Omni Hotels Promotes Leaders in Operations Team

Richard Maxfield was promoted to SVP, Operations; Lesli Reynolds to VP, Operations; and Fernando Sal

. October 14, 2008

OCTOBER 10, 2006. "These promotions provide leadership and managerial expertise to remain relentlessly focused on Omni's defined vision and unique service culture, validated by winning the J.D. Power and Associates top ranking for the second year in a row," stated Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels. "While we celebrate this recognition, guests' expectations continue to rise and we are committed to delivering the basics flawlessly enhanced by Omni's sensory activation initiatives."

In the position of Senior Vice President, Operations, Maxfield oversees all hotel operations. A 28-year veteran of Omni Hotels, Maxfield moved up through the rooms division and was the opening General Manager for the Omni Interlocken Resort (outside Denver, CO) in 1999. He was promoted to Area Managing Director in 2003 and again to Regional Vice President, Operations in 2004. Maxfield won the Outstanding Revenue Achievement Award in 2001 and is well recognized for leadership in the area of career development.

In her new role as Vice President, Operations, Reynolds is responsible for ensuring delivery of all operating standards and policies. Since joining Omni Hotels in 1989, Reynolds moved up in the organization through both sales and operations and most recently held the position of General Manager at the Omni William Penn Hotel (in Pittsburgh, PA) since 2001. Reynolds won the Outstanding Service Achievement Award in 2004.

As Vice President, Food & Beverage, Salazar is charged with ensuring best- in-class delivery on existing standards and plays a key role in the development of new concepts and food & beverage initiatives for Omni Hotels. Salazar joined Omni Hotels in 1996, working in both rooms and food & beverage operations for the company; he most recently served as Corporate Director of Food & Beverage since 2002.

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Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.