Editorial Board   

Mr. White

Derek White

President, Interactive & Media Networks, LodgeNet Interactive Corporation

As President, Interactive & Media Networks, of LodgeNet Interactive Corporation (NASD: LNET), Derek White is responsible for all of LodgeNet's guest merchandising and marketing as well as revenues generated both from in-room entertainment sales and third-party sponsorships. The role expands Mr. White's responsibilities beyond his former role as President of The Hotel Networks (THN), which LodgeNet acquired in 2008. Mr. White joined the company in February 2008 after serving as Executive Vice President of Alloy, Inc., one of the country's largest providers of targeted media and marketing services. Mr. White brings a track record of more than two decades building high performance teams and businesses. While at Alloy, Mr. White oversaw corporate development and general management of the company's out-of-home, sampling and promotions business units. He originally served as the architect and managing executive responsible for Alloy's $200 million media and marketing division employing more than 700 people, overseeing multiple companies and business groups including AMP Agency (named the 2004 Promotion Agency of the Year by PROMO Magazine). Prior to joining Alloy, Mr. White was the President of 360 Youth Corporation (later acquired by Alloy), and served as Executive Vice President of MarketSource Corporation, where he founded and led the development of its Internet and interactive business. He also held roles as President of Graphic Connexions, Inc., a creative agency, and Director for Computerware, Inc.

Mr. White can be contacted at 215-504-5552 or dwhite@lodgenet.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.