Editorial Board   

Mr. Portugal

Marc Portugal

Director of Marketing, Bortz Group of Companies

Marc Portugal is an experiential marketing professional with twelve years of accomplishments in launching brands and associated experiential marketing programs - including events, sponsorships, partnerships, and more - with a keen focus on the mindspace, feelings and rituals of consumers. Whether it's an e-mail campaign or a fashion show; a guerilla campaign or a fundraiser - Marc firmly believes in the "4th" dimension of experiential marketing. He addresses mind, body, spirit AND community when implementing marketing programs. Marc practices "experiential empathy" every step of the way - deeply focused on and concerned about the genuineness and consistency of audience feelings and relationships - not merely demographics, statistics, or out-dated traditions. In 1998, after several internships and completion of undergraduate studies, Marc began at KBA Marketing where he activated brand sponsorships and events across the country for various clients. Turning both conventional and unorthodox venue spaces into lifestyle lounges, sampling stations, fashion shows and concerts, Marc delivered the promise of the clients' brands and aided in renewed AOR status. Marc's most notable achievement includes the brand launch of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and the N9NE Group venues it houses. As founding Marketing Director, Marc first brought the Palms and N9NE Group to life in the backyard of the famed Playboy Mansion - giving key influencers a sneak peak of what was to come. Upon opening, Marc founded ground-breaking marketing partnerships with Playboy, MTV, Red Bull, and other brands that helped elevate the Palms to the status of Boutique Casino Resort, and arguably reinvented standards for lifestyle branding and nightlife-driven entertainment nationwide. Currently, Marc resides in Chicago and consults for the Bortz Group of Companies - a lifestyle and entertainment development firm specializing in the branding, marketing, and operation of salon/spas, nightclubs, sports leagues, and associated experiential integrations of sponsor and partner brands including but not limited to AVEDA, Belvedere Moet-Hennessy, Miller-Coors Brewing, Opt-It, and others. Marc specifically applies experiential strategies to the electronic and online spaces to effectively and affordably retain consumers across multiple profiles and brands. In his spare time, Marc volunteers for PAWS: Chicago-'s largest no-kill animal shelter, and turns to his favorite Martin guitar - aspiring to move beyond a self-described "novice grunge" level. He focuses overwhelming attention and emotion on the love of his life - an 80-lb Rottweiler named Princess Leia.

Mr. Portugal can be contacted at 312-850-8186 or marcportugal@yahoo.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.