Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bravo-Smith

Manuela Bravo-Smith

Senior Designer - Hospitality, Carrier Johnson + Culture

From a very young age, as early as five or six-years-old, Manuela Bravo-Smith knew she wanted to become an architect. Born in Mexico City and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Ms. Bravo-Smith has experienced the tangible and visual contrast between communities through time. Through travel and contact with various cultures, she has had the opportunity to reflect on how others see and experience new places. She has been influenced by her parent’s background: her mother’s simple and calm farm lifestyle, and her father’s demanding career as a civil engineer in what was the biggest city in the world at the time. After completing a five-year architectural degree program from the Guadalajara University’s CUAAD (University Center of Art, Architecture and Design) in 1997, Ms. Bravo-Smith began her professional journey from working at job sites to a project management position at an international engineering company, and finally to her current position with Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. The journey also led her to leave her native Mexico for Monterey in 2002, and then to San Diego in 2004. Working with well-established and respected architectural firms, Ms. Bravo-Smith has been exposed to a variety of domestic and international projects, ranging in building type from hospitality and mixed-use residential to corporate. While maintaining her architectural background she segued into the interior design field, and has been focused primarily on the hospitality sector since 2009. Working on four- and five-star hotel projects, Ms. Bravo-Smith works to elicit a unique personality for each project, rooting the design of each in the regional environment and historical context.

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

Ms. Bravo-Smith can be contacted at 619-239-2353 or web@carrierjohnson.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.