Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Berman

Westley Berman

E-Commerce Manager, Kokua Hospitality

Westley Berman is the eCommerce Manager for Kokua Hospitality, a hotel management company based in Chicago, Illinois. Joining the company in 2010, Ms. Berman started as Kokua’s social media and marketing coordinator and has been promoted various times to her current position. She leads Kokua Hospitality’s eCommerce marketing efforts, currently overseeing a combination of six independent and branded hotels nationwide, including DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile, DoubleTree Suites Houston by Galleria, Inn of Chicago, Axiom Hotel, and Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. She also oversees all social media, reputation management, website development, and creative marketing efforts for each hotel in addition to Kokua Hospitality. Ms. Berman's career began in the advertising industry at a multicultural marketing and advertising agency called the San Jose Group based in Chicago. She was primarily responsible for trafficking Hispanic TV, Radio, and Print ads for Magnum Insurance, Harley Davidson, AstraZeneca, Illinois Bureau of Tourism and American Family Insurance. Later on, she became Project Manager at Chicago’s Young & Rubicam responsible for close-captioning Sears Kenmore and Craftsmen TV ads, Sears Home Appliance TV spots, and Sears LL Cool J apparel line. Ms. Berman graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Spanish and Integrated Strategic Communications from University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. She is an active brand representative or "Skimbassador" to theSkimm, a media company that has the fastest growing email newsletter responsible for transforming the morning routines and news consumptions for female professionals.

Ms. Berman can be contacted at 312-644-4800 ext. 4801 or westley.berman@kokuahospitality.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.