Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Riesenhuber

Darci Riesenhuber

Director of Brand Culture & Internal Communications, Embassy Suites Hotels

Darci Riesenhuber joined Hilton Worldwide in August, 2011, assuming the role of director, brand culture and communication, for the Embassy Suites Hotels brand. In this capacity, she ensures that all components of the Embassy Suites brand's hotel-level training and communications effectively deliver and instill the brand's key philosophies, values and the Embassy Make A Difference culture. She leads development and implementation of all brand communication to hotels, reward & recognition efforts and manages all brand conferences. Ms. Riesenhuber's current focus is on developing an interactive, online community for hotel-level employees to share ideas and best practices. She is also working on a new team member orientation training program and developing a leadership mentoring program. Ms. Riesenhuber has provided consulting and coaching to leaders in a variety of industries including hospitality, healthcare, financial, legal and manufacturing. Her past clients include UPS, where she brought a renewed sense of ownership, passion and creativity to a company-wide, internal sales initiative that generated a return on investment in excess of $3.7 million within one year as a result of a grassroots employee engagement effort. Ms. Riesenhuber was also an organizational performance consultant and trainer for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). While there, she partnered with brand managers to design training and human resources strategies that ensured adoption and execution of their unique brand promises and personalities. She was also instrumental in creating the culture and customer service model for the launch of Hotel indigo, IHG's first lifestyle hotel brand. As a facilitator, she has engaged, inspired and guided leaders of profit and non-profit organizations to develop & communicate business strategies that give their stakeholders meaning and purpose. As a coach, she has helped individuals maximize their potential by clarifying their aspirations, discovering their passion and realizing their goals, both professionally and personally. From an early age Ms. Riesenhuber learned to understand and appreciate different cultures. As a Navy “Brat” who was uprooted often during childhood, she gained a knack for adapting quickly to new situations. She is drawn to understanding what makes people “tick” and believes that while we are all unique, we share a fundamental need to belong, feel appreciated and to do work that matters. This philosophy informs her work. Ms. Riesenhuber earned her BS at University of North Carolina and holds an MA in Organziational Management from the University of Phoenix. She also holds various training certifications, including Achieve Global, and is a Certified Corporate Coach. She loves animals, the outdoors and singing aloud while driving her Mini Cooper convertible.

Ms. Riesenhuber can be contacted at 703-883-5490 or darci.riesenhuber@hilton.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.