Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Keating Jr.

Richard J. Keating Jr.

Partner / Chair Retail and Hospitality Practice Group, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

Richard J. Keating, Jr. is a partner and chair of the Retail and Hospitality Practice Group at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP in Chicago. Mr. Keating represents restaurants, concert venues, amusement venues, health clubs and retail businesses throughout the United States. His practice focuses on tort litigation, premises liability defense, general liability matters, incident investigations and security claims. Before entering private practice, Mr. Keating was a criminal prosecutor for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for nine years. Mr. Keating also worked in an investigations unit where he supervised a team of attorneys investigating crimes in conjunction with police authorities. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Keating spent four years in the corporate sector working at AT&T in the small business market. Mr. Keating routinely combines his litigation and criminal prosecution experience with his understanding of corporate business objectives to advise his hospitality clients about various potential and existing legal concerns. Mr. Keating is a member of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys, Defense Research Institute’s Retail and Hospitality Defense Committee, and the Illinois Restaurant Association. He received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and his B.S. from Indiana University.

Please visit www.smbtrials.com for more information.

Mr. Keating Jr. can be contacted at 312-222-8568 or rkeating@smbtrials.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.