Editorial Board   

Mr. Van

Steve Van

President & CEO, Prism Hotels

Steve Van, President and CEO of Prism Hotels & Resorts, founded the Dallas-based company in 1983 and continues to lead the company on its mission to have The Most Satisfied Owners. A prominent speaker and sought-after expert in the hospitality industry, Mr. Van was recognized by Hotel Business Magazine as one of the trade's “People of 2012.” In the past few years Mr. Van has focused his teams' efforts on going from Good to Great with the primary focus on operational excellence. Prism's current successes include managing the largest Hyatt Regency franchise, the 580 room Hyatt Regency LAX, the 420 room Hilton El Conquistador Resort in Tucson, the historic 300 room Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center, the 1,000,000 square feet and 600 room state-of-the-art Las Vegas Training Center for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the award-winning Embassy Suites Medical Center in Oklahoma City among many others. Mr. Van currently serves on a number of industry boards including the Hilton Doubletree Hotel Owner's Advisory Council and served on the Starwood Hotels Owner's Advisory Council for creation of Aloft Hotels. Mr. Van earned his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas, attended The University of Texas Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas. He has served as the Assistant Attorney General of Texas and as a Director of the Texas Turnpike Authority. Since 2008 he has been a Founding Director of AHMSA, a nonprofit based in Bogota, Columbia to teach internal refugees entrepreneurial skills to lift their families out of poverty. AHMSA is now supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with the United Nations. Mr. Van was the youngest Director of NATO's US Arm, the Atlantic Treaty Assembly, and was presented with the Vincentian Ethics Scholar Award in 2006 in recognition of his valuable contributions in fostering business ethics research. Mr. Van is also the co-founder of the Texas Lyceum Association.

Mr. Van can be contacted at 214-257-1011 or steve.van@prismhotels.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.