Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Heckaman

David Heckaman

Vice President of Technology Development, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

David Heckaman has been engaged in the technology and hospitality industries for the past 20 years. He is able to leverage his extensive operational experience to remain focused on the hotel guest and the staff that have to service them. Mr. Heckaman earned his undergraduate degree in Hotel Management and Development from the University of Central Florida. His early operational career had taken through the hotel operational management path. He had worked for Guest Quarters, DoubleTree and independent properties in these roles. Mr. Heckaman’s technology path started with Storemont Trice Hotels where he was a regional technology manager and participated in hotel development and project management of large technology deployments. He later joined Crestline Capital in Bethesda, MD to assist in the creation of Crestline Hotels & Resorts and the interconnection of newly acquired properties and deployment of back-office systems. In 2001, Mr. Heckaman joined Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to lead the technology development aspect of their North American flagship property in New York City. The development of this property placed Mandarin Oriental as a clear international leader in the area of lodging technology. There were numerous technologies that were presented to the world for the first-time when the Mandarin Oriental, New York opened in November of 2003. The list of these technologies that were successfully deployed include some of the following highlights: - Fully Converged IP Network - Full VoIP PBX including VoWiFi - High-Definition Video Distribution - Stored and Broadcast Content - Multi-Carrier Broad-Frequency Distributed Antenna System (DAS) - WiFi Distribution over DAS - Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Television Deployment - Dedicated fiber-optic broadcast cabling infrastructure Mr. Heckaman has held his current position with Mandarin Oriental since 2005. In this role he oversees new hotel development, new technology direction and physical infrastructures. The development projects that have occurred under his watch include the following: - Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC - Mandarin Oriental, Riviera Maya - Mandarin Oriental, Boston - Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas at CityCenter - Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona - Mandarin Oriental, Paris Mr. Heckaman also is the Principal Consultant of Heckaman Group, LLC which is a consulting company created to provide technology guidance, project review and vision clarity to technology vendors as well as lodging operators. Mr. Heckaman also is the co-owner of Structurewide, LLC that operates as a low-voltage engineering and design firm serving primarily North and South Carolina. He has been a charter member of Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) trade organization. He currently co-chairs the HTNG Infrastructure and Device Forum. Mr. Heckaman has held the following certifications Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA)

Mr. Heckaman can be contacted at 803-627-8886 or dheckaman@mohg.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.