Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Maher

Melissa Maher

Senior Vice President - Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc

As the leader of the Global Partner Group for Expedia, Inc., Melissa Maher spearheads all aspects of global business relationships with the company's top hotel partners.  Ms. Maher has taken an active role in driving significant discussions within the hospitality industry regarding issues affecting lodging supply partners and key stakeholders in the online travel space.

Ms. Maher oversees the teams responsible for creating new initiatives, driving the strategy behind negotiations, distribution, and connectivity for Expedia's chains, key accounts, and independent partnerships. She also leads Expedia's gaming lodging supply division.

As part of her role, Ms. Maher also manages the Global Partner Marketing team which strives to enhance relationships with key partners including large and regional brands, connectivity providers, ownership groups, management companies, and industry associations, along with executing marketing communications and global partner events.

During her tenure with Expedia, Ms. Maher has been passionate in driving meaningful dialogue about women in leadership within the company and hospitality industry.

Previously, Ms. Maher served as regional director with Expedia, with oversight of the Nevada/gaming lodging division. Prior to joining Expedia in 2001, Maher opened the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as the director of conference center sales. She also served as director of tour and conference sales with the Las Vegas Hilton.

Ms. Maher received an M.B.A. and a B.S. in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Ms. Maher can be contacted at 702-938-2347 or MMaher@expedia.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.