Appointments & Promotions

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation Brings on Two New Hires to Focus on Career Development

WASHINGTON, D.C. January 12, 2017 – The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF) today announced the appointment of two new hires who will focus primarily on career development for the hospitality industry as well as oversee the new partnership between AHLA and the National Restaurant Association (NRA), which will enhance hospitality training, certification capabilities and educational products.

Tapped as Senior Vice President of Career Development, Shelly Weir will oversee the strategic vision of workforce development. She will support the AHLA and Foundation agenda through career development to help strengthen the lodging industry workforce, and will lead efforts to engage with community, non-profit, and governmental organizations where strategies to upskill American workers in the lodging industry align, including grants and contract management programs, such as the Department of Labor’s Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) initiative, which supports the growth of apprenticeship programs in the hospitality sector.

AHLEF Coordinator Kelly Vazquez will assist the Foundation team with workforce development efforts, government grants, scholarship efforts and other programs to ensure hospitality employers have the tools and resources they need to obtain skills and credentials that put them on a path to long-term successful careers. Both Shelly and Kelly come to the Foundation from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), formerly AHLA’s sister organization, which recently transitioned to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), in a deal that goes into effect February 1.

In addition, Shelly will be spearheading efforts to expand apprenticeship opportunities in the hospitality industry through the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. AHLA, in partnership with NRA’s Foundation (NRAEF) and Jobs for the Future, recently received a $1.8 million award in which the three organizations are working with restaurant operators and hotel and lodging employers nationwide to recruit and place individuals in paid apprenticeships focused on management-level positions. Shelly will lead AHLA’s efforts to ensure new apprenticeship training regimens are created as well as working to build on existing programs already in place.

“As a business of people serving people, the hotel industry thrives because our people are at the core of the industry. We are excited to welcome two new talented members to the Educational Foundation team who will focus on ensuring our current employees and future talent have the training, skills and resources necessary to earn promotions and climb the ladder from entry level to management, upper management, senior executives and on to the C-Suite,” said Joori Jeon, president of AHLEF. “At AHLA and the Foundation, we are always striving to reach new heights. Our industry already supports eight million jobs, and both Shelly and Kelly will provide invaluable opportunities for so many in our industry today as well as for the next generation of hospitality leaders.”

Both Shelly and Kelly will serve as liaisons to bridge the work at AHLA and the Foundation with the NRA, ensuring the organizations will continue to provide hospitality professionals with the critical education and training that fosters long-term career opportunities.

ABOUT AHLEF

Founded in 1953, the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation has spent 63 years identifying, cultivating, and supporting the human talent, research, and initiatives most vital to the progress and prosperity of the lodging industry. The Foundation works in tandem with the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) to educate the future hospitality workforce, research trends and opportunities that will impact the sector, and empower the industry to grow stronger and faster. For more information visit: www.ahlef.org.

Coming Up In The April Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Guest Service: The Personalized Experience
In the not-too-distant future, when guests arrive at a hotel, they will check themselves in using a kiosk in the lobby, by- passing a stop at the front desk. When they call room service to order food, it will be from a hotel mobile tablet, practically eliminating any contact with friendly service people. Though these inevitable developments will likely result in delivered to their door by a robot. When they visit a restaurant, their orders will be placed and the bill will be paid some staff reduction, there is a silver lining – all the remaining hotel staff can be laser-focused on providing guests with the best possible service available. And for most guests, that means being the beneficiary of a personalized experience from the hotel. According to a recent Yahoo survey, 78 percent of hotel guests expressed a desire for some kind of personalization. They are seeking services that not only make them feel welcomed, but valued, and cause them to feel good about themselves. Hotels must strive to establish an emotional bond with their guests, the kind of bond that creates guest loyalty and brings them back time and again. But providing personalized service is more than knowing your guests by name. It’s leaving a bottle of wine in the room of a couple celebrating their anniversary, or knowing which guest enjoys having a fresh cup of coffee brought to their room as part of a wake-up call. It’s the small, thoughtful, personal gestures that matter most and produce the greatest effect. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.