Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Miller

Walt Miller

Design Director, John Portman & Associates

A registered architect, Mr. Miller has been an important member of John Portman & Associates (PORTMAN) since 1987. An accomplished designer and planner, Mr. Miller directs the design team in resolving how to implement PORTMAN design philosophy and vision into functional spaces. He also serves as the Education Studio Director, leading new business development within the higher education sector. His responsibilities include oversight of the administration of the Portman Prize at the Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Architecture, an award created for the purpose of encouraging the school's graduate students to develop a holistic design. Mr. Miller has served as the lead designer on significant projects all around the globe. His recent experience includes the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, a 1,200-room convention center hotel adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center; the Park Hyatt Hyderabad, a five-star luxury hotel with over 200 guestrooms and 42 serviced apartments; the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, a mixed-use project located outside Chicago containing a 500-room hotel, a 100,000 square-foot convention center, and 28,000 square-feet of ballrooms and meeting space; and the Westin Shanghai at Bund Center, a 570-room hotel located in the historic financial district of the Bund. He has been a guest lecturer and critic at a number of prestigious schools. Prior to joining PORTMAN, Mr. Miller was with the firm of Cesar Pelli & Associates, where he led the team which won the competition for the Key Center in Cleveland. Mr. Miller's design integrated a new tower while repurposing the old Society for Savings building as large plate office space, saving it from demolition. Mr. Miller earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Architecture Degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mr. Miller can be contacted at 404-614-5555 or wmiller@portmanusa.com

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.