Editorial Board   

Prof. Ferry

Steven Ferry

Chairman, International Institute of Modern Butlers

Steven Ferry was born and raised in England, where he worked in education, hospitality, and private service before moving to the USA to continue in private service—during which time, in 1990, he established the first international butler association, The International Association of Traditional Butlers, and wrote the first modern book for the profession, The British Butler's Bible.

Prof. Ferry took a break from service in the mid-90's to focus on his other passions, establishing an award-winning photographic and writing company that produced a wide range of educational, PR, marketing, editorial and fictional products for most major US publishers and many corporations, including authoring 20 books and hundreds of articles. At the turn of the century, he found himself being asked to consult and train, first in the private sector and then in hospitality, based on publication of three books on butling.

At the request of peers, he founded the International Institute of Modern Butlers in 2004 to set and raise standards for the profession. He championed bringing the butler profession into the international community of the 21st Century and bringing the role to life, at a time when it was entrenched in tradition and being an object of interest as opposed to a vital force that could greatly expand service offerings in all service industries, hospitality in particular.

Professor Ferry is author of best-selling texts, such as the two-volume Serving the Wealthy  and Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators. He has helped introduce several innovations and new services to the hospitality industry, including the hotel-butler rating system, the spa butler, and an international black-book database of guests from hell. He currently advocates for the profession, and, together with the Institute staff, trains butlers and other employees in luxury hotels and resorts, private villas and estates, and other service industries around the world, specializing in uniquely effective soft-skill training that builds relationships with guests, as well as bringing fresh and astute perspectives to the challenges of hospitality management.

Prof. Ferry can be contacted at 813-354-2734 or stevenferry@modernbutlers.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Feature Focus Demo

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.