Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. DeConti

Elizabeth DeConti

Shareholder, GrayRobinson, P.A.

Elizabeth DeConti is a Shareholder in the Tampa office of GrayRobinson, P.A. and is a member of the firm's Alcohol Beverage and Food Team. Prior to joining GrayRobinson, she was a partner with the Tampa office of Holland & Knight and a judicial clerk for the Honorable Antoinette L. Dupont, Chief Judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court. She earned her B.A. cum laude and with Distinction in Renaissance Studies from Yale University in 1993 and then received her J.D. cum laude in 1996 from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was a Harvey T. Reid Scholar. Awarded the highest rating assigned by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory "AV", Ms. DeConti focuses her practice on litigation and compliance matters related to the rules, regulation and business practices that govern the marketing, sale, and consumption of malt beverages, wine, distilled spirits, and other regulated products in the alcohol and food industry. She is also a circuit court mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida. Ms. DeConti's trial experience includes commercial, franchise, intellectual property, and ADA cases litigated on behalf of major breweries, alcohol suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and other members of the hospitality industry in state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. In addition to her court experience, she represents many clients in alternative dispute resolution. She also advises clients on issues pertaining to trade regulation and marketing practices in the food and beverage industry, and concentrates on regulatory compliance, as well as advertising and promotional law. Ms. DeConti also drafts contracts related to advertising, distribution, importation, and related issues associated with the food and beverage industry. Ms. DeConti is a member of The Florida Bar and The Connecticut Bar, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida. Additionally, she is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association. She is also a frequent lecturer to the alcohol beverage and hospitality industries.

Ms. DeConti can be contacted at 813-273-5000 or edeconti@gray-robinson.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.