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 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.