Editorial Board   

Ms. Bulls Dixon

Gayle Bulls Dixon

Owner/Founder, Breathe Spa Management Company

As a former Fortune 100 executive, leadership consultant and entrepreneur, Gayle Bulls Dixon's business acumen and wellness philosophy find an uncommon melding in the Breathe Spa concept, which she created in 2002. Already a partner in Dixon Entities, which owns and manages real estate investments including the Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa off the coast of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Ms. Dixon was perplexed to find a lack of qualified spa management companies that satisfied her requirements for service, partnership, vision and profitability. Shortly after opening the Breathe Spa at the exclusive Daufuskie Island Resort, Ms. Dixon began receiving requests for spa management assistance from other resort owners. "It became apparent that there was significant interest in the Breathe Spa concept, as well as in a spa management company that focused on both impeccable service and profitability," she says. "I created Breathe Spa Management Company (BSMC), which is a full-service destination spa and spa management company because the market led me to do so. It is successful because I have both the financial and management background to lead the team that I have assembled, consisting of great leaders with direct experience managing upscale spas." Ms. Dixon's professional background includes executive level positions in the U.S., London and Venezuela with international corporations like AT&T, IBM and Qwest. She also founded Learning, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in leadership and corporate reorganizations, in 1996. In addition to the executive roles in BSMC and Dixon Entities, Ms. Dixon presents to and is involved with business and women's organizations, and she recently spoke at the 2004 China-U.S. Women's Leadership Conference in China. She is anticipating the release of her first book in 2005, which examines how women business leaders can best focus their feminine strengths to their advantage in a male-dominated business climate. She also has a television pilot in the works which explores various aspects of increased spirituality. Ms. Dixon received a bachelor's degree in management from California Coast University; a mini-MBA from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of the Entrepreneur's Program of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She resides with her husband Bill in the San Francisco Bay area.

Ms. Bulls Dixon can be contacted at 415-789-5224 or gayledixon@dixonentities.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.