Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Johnson

Russell A. Johnson

President and CEO, Merchants Information Solutions

Russell A. Johnson, President & Chief Executive Officer of Merchants Information Solutions since 2004, a founding and accredited member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), is a respected thought-leader with over 9 years of experience within the employment screening industry. Mr. Johnson regularly advises organizations and industry groups nationwide on background screening best practices, and the direct positive impact of hiring the best candidates. Mr. Johnson holds a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and is an alumnus of the Graduate School of Bank Management from the University of Virginia. He has numerous business, educational, and professional affiliations and is a respected leader in the financial services industry. Currently Mr. Johnson serves as a board member and Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and Board Member and Secretary and Treasurer for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. He is also a former member and chairman of the Board of Directors for Consumer Credit Counseling Services.

Mr. Johnson can be contacted at 602-744-3700 or rjohnson@merchantsinfo.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.