Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Hara III

Robert J. O'Hara III

Attorney, Flaherty & O'Hara, PC

Robert “R.J.” O’Hara is president of Flaherty & O’Hara, p.c., a Pennsylvania-based boutique law firm with eleven attorneys and 20 support staff practicing exclusively in the alcohol beverage space. Mr. O’Hara received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Dayton in 1989 and his B.A. in English in 1985 from the same school. He served as Articles Editor of the University of Dayton Law Review and is a member of the National Honors Society in History. He co-founded the Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants and is chair of its Board. He is an associate member of several national professional and alcohol regulatory organizations and is honored to be frequently invited to speak at national and regional conferences on alcohol-related topics, as well as on the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational uses.

Mr. O’Hara represents members of all three tiers of the alcohol industry, representing clients on general liquor licensing matters, complex ownership changes, in litigation and hearings, on multistate license acquisitions, and on administrative citations. Mr. O’Hara’s clients include numerous private equity funds and institutional investors in the hospitality, restaurant and alcohol manufacturing spaces, and addressing their unique concerns. Flaherty & O’Hara is national liquor counsel to numerous national and regional chain hotels, restaurants and grocers. The Firm’s attorneys also often counsel on tied house and trade practice matters, advise clients on the legality of national alcohol promotions and marketing programs, and frequently draft legislation. Mr. O’Hara is also a shareholder in a PA craft brewery, Erie Brewing Company in Erie, PA, maker of Railbender Ale, an award-winning Scotch ale, among others.


Mr. O'Hara III can be contacted at 412-456-2001 or rj@flaherty-ohara.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.