Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cerand

Jerry Cerand

Director & Category Strategy Leader, Avendra

Jerry Cerand is the category strategy leader for produce, seafood and dairy at Avendra, North America's leading procurement services provider with more than $3 billion in annual purchases. He is responsible for the procurement and distribution of perishable commodities for hospitality-related industries, and helps oversee and manage every link in the supply chain. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Mr. Cerand joined Avendra in 2004 focusing his culinary expertise on the seafood category. He next led the fresh produce team and then was promoted to the director of Avendra's fresh foods team for both local and national suppliers. In his current role, he sets the strategy for the entire supply chain for produce, seafood and dairy contracts, from sourcing to distribution to customers. Mr. Cerand brings a unique perspective to the job, based on his extensive operations and culinary experience. With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, he has owned his own bistro and home meal operation, and worked as general manager of many white tablecloth restaurants. He has the advantage of insight into customer wants and needs - from quality, fresh food options to a strong supply chain that supports customer preferences. As part of a team of 60 contracting professionals, Mr. Cerand works with associates on the strategic supply chain management team with highly specialized expertise in hospitality-related categories. This team has expertise in negotiating the most competitive contracts to realize the best savings throughout the supply chain. Mr. Cerand's focus includes creating access to local produce, seafood and dairy suppliers. Mr. Cerand serves as the lead on local sourcing programs and formerly sat on the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) board. In his spare time, he volunteers for area food banks and local soup kitchens.

Mr. Cerand can be contacted at 301-825-0500 or jerry.cerand@avendra.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.