Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Christa-Cathey

Judy Christa-Cathey

VP Global Brand Marketing Hampton Hotels & Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide

Judy Christa-Cathey is the Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, Hampton Hotels and Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide. She is responsible for the development and execution of the Hampton hotels and Hilton Garden Inn global branding strategies including brand positioning, advertising, interactive relationship strategies, promotions and public relations. Ms. Christa-Cathey also co-created the Hampton Save-A-Landmark community program which was awarded a US Presidential Award for Preservation- the first time a hotel was ever given this recognition and an award from the Smithsonian museum for the program. Her prior travel industry experience includes market planning, direct marketing, promotions and public relations with Southwest Airlines. She was Vice President of Marketing for Adventure Tours USA (an international charter and tour operator), and Vice President/Account Executive for Roth Graham, a leading travel industry and targeted marketing agency. Ms. Christa-Cathey was recently named one of HSMAI’s top 25 extraordinary minds in marketing in 2011. This honor is awarded to the best sales and marketing professionals in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries and recipients are judged on creativity and innovation; cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns; triumph in challenging situations; and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains. Under her leadership, both Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Hotels have grown exponentially, both domestically and internationally, throughout her tenure. Ms. Christa-Cathey received her MBA from the University of Dallas and BA in communications from Western Illinois University. She is also on the board of directors for The Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM) and was Co-Chair for the 2008 National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Awards, honoring Al Gore and Diane Nash.

Ms. Christa-Cathey can be contacted at 901-374-5954 or judy.christa-cathey@hilton.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.