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 June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.