The Visionary Leaders Roundtable made its debut in Miami on April 7, 2016. The exclusive, by-invitation-only gathering brings together top senior hospitality executives to devise strategies to stay competitive, profitable and ahead of market changes. First launched in Singapore in 2013, the event is produced by the Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Education and Research at FIU and was conceived as a think‐tank and industry‐led platform for peer-to‐peer exchange, networking and industry collaboration. FIU’s VLR events in Asia have a solid track record for producing tangible outcomes and benefits for participants and partners and the industry at large. "Positive comments received from past participants encouraged FIU to produce the inaugural VLR for the U.S. in Miami,” said Mike Hampton, dean of the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at FIU. With a focus on ‘FUTURE GROWTH 2020: Insight to Action’, three topics for discussion were: · Monetizing Data & Predictive Analytics · Beyond CRM – Amplifying the Customer Experience · Getting to Grips with Disparate Systems & Fragmented Data Common threads and key opportunities cited during the roundtable discussion groups: · Educating future hospitality talent with relevant knowledge, skills, abilities and ‘hands-on’ practical experience for the modern hospitality industry · More focus needed to affiliate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education with hospitality programs · Skilling, Up-Skilling & Re-Skilling are core essentials to ensure organizational agility · Attributing and correlating profitability with employee and customer satisfaction · Making Big Data insightful, personal and actionable · Leveraging data to personalize customer engagement and experience · Using social media tools/techniques to enable customers to capture, share and entice their circle of influence to enjoy the same positive brand experience. Presenting partner, The Rainmaker Group actively [...]
Bruce Blum ‘82 was recognized at FIU’s 15th annual Torch Awards Gala for his notable achievements in hospitality. During his illustrious 32-year career, Blum has held principal-oriented leadership positions within private and public hotel platforms that capitalized early upon emerging trends, such as spa resorts in the ‘80s, conference resorts in the ‘90s, distressed investments post 9/11 and independent, lifestyle hotels since 2011. He co-founded GB Lodging four years ago after his 10-year run at The Chartres Lodging Group, where he rose to Partner and was instrumental in its aggressive portfolio growth, capital raising, asset management and advisory activities while serving as Managing Partner of Kokua Hospitality, LLC and its property management affiliate. Before Chartres Lodging, Blum served as CEO of Doral Hotels & Resorts. He is a member of the GFI Executive Committee, Doral Arrowwood Board of Directors and New York Hospitality Council. Blum graduated from the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management with honors, was awarded the FIU Medallion by FIU’s board of trustees for exemplary professional and civic endeavors, serves on its Advisory Board and is Task Force Leader, Real Estate Master’s Program Development. From left to right - Duane Wiles, Associate VP and Executive Director, FIU Alumni Association; Bruce Blum, Co-Founder, GB Lodging; Mark Rosenberg, FIU President
Dr. Nancy Scanlon moderated a panel of industry experts on the critical issue of Human Trafficking in Tourism at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Conference. Annmarie Fairweather (speaking), Senior Vice President, Global Talent Management Wyndham Hotel Group; Michelle Naggar (second from left), Vice President Social Responsibility, Global Citizenship Starwood Hotels and Resorts, along with Nicole Levine (right), Business Development Officer from Polaris, focused on how the lodging industry world-wide is implementing training for hotel staff to identify and act on incidences of human trafficking in hotels. The panel discussion was sponsored by Florida International University, the International Tourism Partnership and the United Religions Initiatives NGO.