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 December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.