Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hall

Mike Hall

General Manager, The Westin South Coast Plaza

An accomplished hotel industry veteran, Mike Hall is The Westin South Coast Plaza's general manager. Since 2002, he has been at the helm of the luxurious 293-room property in Costa Mesa, California, considered to be Orange County's landmark hotel. Mr. Hall has also overseen major renovations at the hotel, where a multi-million dollar upgrade is slated for next year. During Mr. Hall's distinguished career he has held senior management posts with international hotel chains and resort properties, and leadership roles in hospitality industry organizations. Mr. Hall's previous experience with Westin includes serving as general manager of the Westin Horton Plaza Hotel, a 450-room upscale property in San Diego. There he oversaw major renovations of guestrooms, meeting rooms and public spaces. Mr. Hall was previously managing director of the luxurious Westin Diplomat Resort County Club & Spa in Hollywood, Florida, handling the pre- and post-opening of the $750 million oceanfront resort. He has also overseen regional operations for Starwood/HEI Hotels on the West Coast, including the 460-room Westin Long Beach. Mr. Hall's other senior management posts include serving as vice president of Operations, North America for Olympus Hospitality, and as regional vice president of Operations for Renaissance International Hotels & Resorts for the Western U.S., including Hawaii. Additionally, Mr. Hall has been the general manager of the Anaheim and Marina del Rey Doubletree Hotels, the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, the Lincoln Hotel in Dallas, the Hilton Hotel in Waco and at several Clarion Hotels chain properties in Colorado, Texas and Phoenix. Mr. Hall chairs the Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau and previously was chairman of the Long Beach Visitor and Convention Council. Under Mr. Hall's leadership, The Westin South Coast Plaza achieved the coveted “Best in Class” distinction in the annual Meeting Planner Satisfaction Index (MPSI), won a “Sales Leader of the Year” award from Starwood Hotels, and “Most Profitable Hotel” honors from HOST Hotels, and was rated first by the hotel's associates in “Best Place to Work” competition among all Starwood properties.

Mr. Hall can be contacted at 714-540-2500 or mike.hall@westin.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.