Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Sanford

Kevin Sanford

Director of Sales & Marketing, Island Hotel Newport Beach

Kevin Sanford is the director of sales and marketing for Island Hotel Newport Beach, an AAA Five Diamond property set amidst five lush acres in the heart of Newport Center. In his current position, he oversees all aspects of marketing and related activities for the 295-room hotel - which features a 4,000-square-foot spa; a 3,000-square-foot pool; two award-winning restaurants; a fitness center; two outdoor lighted tennis courts; and over 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space. Mr. Sanford's specific duties include strategic development and implementation of all branding programs, annual marketing plans and market research, as well as overseeing print collateral and electronic marketing materials and website development. In addition, he leads and directs conference services, as well as the group, transient and catering sales teams, focusing on marketing and positioning Island as a premier luxury business travel hotel. Reaffirming its reputation as one of the region's top luxury hotels for corporate travelers, Island recently completed an extensive renovation, which included the refurbishment of 20,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as significant upgrades to its meeting technology. With more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience, Mr. Sanford's specific expertise includes contracting, negotiations, problem-solving, team-building, customer loyalty/retention, and planning and executing strategies and tactics. Previously the national director of sales for the Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, he also has extensive experience in the luxury hotel arena - with specific expertise in luxury group meetings and events -- and was with The St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach in Dana Point, Calif. for six years, climbing the ranks from sales manager to director of sales. Prior to that, he was with Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. for eight years, where he started as business transient sales manager and worked his way up to national sales manager.

Mr. Sanford can be contacted at 866-554-4620 or ksanford@theislandhotel.com

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.