Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Salazar

Fernando Salazar

Vice President, Food & Beverage, Wyndham Hotel Group

Fernando Salazar, a 30 year lodging veteran, was appointed vice president of food and beverage for the upscale Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand in July 2007. In his role, Mr. Salazar is responsible for the conceptual development and management of food-and-beverage operations for all Wyndham Hotels and Resorts properties. Additionally, Mr. Salazar recently assumed oversight of food and beverage for the select-service TRYP by Wyndham brand. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Salazar was vice president, food and beverage, for Omni Hotels in Irving, Texas, a position he held from 2002 to July 2007. From 1996 to 2002, he was director of operations for individual Omni Hotels, first for the Omni Houston Westside and then, in 1998, for the Omni San Antonio. From 1983 to 1996, Mr. Salazar served in food and beverage positions for Westin Hotels, including director of food and beverage at the Westin Cincinnati and the Westin Williams Center in Tulsa, Okla. He also held various positions at the Westin Galleria in Dallas and the Westin Oaks in Houston, including assistant director of food and beverage, director of restaurants and multiunit restaurant manager. From 1980 to 1983, he was head of service and wine training for Las Brasas, a Colombia-based restaurant management company. He began his career for the St. Moritz Hotel in New York's Central Park, now the Ritz-Carlton New York. Mr. Salazar, a frequent speaker at national conferences on topics related to food and beverage, received the 2010 Silver Plate Award as Hotel Operator of the Year from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) for his contributions to the industry. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) proclaimed him Ambassador of the CIA and awarded him the Gold Medal of Honor for creativity, leadership and mentoring efforts. He is a member of the Culinary Institute of America's Latin Cuisines Executive Advisory Council and the HM&LA Food & Beverage Advisory Board. He is also a member of the International Food and Beverage Forum, a group of 50 experts dedicated to the promotion of the industry worldwide and received the group's President's Award in 2009 and 2010 for his contributions to this organization. Mr. Salazar is International Advisor and permanent judge of the renowned Spanish National Tapas Competition and of the Annual International Encounter of Culinary Schools, a competition for culinary students from around the world; both events are celebrated annually in Valladolid, Spain. In November 2010, he was named International Advisor and Universal Ambassador of the International School of Culinary Arts in Valladolid, Spain, as a result of his extensive expertise in the industry. He is based in Wyndham Hotel Group's Parsippany, N.J. offices.

Mr. Salazar can be contacted at 973-753-6590 or fernando.salazar@wyndhamworldwide.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.