Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Brashear

Katie Brashear

Complex Director of Public Relations, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel

As complex director of public relations for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, the premier convention hotel in Arizona, and The Westin Phoenix Downtown, Katie Brashear is responsible for overseeing the public relations initiatives, media and community outreach efforts, social media strategies, advertising plans, content creation, and marketing initiatives for the hotels. She is also the sustainability champion for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel where she manages and guides the property's “green” initiatives. With more than 10 years of professional experience in public relations, marketing, advertising and branding, Ms. Brashear's strong vision and professional leadership helped shape the two downtown Phoenix hotels into unparalleled and flourishing, urban destinations. Ms. Brashear joined Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel as director of public relations. Shortly, she assumed the public relations efforts for Sheraton Crescent and the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, later in 2012, she assumed The Westin Phoenix Downtown. Prior to Ms. Brashear's experience with the Sheraton and Westin brands, she held the marketing manager position and the sustainability champion at W Scottsdale. Ms. Brashear began her hospitality career with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in 2007 with W Scottsdale - the hotel opened on September 30, 2008. Before the hospitality industry, Ms. Brashear worked in public relations for luxury retailer, Neiman Marcus Scottsdale. Ms. Brashear graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Barrett Honors College and the Walker Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications with a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in business.

Ms. Brashear can be contacted at 602-817-5323 or katie.brashear@sheraton.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.