Editorial Board   

Mr. Taillon

Justin Taillon

Professor & Program Manager, Highline College Hospitality & Tourism Management

Justin Taillon spent 8 years in hospitality operations before joining academia including stints with Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton. He began his career in Food & Beverage operations, moved into hotel operations, and was an Assistant General Manager with Hilton before moving into academia.

Justin's academic endeavors include working toward a B.Sc from the University of Houston’s prestigious Conrad Hilton School of Hospitality Management, an MBA from the University of Guelph, and a PhD from Texas A&M University’s Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences. He also holds a certificate in revenue management from ESSEC in Paris, France.

He is currently the department head for Hospitality & Tourism Management at Highline College in Seattle, WA, a university featuring eight emphasis areas to pursue within the hospitality and tourism industries including: aviation, casino, cruise lines, destination marketing organizations, ecotourism, event planning, food and beverage, and hotels.

Justin maintains an academic and applied focus in his research and outreach by serving as an Editor for Anatolia, being a Global Director for HFTP (Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals, the professional association responsible for HITEC), and working with industry partners to create grants that can improve the hospitality workforce. Some recent and current industry partners and projects include:

- Starbucks, where he oversees a project that trains 16-24 year-olds in customer service and barista skills in Seattle;

- Project Feast’s Ubuntu Café in downtown Kent, WA, where refugees to the United States learn customer service, food & beverage, and event management skills while sharing their home-cooked meals and cultural experiences with patrons;

- Port of Seattle (i.e. SeaTac Airport), where he works with SeaTac Airport’s human resources department to prepare potential employees for the workforce in one of the world’s largest airports;

- STR, where he worked in Hendersonville to co-create CHIA (Certification in Hospitality Industry Analytics) alongside STR and other applied academics.

His primary research emphasis area is market-based socio-cultural conservation through hospitality operations. The aforementioned projects are examples of ventures that fall under the guise of his research areas.

He is currently based in Seattle, WA, but holds three citizenships (Canada, Hungary, & USA) and has conducted projects globally over the past decade in locations such as Jeju Island in South Korea, Madre de Dios in Peru, Samburu’s Sabache Camp in Kenya, Velika Plaza in Montenegro, and many more.

Mr. Taillon can be contacted at 206-592-3953 or jtaillon@highline.edu

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.