Editorial Board   

Ms. Williams-Knight

Emily Williams-Knight

President, Kendall College

Emily Williams Knight was named president of Kendall College by the board of directors in January 2012. Prior to that, Ms. Knight had served as a vice president at Laureate Education, Inc., where she was responsible for globally expanding access to the company's hospitality management, culinary arts, and art and design programs. Prior to joining Laureate she was CEO of New England University LLC, where she was responsible for expanding marketing and strategic initiatives as well as growth into Latin America for the New England College of Business and Finance. Ms. Knight worked previously with Pearson Education for ten years. She began her work with Pearson as a sales representative, moved into various management positions, and ultimately served as vice president of marketing and sales strategies for Pearson Teacher Education and Development. As Vice President of Sales and Marketing she led strategic market planning and analysis for a two hundred million dollar business, and was responsible for the creation of marketing and sales strategies in a new combined division that encompassed higher education and K12 teacher professional development. Ms. Knight began teaching management and business courses at Montgomery Community College in Pennsylvania in 1998. She continued in her role as an adjunct instructor at the college for the first three years she worked with Pearson. Earlier, while working toward her master's degree, Ms. Knight also worked as an executive meeting manager with Marriott Four Star Resort Hotels in Key West, Florida. Ms. Knight graduated from Troy University with her Master's of Science in Management. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration from Boston University, where she was an academic trustee scholar, and an Associate's Degree in Hospitality Administration from Newbury College where she was a presidential scholar, captain of the women's basketball team, and graduated first in her class. She received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Newbury College in 2012.

Ms. Williams-Knight can be contacted at emily.knight@kendall.edu

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.