Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Smith

Carrianne Smith

Director of Sales & Marketing, The Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Starwood Hotels

Carrianne Smith is a leader in the Pacific Northwest hospitality industry. She has held her current role as director of sales and marketing at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel for seven years, where her accumulated knowledge and experience from hotel locations across the U.S. brings immense value to the hotel. Ms. Smith's expertise for hotel management and hospitality ranges from her position as the director of sales at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, where she led her sales team to the Starwood “Team Hot” of the Year Award in 2003; director of marketing at Wyndham Andover and Wyndham Burlington in Massachusetts and sales manager at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle. In her 10 year tenure with Starwood properties, Ms. Smith has been nominated six times for Sales Team of the Year, winning the honor in 2008, and has twice been nominated for Sales Leader of the Year. After graduating Southern Illinois University, her career began as a front office manager at Wyndham Lisle/Naperville and as a catering manager at Wyndham SeaTac. Ms. Smith is a member of Meeting Professionals International and the Professional Convention Management Association, where she served as co-chair for the marketing and promotions committee for the 2008 PMCA Annual Meeting. She is a repeat guest speaker at Cornell, Johnson & Wales and Northeastern University, and prior to moving to Seattle, she served as a member of the Boston Convention Bureau's Sales Advisory Committee and led the “Introduction to Meeting Management” course at Northeastern University. Ms. Smith, a Chicago native, resides in West Seattle with her family. She enjoys traveling, the outdoors and reading, and her commitment to her community is realized through her passionate A.I.D.S. activism, leading the Sheraton's Gingerbread Village program in support of JDRF and providing groceries to the elderly, homeless and working poor with the Pike Place Market Food Bank.

Ms. Smith can be contacted at 206-447-5531 or Carrianne.pugh@sheraton.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.