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 April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.