Appointments & Promotions

Benchmark Promotes Karen Di Fulgo to Chief People Officer

HOUSTON, TX. December 15, 2016 - The Woodlands - BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, announces that Karen Di Fulgo has been promoted to Chief People Officer. Greg Champion, Benchmark’s co-president & COO, made the announcement.

"I am very pleased to announce Karen’s new promotion,” said Mr. Champion. "She has led her team with great skill, and was instrumental in the highly successful integration of the Benchmark and Gemstone employee teams in our recent merger. Karen is also a terrific champion of our company’s signature ‘Be The Difference’ service culture. This is a well-deserved promotion!”

Karen Di Fulgo was previously Benchmark’s senior vice president human resources, a position she was appointed to in 2015. She joined Benchmark as vice president human resources.

Ms. Di Fulgo served as vice president human resources for Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center prior to joining Benchmark. She also held the position of senior corporate director of employee development for The Brickman Group, and served as global vice president human resources for TNS Healthcare.

Karen Di Fulgo graduated from the University of Baltimore, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human resources. She resides in The Woodlands with her family.

About BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company

BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, is a trailblazer in the development, management, marketing and owner-advisory services of resorts, hotels, conference centers and exclusive private clubs. In addition to the company’s iconic Benchmark Resorts & Hotels portfolio, the Gemstone Collection is a distinctive luxury portfolio of independent hotels & resorts in highly preferred destinations. BENCHMARK’S distinguished and proven reputation is deeply-rooted in core values that are focused and aligned with exceeding ownership and stakeholder performance expectations. The combined portfolios feature nearly 70 unique and distinctive properties domestically and internationally. The company leadership and valued employees are passionately committed to delivering the industry’s most authentic, enchanted, soulful, vibrant, unrivaled and memory-making experience. BENCHMARK’S progressive “Be The Difference” culture and values are a cornerstone to the company’s nearly 40 years of extraordinary achievement and prosperity. Many properties have been recognized with the Benchmark Conference Centers® mark of meeting excellence. BENCHMARK, a global hospitality company, is based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, and has regional offices in Park City, Utah; Miami, Florida; New Brunswick, New Jersey; Seattle Washington; and Tokyo, Japan. www.benchmarkglobalhospitality.com.

Contact:
Ken Ellens
KenEllens@aol.com
201-758-2864

Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer
Consider these astonishing numbers: 1.49 billion active monthly Facebook users. 1.1 billion active monthly YouTube users. 320 million active monthly Twitter users and nearly 400 million registered users on LinkedIn. 400 million active monthly Instagram users and 200 million active Google+ users. The power and reach of social media is an awesome force and it has transformed how hotels interact with their customers. In the past year, social media advertising spending increased 33.5% to nearly $24 billion dollars. Social networks are being utilized by hotels to reach more visitors, expand brand awareness, enhance brand reputation and to establish more direct and personal communication with their customers. Savvy hotel operators are adopting a comprehensive social media strategy, and there are several emerging trends to note. Video continues to be a powerful and influential element in social media marketing, with 70% of companies saying that it is their most effective marketing tool. Video generates a 62% higher engagement rate than photographs alone, and with new social sites like Meerkat and Periscope which offer live video streaming, those numbers will only increase. Sponsored content is another growing trend. Though advertorials have been around for decades, hotels are finding new ways to maximize the visibility of their content. Some are placing sponsored content on Facebook, or on influencer blogs. Another trend is the integration of a “Buy Now” button into social media websites. Customers will be able to make purchases without ever having to leave their favorite social sites. This development is a major convenience for customers and should also be an additional revenue source for hotels. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.