Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Dean

Wes Dean

Vice President of Information Technology, M3 Accounting Services

Wes Dean is Vice President of Information Technology for M3 Accounting Services, the national leader in hotel-specific accounting software, processing more than $8 billion in financial transactions for more than 3,000 properties. With more than 20 years of network operations, software development and business operations management experience, Mr. Dean formulates long-term visions for the company's technology and service offerings. By directing M3's research and development (R&D) activities, he helps make the vision become a reality. Mr. Dean leads development of new software solutions and oversees improvement of existing products. His responsibilities include conducting research among the user community to ensure M3 products deliver the desired features and functionality, along with usability testing to make certain that M3 products perform across a number of platforms. Mr. Dean also serves as the company's executive security officer. He directs M3's hosting operations and directs the design, budget and capacity planning for its distributed data center operations. He guided M3 through their first Type II SAS70 Audit, ensuring compliance with publicly traded companies' regulations and industry standards. Prior to joining M3, Mr. Dean held a variety of leadership roles for technology companies based in Canada and the United States. He served as chief operating officer for Cyence International, a leading provider of Web-based financial software solutions for banking, manufacturing, and equipment leasing markets. Previously he served as CEO & chief technology officer of Signature Technology Solutions, an Atlanta-based company that helped financial organizations integrate online components into their processing systems. He is a former U.S. Army Infantry Officer serving as a Platoon Leader in the 82nd Airborne Division. Mr. Dean holds both a Bachelor's in Management Information Systems and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia.

Mr. Dean can be contacted at 770-297-3341 or wes@m3as.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.