Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Seddon

Tom Seddon

Chief Marketing Officer, Extended Stay America

Tom Seddon currently serves as the chief marketing officer for Extended Stay America - a category leader with the largest distribution of owned and operated extended-stay hotels in the country. Appointed in April 2012, Seddon’s responsibilities include sales, marketing, E-commerce and revenue management for the 629-property portfolio. Prior to joining Extended Stay America, Mr. Seddon spent nearly 15 years with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), whose $19 billion global portfolio includes the Intercontinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo® brands. Quickly rising in the company, he served most recently as chief marketing officer from 2007-11, managing a $1 billion expense budget. During his tenure, Mr. Seddon had a track record of improving operational efficiency and effectiveness, including leading part of IHG’s restructuring in 2003, reducing operating costs 30 percent as well as many other initiatives such as cutting call center operating costs in half. He has a consistent record of driving outperformance versus the competitor set for brands he’s managed. He is recognized throughout the lodging industry for successfully re-launching the Holiday Inn® brand globally with improved facilities and service levels, developing the Holiday Inn Express® “Stay Smart” campaign and doubling the size of the company’s loyalty program. From 2004-2007 Mr. Seddon was chief executive officer of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, an autonomous organization created to provide marketing and advertising globally for the $8 billion business. Reporting directly to a 14-member board of elected franchisees, he oversaw all worldwide marketing activity designed to build sales and revenue, and sustain performance. In this role, he developed “Fresh Fit,” the first ever AHA-endorsed QSR meal. In addition to Mr. Seddon’s hospitality marketing and general management experience, he has also participated extensively in government affairs activity such as the AHLA Legislative Action Summit, White House Obesity Summit, and serving as a panelist on the FTC Panel on Best Practices in Data Privacy. Mr. Seddon received his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with honors, and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Bath, UK. He currently lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife and two children.

Mr. Seddon can be contacted at 980-345-1621 or tseddon@extendedstay.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.