Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Denihan

Chrissy Denihan

Chief Comfort Officer, Affinia Hotels

Chrissy Denihan, founder Benjamin “Bud” Denihan's granddaughter, assumed the role of Chief Comfort Officer (CCO) for Affinia Hotels in October 2011. As CCO, Ms. Denihan serves as the leader of Tender Loving Comfort (TLC), a new movement rooted in deep customer service and reading and responding to guests' body language. Ms. Denihan, who is also brand integration manager for Affinia Hotels' parent company Denihan Hospitality Group, joined the company in 2007. She has worked in every department from housekeeping to the front desk, and was intimately involved in the development of TLC from the beginning. As the CCO position developed, it became clear to the executive team that Ms. Denihan was a perfect fit for the job. In her new role, Ms. Denihan oversees a TLC Crew at each hotel and liaises with guests and hotel staff on everything related to comfort, including collecting guest feedback on initiatives and hotel programming. Additionally, she sources unique items to be offered brand wide, and serves as the curator of comfy content on the social networks. Her contagious smile and warm personality, paired with her hands-on experience in the hotel industry, make her popular with hotel staff. She motivates and inspires the TLC crew to find out what guests want and need, and uses that information to make their experience even more enjoyable. Ms. Denihan is a graduate of Boston College with a bachelor's degree in human development and sociology. She volunteers with Operation Smile and is a member of the Young Alumnae Organization of Sacred Heart School in Manhattan.

Ms. Denihan can be contacted at 212-751-5710 or cdenihan@affinia.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.