Presenter details:

  • Date:

     February 23, 2016

  • Company:

     Lodging Ovations

  • Position:

     General Manager

  • Industry:

     Tourism

  • Website:

     Visit online →

BIOGRAPHY
Summary
 Designated ICD Director and senior executive with 25+ years of progressively responsible management experience within the Hospitality industry in India, England, Middle East, North Africa and Canada.
 Varied board credentials and board governance. Vice Chair of Tourism Whistler over the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and current Chair of Tourism Whistler’s Board of Directors.
Current Business Experience
 General Manager for Lodging Ovations, a subsidiary of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (WB.TO TSX) managing three luxury all-suite hotels accommodating over 1800 guests, and Asset Manager for Commercial & Retail Complex.
 Entrepreneur; owner of a small upscale inn in BC, Canada

Board Experience
 Chair, Tourism Whistler Board of Directors
 Chair of Tourism Whistler Governance Committee
 Treasurer/Secretary/Governance Hotel Association of Whistler
 Former Chair of Land Use Commission and Design Review Committee for local government
 Board Member Lil’wat Capital Assets (Lil’wat Nation)
 Board Member of three supervisory property ownership boards
 Board Member & Committee Chair Wildlife Stewardship Association
 Manager of two property ownership boards, representing over 850 residential and commercial owners/investors
 Asset Manager for approx. 120,000 sq. ft. of commercial space

Memberships, Licenses & Certifications
 Institute of Corporate Directors, ICD.D, September 2015
 ICD-Rotman, Directors Education Program, May 2015
 Institute of Corporate Directors, NFP Governance Essentials Program, February 2014
 Negotiations for Senior Executives at Harvard Law School, September 2008
 Marriott General Manager Training – “The Gold Mine”, Washington DC
 Hilton International Pro-active Leadership, London,

SHORT SYNOPSIS OF THE HOTEL INDUSTRY

Background:
As a postgraduate student in London, England, I joined Hilton International in the capacity of a Night Auditor (Receptionist) to earn a few shillings, enjoy what seemed like the epitome of cosmopolitan glamour, and likely leave the hotel industry upon getting accepted into a PhD program.

Hospitality Engagement:
Over the first year, I was “brain washed” into staying with Hilton Hotels by a Canadian manager Mr. Richard L. Dusome who is now in Singapore. He offered me the opportunity of working in some fine hotels internationally, meeting wonderful people, and engaging in a complex business industry.

Benefits:
Travel the World, meet exceptional people, appreciate various cultures and cuisines, often work in exciting locations in uniquely diverse surroundings, etc. Unlike other industry’s which are usually homogenous, the hotel industry captures experiences from various businesses and individuals and packages them in a social and networking context. Large hotels are impactful and I have personally noticed that in some countries a large hotel’s General Manager is often installed as his/her home country’s honorary “ambassador” or a high profile representative. Recently, Hawthorne Hotel’s General Manager, Patrick Cornelissen, was named Honorary Consul for Belgium in Salem, US.

Shortcomings:
Work when everyone else is on a holiday; unusually long hours; constant public exposure, etc.

Future of Industry:
Exponential increase in travel; general public acceptance in staying and eating away from home; growth in mergers & acquisitions; high-stakes transactions such as Blackstone Group’s (BX) acquisition of Hilton in a $26 billion leveraged buyout which necessitates high business caliber – and equally well compensated – hotel managers; building and opening new hotels; accommodation sectors influence on destination marketing organizations; First Nations and other government’s recognition of tourism as one of the greenest industries; etc.

Advice:
Per a 2015 Ernst & Young report, “recent influx of capital has caused fund managers to look for new ways to expand their real estate portfolios in a hypercompetitive environment, with favorable market conditions encouraging higher confidence and the risk appetite to place capital.” This has led to recent significant portfolio expansions such as Marriott’s purchase of Delta Hotels followed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., to emerge as the largest hotel company in the World, Accor Hotels acquisition of three iconic hotel brands – Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel, etc. Also the ongoing growth of boutique brands and hotels that offer exceptional management and demand high rates; all at a time when the industry is desperate for good managers in the rank-&-file.
This has created an exciting platform for well-educated and trained individuals to join the industry in various dynamic roles and receive lucrative compensation packages.