Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. De Franco

Agnes De Franco

Professor and Distinguised Chair at C.N. Hilton College, University of Houston

Agnes De Franco, Ed.D., CHE, CHAE, is a professor and distinguished chair at the C.N. Hilton College at the University of Houston. She is a recipient of teaching awards at both the college and university level; co-author of five textbooks and has published more than 90 refereed articles. Ms. De Franco conducts workshops for the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive examination; a Certified Hospitality Educator Cadre member and is a recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Applied Research, the Best Paper Award from the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and International Education (I-CHRIE), and the HFTP-iHITA Best Research Paper Award. She earned the Distinguished Faculty Award, Distinguished Alumna Award, and Young Alumna Award from the Hilton College Alumni Association and is a recipient of the H. J. Heinz Graduate Fellowship. Ms. De Franco is active in a number of local, state and national organizations, including serving as the global president of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) from 2006-2007; member of I-CHRIE's finance and future fund committees and treasurer of I-CHRIE from 1999 to 2002. She is the past president of Phi Beta Delta and Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Houston and has eight years of central administration experience at UH working with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on undergraduate issues such as persistence, graduation, general education curriculum, and college and career readiness standards. She has eight years of industry experience in food & beverage.

Please visit www.uh.edu for more information.

Ms. De Franco can be contacted at 713-743-2422 or adefranco@uh.edu

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as "Biophilic Design." Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.