Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gassenheimer

James D. Gassenheimer

Partner, Berger Singerman

James D. Gassenheimer is a partner in the Miami office of Berger Singerman, Florida’s business law firm. Mr. Gassenheimer is an acclaimed litigator whose practice areas include hospitality and leisure litigation, bankruptcy-related litigation, class action litigation, and complex commercial litigation, including in insurance, employment, aviation, real estate, tort and product liability, and franchise litigation. Mr. Gassenheimer has extensive jury and non-jury trial experience in State, Federal and Bankruptcy court, having tried over 100 cases to jury verdict or judgment. Mr. Gassenheimer advises one of the country’s largest resort development and property management firms. He has served as lead counsel to the plan proponent in the reorganization of the largest hotel in Pittsburgh, including the successful six-day trial of contested matters against the secured lender. Mr. Gassenheimer also served as General Counsel to the Court Appointed Receiver in a $200 million real estate related receivership, handling complex commercial foreclosure litigation and bankruptcy matters, and prosecuting and defending fraud claims, lender liability, lien priority issues, and first and third party insurance claims involving over twenty separate affiliated developers. Mr. Gassenheimer has had extensive involvement in representative matters for Turnberry Ltd., Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Stiles Corporation, among others. Mr. Gassenheimer writes and speaks on novel issues affecting the hospitality industry and real estate. A graduate of Brown University with a BA in Economics, Mr. Gassenheimer earned his J.D. cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law.

Mr. Gassenheimer can be contacted at 305-714-4383 or jgassenheimer@bergersingerman.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.