Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fears

Bruce Fears

President, ARAMARK Harrison Lodging

As President, ARAMARK Harrison Lodging, Bruce Fears is responsible for ARAMARK's operations at over 50 conference centers, corporate training centers and specialty hotels in educational environments, as well as 14 state parks and other resort operations across the United States. He returned to ARAMARK in May 2005 as Executive Vice President, ARAMARK Parks and Resorts. He assumed his current position in October 2005, following the integration of ARAMARK's conference center and corporate training business with its parks and resorts business. Mr. Fears has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He first joined ARAMARK in 1974 as food and beverage manager of the Skyland Lodge of Shenandoah National Park in Luray, Virginia. During his first tenure with ARAMARK, Bruce rose to the level of vice president, western region. In addition to his parks and resorts responsibilities, he was an integral part of ARAMARK's management team at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Prior to rejoining ARAMARK, he was president of Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts. In this role, he grew the business to 17 locations across the United States and Canada. Mr. Fears received his bachelor's of arts degree from Bridgewater College in Virginia and continued through programs at University of London's School of Economics and University of Florida's School of Management. He currently sits on the National Board of the Travel Industry of America and is a founder of the Grand Circle Association. He previously served on the California State Park concessioners board, has testified before Congress on National Park Concession Policy and was the sole U.S. presenter at the World Congress of Parks in Durban, South Africa in 2004.

Mr. Fears can be contacted at 425-957-9708 or fears-bruce@aramark.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.