Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fernandez

Eduardo Fernandez

General Manager, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Eduardo Fernandez is a seasoned hospitality industry professional with more than 30 years of diverse hospitality experience.

Mr. Fernandez began his hospitality education with the Institut de Tourisme & D’Hotellerie du Quebec for hotel management and later, Barry University for a bachelor’s degree in management. He went on to launch his career at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Montreal and managed numerous properties for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Boston, New York, Delaware and Miami. He then went on to work with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and managed various properties for W Hotels.

Mr. Fernandez spent two years serving as general manager of B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, where he played a key role in the successful turnaround of B Hotels & Resorts’ flagship hotel. Upon the 2014 sale of B Ocean, he was retained as general manager, and has since helped seamlessly transition the property into a successful new addition to the Sonesta Hotel & Resorts portfolio.

Mr. Fernandez is heavily involved in the local business community. He is the chairman of the Beach Business Improvement District for the City of Fort Lauderdale (4 years) and chairman of the Beach Council for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on the boards of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Broward Chapter, as immediate past president and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He is a part of the Greater Fort Lauderdale GM Council and also sits on the Broward Tourism Coalition Council.

As general manager, Mr. Fernandez maintains the operations of the property, featuring 240 guestrooms boasting panoramic views of Fort Lauderdale Beach or the Intracoastal Waterway. Opened in early 2019, he also supports Steelpan, the hotel’s Caribbean-American fusion ocean-front restaurant.

Mr. Fernandez can be contacted at EFernandez@sonesta.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.