Editorial Board   

Mr. Hefler

Lawrence Hefler

Principal, Hefler International

Lawrence Hefler, principal of Hefler International and founder of BrandShares, is an accomplished marketer, whose vision and expertise in consumer marketing have driven results in the travel, leisure, and hospitality sectors. His depth of experience and understanding of shared and fractional ownership, residence clubs, and the evolving leisure real estate industry are the driving force behind BrandShares. The Hefler expertise in branding and marketing helps companies find, understand, keep, and grow customers - thereby building the value of their brand share. His mantra is that more than marketing, branding and sales training are critical in to compete in the marketplace. Mr. Hefler is the former Vice President, Brand Marketing at Hilton Grand Vacations Company. At Hilton, he led global advertising, branding, marketing, e Business and strategic alliances. Before his five years at Hilton, he was senior manager at Walt Disney where he led the transformation of Disney Vacation Development and other Parks and Resorts niche business units into e-business organizations. Prior to entering the hospitality industry, he held senior marketing management roles with Fortune 500 brands including American Express, BellSouth, and Boise Cascade.

Mr. Hefler can be contacted at 407-644-7840 or hefler@cfl.rr.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.