Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Wells

Dawn Wells

General Manager, Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North

Dawn Wells is the General Manager of the 102-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North in Charleston, South Carolina. The hotel is managed by Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. Ms. Wells also serves as a Lead General Manager for the firm. She is active in the Charleston Business Council. As General Manager, Ms. Wells holds responsibility for overseeing all financial and management operations of the hotel, including hiring the employees, setting and meeting budget goals and representing the company in the community. Tapped as a Lead General Manager because of her outstanding performance, Ms. Wells provides leadership, direction and results in revenue, profit and quality to the group of properties assigned to her. Instrumental in scouting talent and developing leaders within Hotel Equities, Ms. Wells assists with the firm's Management Development Program (MDP). Recently, she mentored four individuals and helped each one research, execute and evaluate a final project to utilize what they had learned through the MDP and add value to his or her hotel. Ms. Wells started her hospitality career by joining John Q. Hammons Hotels after graduating from Johnson & Wales University. To gain additional experience, Ms. Wells moved with JQH hotels to Concord, North Carolina as Front Office/Reservations Manager at the Embassy Suites Concord-Golf Resort & Spa. The firm promoted her to Sales/Catering Manager where she served for more than a year before returning to Charleston with a promotion to General Manager of the Residence Inn by Marriott in Charleston. Ms. Wells held that post for three years before moving to her current position at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North. She joined Hotel Equities in 2012 when the firm took over management of her hotel. Ms. Wells holds an Associate Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina and a Certificate in Hospitality Leadership Development from the School of Business, College of Charleston.

Ms. Wells can be contacted at 866-576-5693 or dawn.wells@marriott.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.