Editorial Board   

Mr. Kalanda

Jan Kalanda

Co-Founder, Morgansheer Hospitality

Jan Kalanda is a co-founder of Morgansheer Hospitality, an in-house hospitality team at Level Group, an innovative, full-service commercial and residential New York real estate brokerage company. Born in Czechoslovakia, Mr Kalanda emigrated to the U.S. in 1983, becoming an American Citizen in 1989. Mr. Kalanda began his 32-year hospitality career as Chief Engineer at the Garden City Hotel in New York. This experience at an iconic, 1874 Long Island landmark, with 272 rooms, multiple restaurants, conference facilities and a spa, laid the foundation for his successful career in property and hotel management. In 2002, Mr. Kalanda became a founding member of HK Hotels. As Executive Vice President he oversaw the development, opening and operations of six properties over a 15 year span in New York and Prague. With HK Hotels, Kalanda was responsible for all aspects of the pre-opening from design, to construction, to coordinating the opening with the property supporting and operations teams. The luxury properties became premiere boutique hotels in NYC and Prague, including the 100-room Wales Hotel, the 103-room Elysée Hotel, 50-room Casablanca Hotel, 60-room Library Hotel, 73-room Giraffe Hotel and the 52-room Aria Hotel in Prague. In 2008 Mr. Kalanda joined the Gansevoort Hotel Group, a young and dynamic company that had the vision to develop its first property in New York’s Meatpacking District. The hotel became the company’s flagship and led to a complete renaissance in the area. As part of the Executive team, he was instrumental in searching, developing and opening new properties. A further three properties were added to the Gansevoort portfolio: the Gansevoort South in South Beach, Florida; the ultra deluxe Gansevoort Turks & Caicos; and the 249-room Gansevoort Park in Midtown, New York City. All properties are now globally established, thriving financially and remain stable. Recently, Kalanda helped to found the in-house hospitality team, Morgensheer Hospitality, at Level Group. Backed up by Level Group’s commercial brokerage resources, Kalanda and his partner, Trica Jean-Baptiste, are uniquely positioned to address the full scope of the hospitality industry’s real estate needs.

Mr. Kalanda can be contacted at 917-593 3037 or jan@kalanda.us

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.