Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Spurr

Jay Spurr

Market Director of Sales & Marketing, JW Marriott Austin

JW Marriott Austin welcomed Jay Spurr back to Austin as the Market Director of Sales and Marketing in spring 2017. Mr. Spurr has nearly 30 years of hospitality experience and is responsible for leading the JW Marriott Austin sales and marketing team with expanded responsibilities supporting the new Austin Marriott Downtown, set to begin construction later this year. The return to Austin is a homecoming for Mr. Spurr, who previously served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for JW Marriott Austin from 2011-2015. The very first associate hired at the JW Marriott Austin in 2011, Mr. Spurr quickly made an impact as he built and led his preopening sales team to secure over a half million group rooms prior to the hotel’s opening in February of 2015. Under his leadership, the hotel was named one of the world’s top 9 new business hotels by Forbes magazine and received the Marriott International Full Service Hotel Opening of the Year Award in 2015. Mr. Spurr previously held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing for the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. During his time in San Francisco, Mr. Spurr successfully led his team to achieve their targeted sales goals and two-year crossover goals for the first time in five years. A graduate of the University of South Caroline-Columbia’s Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Management program, Mr. Spurr has also served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Area Director of Sales for Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor, and Senior Account Executive for JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

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

Mr. Spurr can be contacted at 512-608-4460 or jay.spurr@jwmarriottaustin.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.