Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Houran

James Houran

Managing Director, AETHOS Consulting Group

"Dr. Jim" Houran, Ph.D., Managing Director of AETHOS Consulting Group, is a 25-year veteran in applied psychological research and a published expert on peak performance, online testing and interpersonal and organizational compatibility.

Dr. Houran has authored over 150 articles, and his award-winning work has been profiled by a myriad of media outlets and programs including the Discovery Channel, A&E, BBC, National Geographic, NBC's Today Show, USA Today, New Scientist, Psychology Today and Forbes.com.

Dr. Houran serves as adjunct faculty at the Laboratory for Statistics and Computation, ISLA - Instituto Politecnico de Gestão e Tecnologia (Lisbon, Portugal), an editorial board member for the APA peer-reviewed journal, Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research and Practice, and as an editorial board member for the peer-reviewed journal, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

AETHOS Consulting Group is a global hospitality advisory firm serving the hotel, restaurant, casino, cruise line, club and travel technology sectors. Core competencies include executive search, compensation consulting, organizational development and psychometric assessments. Through strategic joint-ventures, AETHOS further assists its clients in gaining access to expert advice and specialist services in the area of logistics and supply chain management as well as insurance solutions.

Many people over the years have told Dr. Houran that he is best described as an unconventional researcher and practitioner who's clearly passionate about bringing real-world psychology to the everyday personal and professional lives of clients. This is possible because of his eclectic and generalist background in the social sciences, which gives him a comprehensive perspective about imagination, cognition, personality and behavior.

For Dr. Houran, nothing compares to the satisfaction of working on projects in which the latest psychological theories help to produce unprecedented awareness and positive outcomes. The fluid and demanding industry of hospitality is ultimately built on people and relationships. Psychology has so much to say about the drivers of professional development, team dynamics, organizational performance and the guest experience.

Dr. Houran is in his element when consulting with leaders and their teams on these strategic issues. But psychology doesn't define his entire identity; he stays personally grounded through his family and enjoying the natural sciences, history, anthropology and the arts. It's fun and rewarding being unconventional!

Please visit http://www.aethoscg.com for more information.

Mr. Houran can be contacted at +1 817-542-7602 or jhouran@aethoscg.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.