Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. van Greunen

Theresa van Greunen

Assistant Vice President of Corporate Communications, Aqua-Aston Hospitality

Theresa van Greunen, assistant vice president of corporate communications, joined Aqua-Aston Hospitality in 2015 as director of public relations and promotions and has been providing strategic direction and implementing successful communications campaigns ever since.

To elevate Aqua-Aston's 70-year legacy, Ms. van Greunen launched #ShareTheAloha, a pay-it-forward campaign providing a platform for Hawaii's community leaders and non-profit organizations who are doing good by sharing Hawaii's unique culture; promoting the principles of tolerance, diversity and equality; and being environmental stewards. #ShareTheAloha is the company's most successful campaign to date and due to unprecedented consumer response, was extended three times.

Additional highlights from Ms. van Greunen's career with Aqua-Aston include developing Aqua-Aston's corporate social responsibility program, "Advocate with Aqua-Aston," and most notably, its #ForOurReef campaign. Credited with influencing the new law that bans reef-damaging sunscreens in Hawaii (Senate Bill 2571), the public awareness initiative and sought to amplify awareness about the issue; increase consumer demand for reef-safe sunscreen; and increase the availability of reef-safe sunscreen for purchase. Since launching the campaign in 2018, Aqua-Aston has distributed more than 100,000 reef-safe sunscreen samples with educational information to hotel guests and the community at more than 50 events throughout Hawaii.

Ms. van Greunen's tremendous success spearheading Advocate with Aqua-Aston and the#ForOurReef campaign led to Aqua-Aston's recognition by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) as a leader in corporate social responsibility, and her honor as one of the "Top 25 Extraordinary Minds" in 2019.

Ms. van Greunen oversees a growing corporate communications team and under her leadership, Aqua-Aston has refined its online customer service programs, resulting in quicker response times. Following tremendously positive results from integrating LiveChat with social media platforms, Aqua-Aston Hospitality is now one the first global brands to integrate the new Apple Business Chat and Google Business Message features with its online platforms.

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

Ms. van Greunen can be contacted at +1 808-202-5756 or pr@aqua-aston.com

Coming up in November 2020...

Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

With the rise of the sharing economy and the peer-to-peer marketplace for lodging options, hoteliers are re-thinking the look, feel and appeal of their locations. There is an emphasis on re-creating a feeling of homeyness - a comfortable, cozy and inviting space that feels like home. 'This is accomplished through the careful selection of furniture design, paint colors, lighting design, artwork, bathroom fixtures and textile accessories. In addition, some hotels are providing their guests with upscale amenities, such as a book and movie library, home-style kitchenettes, a coffee machine with locally-sourced beans and tea, or even a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Similarly, there is a growing design trend based on the concept of place-making. Travelers are searching for experiences that are unique and authentic to the locale in which they find themselves, and so hotel designers are integrating a sense of place into their work. This is partially achieved by incorporating traditional artisanal crafts and other local artwork into hotel rooms and communal spaces. Another design trend includes the creation of full-service, co-working environments within the hotel. Guests don't like to stay alone in their room when they need to work, so now they can go downstairs to the lobby-or up to the roof-to work among others. These areas encourage guests - and non-guests alike - to stay as long as they like and to partake of hotel amenities. Finally, recognizing the importance of the Wellness Movement, some designers are exploring how room design can increase the likelihood of deep and restorative sleep. Creating dark and quiet spaces, blocking excessive light, providing guests with a selection of different kinds of pillows, and the ability to control room temperature, are a few of the best practices in this area. These are some of the architecture and design topics that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.