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 January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.