Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bridges

Cerise Bridges

Certification Specialist, Green Seal

Cerise Bridges is a Chicago native with fifteen years of work at the intersection of hospitality and environmental protection. Currently a Certification Specialist for the nation's premier environmental standard developer and certifier, Green Seal®, her specialty for the last eight years has been assisting hotels, restaurants and cleaning services with implementing comprehensive sustainability improvements and evaluating their progress towards earning certification.

Since graduating from Howard University with a B.B.A in Hospitality Management and from American University with a M.A. in Environmental Policy, Ms. Bridges has served environmental organizations, large and small, in many capacities.  Her initiatives have included protecting city parks across the U.S. with The Trust for Public Land; conserving land and water in the Caribbean and Central America for The Nature Conservancy; training future environmental leaders at the Environmental Leadership Program; and now driving sustainability in the hospitality industry by facilitating Green Seal's hotel certification program. Ms. Bridges got her start in the hospitality industry working in the front of the house as a Concierge and Front Desk Associate at hotels in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, and has served as part of a management team for Aramark at a university food service operation in Washington, D.C. 

Ms. Bridges believes the hospitality industry is a microcosm of the greater community.  Given the sheer volume of daily purchases and resources used, it has the ability and -- more importantly -- the responsibility to reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, and limit water usage.  The implementation of even the most basic initiatives can benefit both our environment and the hotel's bottom line. 

Please visit http://www.greenseal.org for more information.

Ms. Bridges can be contacted at 202-872-6400 or cbridges@greenseal.org

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.