Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Heckaman

David Heckaman

Vice President of Technology Development, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

David Heckaman has been engaged in the technology and hospitality industries for the past 20 years. He is able to leverage his extensive operational experience to remain focused on the hotel guest and the staff that have to service them. Mr. Heckaman earned his undergraduate degree in Hotel Management and Development from the University of Central Florida. His early operational career had taken through the hotel operational management path. He had worked for Guest Quarters, DoubleTree and independent properties in these roles. Mr. Heckaman's technology path started with Storemont Trice Hotels where he was a regional technology manager and participated in hotel development and project management of large technology deployments. He later joined Crestline Capital in Bethesda, MD to assist in the creation of Crestline Hotels & Resorts and the interconnection of newly acquired properties and deployment of back-office systems. In 2001, Mr. Heckaman joined Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to lead the technology development aspect of their North American flagship property in New York City. The development of this property placed Mandarin Oriental as a clear international leader in the area of lodging technology. There were numerous technologies that were presented to the world for the first-time when the Mandarin Oriental, New York opened in November of 2003. The list of these technologies that were successfully deployed include some of the following highlights: - Fully Converged IP Network - Full VoIP PBX including VoWiFi - High-Definition Video Distribution - Stored and Broadcast Content - Multi-Carrier Broad-Frequency Distributed Antenna System (DAS) - WiFi Distribution over DAS - Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Television Deployment - Dedicated fiber-optic broadcast cabling infrastructure Mr. Heckaman has held his current position with Mandarin Oriental since 2005. In this role he oversees new hotel development, new technology direction and physical infrastructures. The development projects that have occurred under his watch include the following: - Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC - Mandarin Oriental, Riviera Maya - Mandarin Oriental, Boston - Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas at CityCenter - Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona - Mandarin Oriental, Paris Mr. Heckaman also is the Principal Consultant of Heckaman Group, LLC which is a consulting company created to provide technology guidance, project review and vision clarity to technology vendors as well as lodging operators. Mr. Heckaman also is the co-owner of Structurewide, LLC that operates as a low-voltage engineering and design firm serving primarily North and South Carolina. He has been a charter member of Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) trade organization. He currently co-chairs the HTNG Infrastructure and Device Forum. Mr. Heckaman has held the following certifications Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA)

Mr. Heckaman can be contacted at 803-627-8886 or dheckaman@mohg.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.