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 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.