Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wilhelm

Sam Wilhelm

Chef Concierge, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Chef Concierge Sam Wilhelm has been immersed in the hospitality industry since he can remember. Born and raised in the quaint town of Hana, the namesake of Maui's most notorious road trip, Wilhelm's father was a Director of Food & Beverage at the Hotel Hana and his mother was a Front Office Manager. "Growing up, I was always at the hotel. My sisters even danced hula there," recalls Mr. Wilhelm. "And when we weren't there, we were having guests over to our home for dinner." Mr. Wilhelm still exudes the aloha spirit instilled in his childhood, and much of his focus at Four Seasons Resort Maui relates to showing his guests the beauty of the island and its native people. The young chef concierge swiftly navigated up through the hotel ranks. At age 15, he became a concierge agent at Hotel Hana. After graduating high school, he moved into the Food & Beverage department. Three years later, he moved from Hana to the luxury resort area of Wailea, Maui, taking a position as a front desk agent at the Fairmont Kea Lani, where he stayed for five years, advancing to chef concierge. In 2011, Mr. Wilhelm joined Four Seasons "I wanted be part of the best," he says. A year later, he was promoted to chef concierge, heading the largest team of concierge in the company. Mr. Wilhelm also holds the coveted golden keys of the Les Clef d'Or, which he earned in 2009. He regularly attends the association's annual congress meetings, developing initiatives to bring back to his island home and growing his network of his peers-the best of the best in the business. "My goal at the resort is twofold: first, to provide guests with a level of service that exceeds their expectations; second, to show them the real Maui, the one that I grew up with and that they can take home with them in the form of lifelong memories." When Mr. Wilhelm is not behind the desk, he enjoys experiencing all his island home has to offer. He can often be found with family and friends, relaxing at the beach or dining at the island's most revered eateries-from chef's tables to holes-in-the-wall.

Mr. Wilhelm can be contacted at 808- 874-8000 or sam.wilhelm@fourseasons.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.