Editorial Board   

Ms. Shackelford

Ellen L. Shackelford

President, Connections Access Consulting Services, LLC (CACS)

As a person who has sustained a disability through injury, Ellen Shackelford is well aware of the many challenges people with disabilities face daily. She also knows people with disabilities are often overlooked in social situations and activities. As founder/president of Connections Access Consulting Services, LLC, she is dedicated to a service which will enhance the awareness and unconscious injustice of the aging population and Citizens with disabilities, so all will be included in social situations. Ellen's goal is to serve as an advocate by providing education through training and disability awareness programs necessary to address the importance of inclusion in an aging society. Previous employment at Insight Enterprises Inc. Peninsula Center for Independent Living has enlightened Ellen on the many facets of life the community was totally unaware in regards to people with disabilities. In addition, attendance at leadership programs: Partners In Policy Making, sponsored by Virginia Board for People with Disabilities; The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U.S. Department of Education Rocky Mount Technical Assistance & Consulting Center and Dan Hopkins & Associates, Inc. Ellen is active in the disability community and holds several leadership roles. She is the Vice Chairperson for the Hampton Mayors Committee for People with Disabilities, Chairperson for Accessibility; Victims Advocate (trainee) M.A.D.D.; Peninsula Literacy Council Tutor Volunteer. She is also a Member of other committees, such as: National Council on Independent Living (NCIL); Age and Abilities Expo 2007 (Secretary). Ellen has recently received 1st runner up in the Ms. Wheelchair Virginia Pageant held in Fishersville, Virginia. She lives in Hampton, Virginia and has a daughter in college and three grandchildren by her late son Jason R. Freeman.

Ms. Shackelford can be contacted at 757-827-0783 or ln@cacsllc.info

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.