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 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.