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 September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.