Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Holmerud

Justin Holmerud

Global Social Media Manager - Platforms & Tools, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Justin Holmerud is Global Social Media Manager for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, responsible for driving platform and tool development to meet the needs of the company's more than 1,110 hotels around the world. Mr. Holmerud joined Starwood in 2007, out of their regional Field Marketing office in San Diego. In his five years with Starwood, Mr. Holmerud has led regional hotel online marketing as well as search engine optimization and social media for all of the North American hotels. In April 2012, he was promoted to his current global role within Starwood's digital team, focusing on platforms, tools and analytics. Prior to joining Starwood, Mr. Holmerud was the online marketing manager for the Dyson News Network. Working with Yahoo! Finance, Mr. Holmerud helped syndicate the Real Estate news videos that DNN produced on a daily basis. He also led the paid search and SEO efforts for the company with a focus on reporting and analytics. Mr. Holmerud is a graduate of San Jose State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism. During his time there, he interned with the marketing team for Fox Sports Bay Area.

Mr. Holmerud can be contacted at 206-494-0132 or justin.holmerud@starwoodhotels.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.