Editorial Board   

Mr. Leopold

Gary Leopold

President & CEO, ISM

Gary Leopold is President and Chief Executive Officer of ISM, a Boston-based advertising and marketing firm that specializes in the travel and leisure industries. Among their clients are Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, American Express, Emirates, Harley-Davidson, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and Harley-Davidson. Prior to joining ISM, Gary was the corporate director of public relations for Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, overseeing 13 hotels worldwide. Gary is a past president of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and currently serves on their Board of Directors as well as on the Board of the HSMAI Foundation. He is the founder of the HSMAI Golden Bell Public Relations Awards and Golden Click Web Awards, and a co-founder of the Annual Travel Awards Night dinner. A noted expert in travel marketing, he has taught and lectured on the subject at Cornell, Boston University, University of New Hampshire and many other colleges and organizations. He's also written articles for Business Travel News, HSMAI Marketing Review, Successful Meetings and other industry publications. Mr. Leopold is also the recipient of the Albert E. Koehl Lifetime Achievement Award in travel advertising from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), an honor he shares with Michael Eisner and Sir Richard Branson, among others. He is also the current president of the MAGNET global agency network.

Mr. Leopold can be contacted at 617-353-1822 or gleopold@ismboston.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.