Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Farmer

Mary Farmer

Director, Online Programs, Glion Institute of Higher Education

Mary Farmer is presently Director of Online Programs for the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Bulle and Glion-Montreux, Switzerland and lectures in the Graduate School at Glion. For more than a decade Ms. Farmer has lectured at the University of British Columbia, University of Tilburg, Leiden University and Nipissing University. She has over 30 years' experience as consultant, manager and corporate executive and has lived and worked extensively in Asia, Europe and North America. Her career began in international development in Southeast Asia where she was Project Manager for bi- and multi-lateral aid projects for CIDA, the World Bank, USAID, JICA and others. Ms. Farmer is a consultant and thought leader in global business and individual and organizational performance. Her passion is around leadership, communication, people and talent development. She has extensive expertise in influencing and coaching C-Suite and other senior leaders and specializes in workplace innovation, creating high performing teams and inclusive working environments, maximizing organizational effectiveness, development of inclusive communication strategy and succession and workforce planning design. Her many years of training, facilitating, coaching, speaking and lecturing in highly diverse environments gives her real credibility in multinational business and non-government organizations alike, and she delivers results by designing and delivering sustainable, pragmatic programs that address systemic issues requiring change. After starting with Price Waterhouse in Vancouver, Ms. Farmer helped establish Price Waterhouse Associates in Jakarta and was Indonesia's Crown Agent representative. She was advisor on integrated and special education to the Indonesian Minister of Education, and served on the Curriculum Development board of Indonesia. Ms. Farmer was senior consultant and trainer with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam, after which she launched her own highly successful cross-cultural and diversity and inclusion consulting, coaching and training firm, Global TMC International. For more than a decade she served global clients (including Philips, Ahold, Air Asia, Air Products, TNT, Shell, Vopak, Oce, Heineken, Medtronic, Honeywell, Avery-Dennison, 3M, the Mars Corporation, ABN Amro, American Airlines, Fortis, Cisco, ING Group, Air France-KLM, Oxfam, the Dutch and Canadian Ministries of Foreign Affairs) in designing programs and strategy for leadership development, post-acquisition integration, diversity and inclusion, communication and cross-cultural and cross-border business effectiveness. In 2010 Ms. Farmer was invited to take over as Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion, for Philips in Amsterdam to reframe D&I within the company and set strategic direction internationally, including a focus on gender balance, cultural diversity, non-OECD nationals, and implicit bias. Following studies in Journalism and Cultural Anthropology, Ms. Farmer holds an MBA in International Management from Leiden University and is doctoral candidate in Organizational Behaviour at the University of Amsterdam. She holds dual Canadian and Dutch citizenship and resides in Switzerland. She speaks fluent English, Dutch, Thai, and Bahasa Indonesia, and has working proficiency in Lao, Malay, and Flemish. She speaks 'statistically bilingual' Canadian French and a smattering of Mandarin and Spanish. Mary is a member of the European Institute for Managing Diversity.

Ms. Farmer can be contacted at mary.farmer@glion.edu

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.