Editorial Board   

Ms. Sarmiento

Fran Sarmiento

Executive Vice President, Venture Insurance Programs

Fran Sarmiento is the Executive Vice President of Programs for Venture Insurance Programs, a national program administrator for select industries, including the hotel and resort industry. At Venture, Ms. Sarmiento manages more than $75 million of insurance premiums and is responsible for overseeing the underwriting, development and expansion of all programs. An outspoken proponent of providing insurance coverage that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of the ever-changing hospitality industry, Ms. Sarmiento's 30 years of commercial insurance experience includes positions with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and CIGNA Insurance. She has spent the last 10 years focused on industry specific insurance programs, with one of her main areas of emphasis being the hotel and resort industry. Ms. Sarmiento maintains an active involvement in several community service and insurance industry organizations. Most recently she served on the Board of Directors of the Target Markets Program Administrator Association. Ms. Sarmiento attended the University Of Pennsylvania and has earned numerous insurance designations including the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriting (CPCU), the most prestigious insurance designation, and her Associate in Risk Management (ARM). She is married and has three children.

Ms. Sarmiento can be contacted at 800-282-6247 or fsarmiento@ventureprograms.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.