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 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.