Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Lohan

Dirk Lohan

Principal, Wight & Company

Dirk Lohan left his native Germany to begin his architectural studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology under the tutelage of his grandfather, Mies van der Rohe. He returned to Germany and finished his studies in architecture and planning at the Technische Universität (Diplom Ingenieur), in Munich in 1962. When Mr. Lohan subsequently returned to Chicago, he worked closely with Mies van der Rohe on such projects as the New National Gallery in Berlin, the IBM office building in Chicago, and the Toronto Dominion Center.

Over his lifetime, Mr. Lohan has produced an impressive portfolio of national and international hotel designs of note, including the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai; Hyatt Regency, Pune India; Grand Hyatt, Sao Paulo Brazil; and Four Seasons, Mumbai India. Recently he helped transform the Mies designed former IMB Building into the Chicago Langham Hotel and designed the Hotel Arista in Naperville, IL.

Mr. Lohan believes that successful architecture must respond not only to economic constraints but also to the larger social and physical conditions. He is passionate about design and, for each new opportunity, looks to understand the local culture and their aspirations in order to develop an innovative, modern, and timeless design aesthetic. He seeks to humanize modernism by infusing local traditions, colors, and textures to enrich the overall design and enhance the guest experience. Mr. Lohan's achievements in architecture have been recognized with many awards, including his appointment as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1983.

In January 2016, his internationally recognized firm, Lohan Anderson (formerly Lohan Associates) combined with the Chicago based integrated services (architecture, engineering, and construction) firm, Wight & Company. As the Principal of Wight & Company, Mr. Lohan brings to the firm not only a distinguished career of excellence, but also a rich family legacy of architectural innovation.


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

Mr. Lohan can be contacted at 312-261-5721 or dlohan@wightco.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.