Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Isenberg

Walter Isenberg

President & Chief Executive Officer, Sage Hospitality

The co-founder of Sage Hospitality, Walter Isenberg serves as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Denver-based Sage Hospitality specializes in the operations, development and capital transactions of hospitality real estate. Sage Hospitality owns and operates hotels and restaurants in 26 states. Mr. Isenberg directs all company operations, including property management, real estate transactions and brand development. Mr. Isenberg co-founded Sage Hospitality in 1984 with partner Zachary Neumeyer. The company’s history in hospitality includes ground-up development, historic-adaptive re-use, acquisitions and third-party management. Sage hotels include well-known brands such as JW Marriott, Starwood Luxury Collection, Westin and Hilton, as well as several independent hotels. In 2006, Sage formed the Sage Restaurant Group, which operates unique high-volume restaurants inside its urban hotels. Sage Hospitality has been consistently recognized for its significant commitment to corporate citizenship. The company was the first recipient of Marriott International’s “Spirit to Serve Award,” which is given annually to a franchise partner that lives the vision to be an outstanding corporate citizen. Sage Hospitality has also been an industry leader in implementing green operating practices, committed to developing Gold and Silver LEED certified hotels as well as making it a company-wide mission to make each of its hotels as environmentally friendly as possible. Sage Hospitality has also been recognized for its superior customer service, receiving Excellence in Service awards at many of its hotels. Sage’s development group has won numerous awards for excellence in the development of hotels and has been nationally recognized as a leader in historic preservation. A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Mr. Isenberg is a member of the American Hotel Lodging Association Board of Directors as well as Marriott International and Starwood Owner Advisory Boards. Mr. Isenberg was recently inducted into Denver & Colorado’s Tourism Hall of Fame, which is the highest award given by Denver’s travel industry. Active in the community, he currently serves on the boards of Visit Denver, The Downtown Denver Partnership, The Children’s Hospital Foundation, Colorado Concern and the Metropolitan State University of Denver Board of Trustees.

Please visit http://www.sagehospitality.com for more information.

Mr. Isenberg can be contacted at 303-595-7200 or walter.isenberg@sagehospitality.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.