Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Tinnish

Susan Tinnish

Advisory Group Chair, Vistage

Sue Tinnish, Ph.D., is a seasoned hospitality professional who has been writing for HotelExecutive since 2013. She has a diverse background in hospitality and business with specific skills in leadership, formulating strategy, managing change, building teams, and delivering on strategic and tactical projects.

Dr. Tinnish has been selected to serve as a Vistage leader (Chair). Since 1957, Vistage has been helping CEOs improve and grow their businesses. Fundamental to Vistage's success is the convening of non-competing peer advisory boards where business leaders can gain different perspectives and seek clarity to their pressing issues, decisions and challenges. Sue will be assembling a group in Chicago - which she hopes will include representation of the hotel sector.

Prior to her work coaching and working with CEOs though Vistage, Dr. Tinnish worked as a Strategist at Minding Your Business (MYB). MYB works to develop relevant, meaningful and sustainable approaches to strategic planning, branding, marketing / communications strategies, customer/member initiatives, plus helping organizations engage with their audiences through re-engineered meetings and events. Their primary customer base is hospitality organizations, associations, destination marketing organizations with a smattering of corporate clients.

Prior to that Dr. Tinnish served as the dean of the Kendall College School of Hospitality Management and the International School of Business. As Dean, she oversaw and managed all aspects of the Schools including faculty and curriculum selection, assessment and program direction. She served as a member of Kendall's academic leadership team. Initially joining Kendall as a faculty member, Dr. Tinnish taught courses on leadership, organizational behavior, sustainability, meeting management and human resource. She started working in the hospitality industry after leaving a successful career in financial services (corporate sales), concentrating on meetings and events. Dr. Tinnish served as President of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Chicago area chapter and was recognized by her peers with numerous awards including being inducted to the Chapter Hall of Fame.

A highly regarded thought leader in the hospitality industry, Dr. Tinnish is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events. Beyond her contributions to the HotelExecutive, some of her recent publications include: Embedding Sustainability into a Hotel: One leader's view of the creation of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, co-written with Dr. Kevin Lynch appearing in Sustainable Hotels: Exploring the Opportunities for Value Creation, Greenleaf Publishing, 2016. Also appearing in the same book is her chapter, A Strategic Decision Framework for Hotel Managers Embarking on a Sustainable Supply Chain Management Initiative. She also contributed two chapters (Designing the Meeting Experience and Strategic Meetings: Aligning with Organizational Priorities) to Professional Meeting Management: A Guide to Convention, Meetings and Events, 6th edition.

Dr. Tinnish earned her PhD from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. She holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance and marketing from University of Chicago's Booth School and a B.S. in communication studies from Northwestern University.

Please visit http://www.vistage.com for more information.

Dr. Tinnish can be contacted at 847-404-7325 or Sue.Tinnish@vistagechair.com

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.