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 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.