Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Lipton

Sarah Lipton

Senior Global Brand Director, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Sarah Lipton has been building hotel brands at Starwood Hotels and Marriott International for her entire career. In her role as the Senior Global Brand Director for Westin Hotels & Resorts, Ms. Lipton is responsible for developing the strategic global initiatives for Marriott’s wellness-focused, Premium Distinctive lifestyle brand. Ms. Lipton manages the brand’s positioning as well as developing strategic programs, offerings and partnerships, while continuing to direct the overall brand management, integrity and positioning of the Westin brand and its robust portfolio of more than 225 hotels and resorts all across the world. She drives the global marketing strategy, guest experience, standards and communications programs for Westin.

Ms. Lipton has been a pivotal contributor on six global brand teams, having managed initiatives for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, Le Méridien Hotels and Westin Hotels & Resorts. She has led numerous essential marketing initiatives, including the launch of Westin’s Well-Being Movement in 2014, and more recently, Westin’s new global brand campaign, Let’s Rise, which takes on the disruptions of travel and empowers guests to be their best selves during their stay through wellness. She also helped cultivate many signature experiential innovations to drive meaningful and differentiated experiences for guests and associates including Westin’s partnerships with top-tier fitness brands including Peloton and TRX, Westin’s global portfolio of active Run Concierges, and the RunWestin program just to name a few.

Ms. Lipton is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and resides in New York City with her family.

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

Ms. Lipton can be contacted at 914-640-8100 or sarah.lipton@westin.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.