Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Noel

John Noel

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Noel Group

John M. Noel is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Noel Group - a diversified organization that invests in promising companies and has a history of building successful businesses in the areas of insurance, concierge, emergency travel assistance, customer service, financial services, emerging technology and real estate. Noel Group operates on a value-based philosophy of serving its clients and employees with honesty, integrity and respect. The company is based in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and operates under the philosophy "Our direction is led by our values." Mr. Noel has overseen many successful companies including MultiNational Underwriters and Travel Guard International. He started Travel Guard in his basement in 1985 and grew it to become one of the most respected travel insurance and emergency assistance providers in the world. Travel Guard was sold in 2006 and is now part of Chartis. In 2008 MultiNational was sold to HCC Insurance Holdings and renamed HCC Medical Insurance Services. Noel Group also owns the MyAssist service, live personal assistance for the mobile lifestyle. Other Noel Group companies include CallForce, a customer service contact center; Compass Properties, a real estate investment company; and Insure America, a specialty insurance company. In 1993, Mr. Noel and his wife Patty established the Make A Mark Foundation a non-profit, humanitarian program focused on making a positive difference on both a local and global level. Through a network of partners donating time, abilities and finances, Make A Mark has built clinics, schools and orphanages in developing countries throughout the world. Over the past two decades, Make A Mark has focused its attention on the looming orphan crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, which was caused by the devastating AIDS pandemic. In 1996, the Noel's established The Noel Compass Scholarship Program to provide access to higher education for low-income, high-achieving students from Wisconsin's urban communities. The program includes room, board and tuition at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point as well as a paid internship at Noel Group. Today, the Noel's "extended family" includes over 20 Compass Scholar college graduates. In recognition of their many philanthropic endeavors, the Noels were presented with the Franklin Covey Humanitarian Service Award, given to "outstanding individuals who reach out to improve the quality of life for individuals, groups or humankind." Noel Group has also been recognized by Working Mother Magazine as one of the top 100 companies in the nation for working mothers. Mr. Noel is a graduate and facilitator of the Covey Leadership Center, which is based on the "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" created by renowned author Dr. Steven Covey. A subsequent book by Dr. Covey entitled "Living the 7 Habits" includes a chapter written by Mr. Noel, where he shares the positive impact that the program has had on his personal and professional life. Mr. Noel earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and was recognized as the University's "Alumni of the Year" in 1999. The University's performing arts center was also dedicated in 2006 as the Noel Fine Arts Center.

Mr. Noel can be contacted at 877-692-7747 or jnoel@noelgroup.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.