Editorial Board   

Mr. Schirmer

Cary Tyler Schirmer

Chief Executive Officer, The Higgins Group

Cary Schirmer brings more than 20 years of professional construction, development and hospitality management experience to his position as Chief Executive Officer of The Higgins Group (THG). He is responsible for the long-term strategic planning of the firm and oversees operations for both the Higgins Purchasing Group and Boxport. Mr. Schirmer forges successful partners with clients' operations and management teams through carefully orchestrated contract negotiations, legal issues, accounting systems and technologies. As a champion for customer satisfaction, Mr. Schirmer is committed to educating THG clients on evolving supply chain issues and helping them improve daily operations with more efficient methods for budgeting, purchasing, and reporting. He also works closely with his team to promote growth and enhance the mission of THG within the industry. Before his promotion to CEO, Mr. Schirmer spent nine years as president of both organizations. Prior to joining THG, Mr. Schirmer oversaw construction management and various capital asset programs for Fairmont Hotel Management, based in San Francisco. He also managed the renovations of properties located in New Orleans, Dallas, San Jose and San Francisco. Before Fairmont Hotel Management, Mr. Schirmer was with Swinerton and Walberg Company, a general building contractor where he progressed from Project Scheduler to Project Engineer and then to Project Manager. He has also supervised design and construction in various roles at C&N Builders and Gino & Huffman Construction. Mr. Schirmer is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. He resides in Lafayette, California with his wife Stacy and three children.

Mr. Schirmer can be contacted at 415-772-1600 or cschirmer@higginspurchasing.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.