Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Watkins

Jane Watkins

President, Watkins Public Relations

Jane Watkins, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Croix, was raised understanding the value of water. With only a cistern to provide water to the household, water conservation was critical because if the cistern was empty - you would be out of water until the next rainfall. Upon moving to the continental USA, Ms. Watkins was horrified to see people watering their grass. Having lived in Florida for the past ten years, where watering the lawn seems to be a daily ritual with most homeowners, Ms. Watkins still refuses. “I am working on eliminating as much grass as possible in my yard by planting drought resistant natives and pollinator attracting plants.” Having worked at resorts and boat charters since a teen, it is no surprise Watkins, a marketing communications specialist, focuses on the hospitality industry. A graduate of Florida State University, she has built a track record in integrated marketing communications including launches, events, promotions, sponsorships, media relations, collateral, and advertising. Her vertical marketing experience includes food and beverage, movies, retail, travel and tourism, art, and youth marketing. She has represented hotels and destinations worldwide. Ms. Watkins has managed marketing efforts for Atlanta Pride, Glory Foods as well as national accounts. She is a volunteer for the St. Croix Foundation, the Center for Great Apes and select non-profits. In 2011, she produced the cookbook for her client, the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, to benefit the St. Croix Foundation, a non-profit serving the US Virgin Islands.

Ms. Watkins can be contacted at 305-235-8575 or jane@watkinspr.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.