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 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.