Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Stevens

Wendy Stevens

Chief Commercial Officer, First Hospitality Group

According to Chief Commercial Officer, Wendy Stevens, to be successful at First Hospitality Group one must make sure that they are adding value. “Focus on the priorities and don't get caught up in the minutia. Commit to what you say you're going to execute and get it done.” In her role, Ms. Stevens is responsible for developing and executing company strategy at a high level, pinpointing valuable business opportunities, and scouting out the best of the best for our workforce. Disciplined and determined in her approach, every challenge that comes across her desk is met with a sense of urgency that guarantees results.

Ms. Stevens' methods have proven successful time and again over her 17 years with First Hospitality Group, but the accomplishment with which she is most proud is the assemblage of her team of innovative leaders. “When I first started, we had 17 hotels in our portfolio and there were only three sales people, including myself, to work with them.” Since then, First Hospitality Group's portfolio has more than tripled; departments dedicated to marketing and revenue management have been developed to offer more holistic and dedicated support, and a total sales department of 3 grew to a team of more than 20. She attributes her success to the singular idea that, “There is nothing that you can't do; the only limits that we have, we set for ourselves.”

When she's not working with the brands to forge strong partnerships or sitting on civic committees as a representative of First Hospitality Group, you may find Ms. Stevens on the back of her Harley, flying down a zip-line, or scaling the side of a cliff. In her personal life just as in her professional life, she takes risks, moves quickly, and is fully committed to everything that she approaches. In both capacities, she pushes the limits of herself and those tenacious enough to keep up with her.

 


Please visit http://www.fhginc.com for more information.

Ms. Stevens can be contacted at 224-257-4000 or wstevens@fhginc.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.