Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Derby

Elizabeth Derby

Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Hotel Equities

Elizabeth Derby serves as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. She sits as a member of the Hotel Equities Strategic Alliance Leadership Team, the executive committee that casts the company vision and orchestrates its growth. Ms. Derby holds responsibility for all revenue generation for the portfolio including hotel sales and marketing, revenue management and e-commerce. She assists the hotels with setting overall sales and marketing strategies to maximize revenues. Recently, she spearheaded the revitalization of the company logo, the firm's website and all marketing materials. She oversees the firm's public relations strategy and implementation, including media relations and the quarterly company newsletter. Ms. Derby joined Hotel Equities 15 years ago as Director of Sales & Marketing for the company's portfolio that numbered only four hotels at the time. Today, the firm includes 25 sales directors serving more than 40 properties in five states from Virginia to Louisiana. With more than 29 years in the hotel business, Ms. Derby held sales positions at the The Mills House Hotel in Charleston, the Memphis Marriott, the Lowell Sheraton, and the Charlotte Marriott Executive Park before taking her present post. She began her career at the Kiawah Island Resort near Charleston, South Carolina. Ms. Derby holds a B.S. degree in Administrative Management from Clemson University.

Ms. Derby can be contacted at 678-578-4444 or ederby@hotelequities.com

Coming up in December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.