Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. MacDonald

Marina MacDonald

Chief Marketing Officer, Red Roof

Chief Marketing Officer of Red Roof, Marina MacDonald began as an assistant to the general manager at the Franklin Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia and is now CMO of a national brand with 600+ hotels across the country. It's a role that didn't previously exist and was created specifically for her.

As CMO, Ms. MacDonald is forging a path - and acting as a role model - for women who aspire to leadership positions in the hospitality industry. As a leader at Red Roof, she proposed that the company create and launch the Red Roof Forum on Leadership for Women Entrepreneurs showcasing women in the male-dominated hospitality industry: their accomplishments, achievements, and insights. The Forum recognizes the growing influence of women owners, general managers and executives who are vital to any brand's success and to the overall growth of the hospitality industry with panels, talks, and awards and has resonated with female hospitality executives internally at Red Roof and across the industry.

Some of Ms. MacDonald's additional accomplishments include:

· In 2018, she oversaw the launch of two major Red Roof sub-brands, The Red Collection and HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof in multiple cities.

· In 2018, the American Hotel & Lodging Association awarded her the industry's Paving the Way award for her efforts to encourage women to grow their careers and pursue leadership roles.

· She was named one of the Top 30 Most Influential Women in Hospitality by Hotel Management and featured on the cover of Lodging magazine.

· Ms. MacDonald is the Vice Chair of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

· Under her watch, Red Roof was recognized and awarded the 2018 Best Budget Hotel Brand by USA Today Reader's Choice.

· As Chief Marketing Officer, she's overseen radical innovations that have contributed to huge growth for Red Roof. Most recently, Red Roof® became the first hotel chain to connect directly with consumers - beyond their hotel room - through Amazon's Alexa Skills platform.

· Ms. MacDonald also greenlit the Along the Route platform, a tech innovation which allows travelers to pinpoint Red Roofs wherever they are geographically in the country and be able to book a stay.

Cycling is Ms. MacDonald's passion. After investing many hours, she is a trained performance cyclist and feels a strong pull to help others enjoy the sport. She enjoys coaching other women to cycle like pros.

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

Ms. MacDonald can be contacted at +1 614-744-2617 or mmacdonald@redroof.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.