3, Raytheon, Omnicom, ICF International, the International Finance Corporation, Ritz-Carlton, CGI, Children's National Medical Center, and the National Civil Rights Museum. Mr. Gregerman is an internationally-respected expert on strategy, innovation, customer service, and unlocking the talent in people at all levels of organizations. In the past 20 years he has helped more than 300 teams and organizations to create important innovations—with a 90% success rate. He is also an award-winning teacher, author, and keynote speaker who has been called “one of the most original thinkers in business today” and “the Robin Williams of business consulting.” His first book, Lessons from the Sandbox, provided a powerful formula for business success based on the magic of childhood. His newest book, Surrounded by Geniuses—winner of the Axiom Award as one of the best leadership books of 2008—shows companies and organizations how to unlock compelling value by finding powerful insight in their own people and the world around them. Before starting VENTURE WORKS Mr. Gregerman was Director of Entrepreneurial Services for a national consulting firm, Special Assistant for Operations at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the first Visiting Scholar in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Library of Congress. He has also worked as a mapmaker, subway mechanic, and hotel housekeeper. Mr. Gregerman earned his B.A. in geography, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University, and his M.A. in economic geography and Ph.D. in urban and technological planning, with highest honors, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In his free time, he is founder and President of Passion for Learning, Inc., where he is involved in efforts to build innovative partnerships between the business community and low-income schools to make curriculum come alive for at-risk children. Mr. Gregerman is also an active member of Leadership Greater Washington, serves on the boards of the Primary Care Coalition and the Promise of Good Sports, and is math and writing tutor in the public schools.

Mr. Gregerman can be contacted at 301-585-1600 or innovate@venture-works.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.