Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Woodley

Michelle Woodley

President, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Michelle Woodley is President of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. In this role, she oversees multiple departments across the company including sales, marketing, IT, revenue management, and customer relations. She also works closely with CEO Lindsey Ueberroth on financial planning and talent management, supports the development of other strategic areas of focus within the organization, and serves as a company spokesperson.

During her 15 years with the company, Ms. Woodley has held various leadership positions with cross-functional responsibilities including Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy, Senior Vice President of Distribution & Revenue Management, and Executive Vice President, the role she held prior to her promotion to President in January 2018.

Ms. Woodley has used her expertise to help the company successfully execute on major global initiatives designed to foster longevity of the Preferred brand such as two comprehensive rebranding initiatives, the launch of multiple brand websites, the introduction and institutionalization of a Revenue Management Certification Program, the technology conversion of the company's global central reservation system and call center services, and the creation of the I Prefer Hotel Rewards program.

In 2018, several months after she was named President, Ms. Woodley received recognition by Hotel Management as one of the most influential women in hospitality.

Before joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts in 2002, Ms. Woodley spent five years as Vice President of Distribution for Swissotel and Raffles Hotels & Resorts, charged with overseeing the strategic direction and operations of the company's electronic distribution and database solutions. She held various senior positions in operations, marketing, and distribution with Swissotel from 1990 to 1997.

Ms. Woodley has been an active board member in industry organizations throughout her career. She is currently on the Americas Board of Directors of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), and also serves on the Board of the HSMAI Foundation. She served two terms as president and two terms as vice president of the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA), and she was a founding member of the Open Travel Alliance (OTA) and served two terms on their board of directors as treasurer.

Ms. Woodley is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

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

Ms. Woodley can be contacted at +1 312-238-9880 or MWoodley@preferredhotels.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.