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 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.