Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Halfmann

Keith Halfmann

Vice President of Operations, Marcus Hotels

Keith Halfmann is vice president of operations for Marcus Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Halfmann oversees the day-to-day operational responsibilities for several hotels in the Marcus Hotels & Resorts portfolio including the Hilton Madison, Wis.; Sheraton Madison, Wis.; Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, Mo.; Hilton Garden Inn, Houston, Texas; Bloomington Hilton, Bloomington, Minn.; Crowne Plaza - Northstar, Minneapolis, Minn. and the Westin Columbus, Columbus, Ohio.

Mr. Halfmann is responsible for managing revenues, sales, financial performance, guest satisfaction and operational excellence for each hotel, as well as managing product and service quality standards for a variety of hotel brands. He also remains involved with the operation of the Mason Street Grill restaurant located in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis., which he successfully opened in 2006.

Mr. Halfmann has been with Marcus Hotels & Resorts for 12 years and has previously had a key role in developing the company's food and beverage operations. He served as director of food and beverage at the Pfister Hotel where he concepted and opened Celia, a four-star restaurant, and Blu, a nationally-recognized cocktail lounge.

Mr. Halfmann served as assistant general manager of the Hilton Milwaukee, where he concepted and opened the Milwaukee ChopHouse - one of the city's top rated steakhouses. He also served as director of operations at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wis., where he implemented strategic revenue and profit contingencies and successfully re-concepted the restaurants, spa, ski chalet, retail areas and public space.

More recently, he served as general manager of the Pfister Hotel, where he led a $20 million renovation of the hotel, including guest rooms, lobby areas, the WELL Spa and the Mason Street Grill. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Halfmann worked at the Copper Mountain Resort, an Intrawest Resort in Copper Mountain, Colo. where he served on the repositioning and branding team after Intrawest purchased the resort from its previous owner. He also worked at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in several food and beverage roles.

In addition to his work at Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Halfmann serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Feed My Sheep and sits on the Waukesha County Technical College Student Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) and is involved with the United Performing Arts Fund Emerging Leaders organization. In his free time, he enjoys endurance training, triathlons and in 2010 successfully completed the Ford Ironman Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

Mr. Halfmann can be contacted at 414-905-1200 or keithhalfmann@marcushotels.com

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.