Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Miller

Dean Miller

Director of Agronomy, La Quinta Resort & Club / PGA West

Dean Miller is the director of agronomy for La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST, a world-renowned golf destination with nine championship-caliber courses designed by golf greats Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Pete Dye and Greg Norman. As the resort’s director of agronomy, Mr. Miller manages a staff of over 230 employees, including six superintendents, and is responsible for all aspects of golf course maintenance and landscaping for five public courses, four private courses and five clubhouses. He has helped implement all golf course sustainability methods, overseen all golf course renovations and construction projects, as well as developed maintenance practices that create standardization and consistency throughout all the courses. Known as the “Western Home of Golf in America,” La Quinta Resort & Club and nearby PGA WEST - a spectacular master-planned country club community on 2,200 acres and the site of numerous important tournaments - offer resort guests full access to five challenging golf courses - the dramatic Pete Dye-designed La Quinta Resort Mountain™ and Dunes™ Courses, and the highly rated TPC® Stadium Golf Course, Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and Greg Norman Course at PGA WEST. Mr. Miller joined La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST as an assistant superintendent in 1998, and has held several positions during his tenure with the resort, including superintendent of both the Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman Courses. He holds a turf grass management degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, as well as a Bachelor of Science with a minor in plant science from Nicholls State University in Louisiana. A Class A member of the California Hi-Lo Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Mr. Miller holds a California State Pesticide, Right-of-Way and Aquatic License.

Mr. Miller can be contacted at 760-564-7674 or drmiller@pgawest.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.