Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ferrier

Chris Ferrier

Executive Chef, The National Conference Center

Executive Chef Chris Ferrier joined the team at The National and West Belmont Place in 2015. The property is one of the largest meeting, training and event facilities in the nation located within close proximity to Washington Dulles International Airport and just outside of Washington, DC. Chef Ferrier’s background includes experience in high-volume kitchens and 4-star resorts, banquets and fine dining. Most recently, he served as executive chef at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. His resume includes various Hyatt Hotels and resorts, Boar’s Head Inn, and the Lodge at Pebble Beach. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. As a property that specializes in hosting meetings, training meetings, trade shows, weddings and special events, food is a significant factor. “Chris shares our mission and vision in working with local farmers to source local food for sustainability, freshness and quality,” Lawson explained. “He has brought our culinary offerings to the new and higher level.” Chef Ferrier is now sourcing from additional local farms for The National and West Belmont Place. This is no ordinary feat given the fact that, at times, there are more than 1500 meals prepared in one day. With new renovations throughout the property, including The National dining room, the Black Olive Bar, and a new Lavazza Coffee shop, it is only fitting that the property also features an expanded culinary program with new catering menus for West Belmont Place and great new menu items at The National. In addition, The National has added a Chef’s Table where guests of the property can opt to hold a special dinner for up to 20 people in the kitchen with Chef Ferrier. In recognizing the importance of food to meetings, “We know that food plays an important role in the overall experience of our guests and their meals,” added Lawson. “And we also know the value that food plays in ensuring that meetings, including training meetings, are more efficient and more productive when participants are eating food that effectively fuels their minds.”

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

Mr. Ferrier can be contacted at 703-729-8000 or sales@conferencecenter.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.