Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bridwell

Tony Bridwell

Partner and Practice Leader, Partners in Leadership (PIL)

Tony Bridwell is a Partner and Practice Leader for Partners In Leadership with nearly three decades of executive leadership experience. Most recently serving as the Chief People Officer of Brinker International (the parent company of Chili's and Maggiano's restaurants), Mr. Bridwell is a highly recognized thought leader in corporate culture, L&D, and human resources, being named 2015 HR Executive of the Year by DallasHR (the local SHRM affiliate) and also receiving the 2015 Strategic Leadership Award from Strategic Excellence HR. Mr. Bridwell began working with Brinker in 2009 as a consultant representing Partners In Leadership. Beginning in 2009, Brinker and its restaurants were facing a tough economy. Under his leadership and using the Partners In Leadership approach, Brinker reversed poor engagement, low retention, and high costs and ultimately transformed its culture into a powerhouse resource, delivering high stock prices, best-in-industry employee engagement, and high customer satisfaction levels. Based on this success and demand for his deeper involvement, Mr. Bridwell joined Brinker in 2013 and soon transitioned into a key member of their executive leadership as chief people officer in 2014. Mr. Bridwell has been a facilitator and featured speaker for audiences of several thousand people and has presented for multiple conferences and associations, including the CHRO Exchange, Dallas HR (SHRM), the HRSouthwest Conference, ATD San Diego, and the California Restaurant Association. Mr, Bridwell is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and serves on the board of directors for two non-profits: Taylor's Gift Foundation, which advocates organ donation awareness, and Unlimited Partnerships, a group dedicated to strengthening churches through the development and mentoring of future church leaders. Tony also authored the books, The Difference Maker (August 2013) and The Kingmaker (June 2016).

Mr. Bridwell can be contacted at 800-504-6070 or tonyb@ozprinciple.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.