Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hobbs

Harry Hobbs

Area Director of Engineering, InterContinental Hotels of San Francisco

Harry Hobbs, Area Director of Engineering for the InterContinental San Francisco and InterContinental Mark Hopkins, brings more than thirty years of experience to the hotels, leading building operations, environmental efficiency, capital improvements, waste diversion, water and energy conservation, and renewable power. After arriving in California, Mr. Hobbs held a number of executive positions with Marriot Hotels and Resorts including Chief Engineer and Director of Engineering. Within these roles, he managed all facets of maintenance, including direct project management of capital improvements, budgeting, security, and energy consumption. He also helped to develop the computerized maintenance management system that Marriott relied on for the twelve subsequent years. He was also responsible for installing several digital building automation systems. After sixteen years with Marriot Hotels and Resorts, Mr. Hobbs accepted a position with Johnson Controls at Sun Microsystems as the Facility Manager for the Menlo Park Campus. Later, he transitioned to the development team at the Santa Clara Campus. This eighty acre facility was the new corporate headquarters for the then booming Sun Microsystems. As the result of delivering a very successful campus opening, he was promoted to Senior Facilities Manager for the Western Region of the Sun account. Before joining the InterContinental Hotels of San Francisco, Mr. Hobbs also held positions at Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Marvell Semiconductor, and Able Building Maintenance. As Area Director of Engineering for the hotels, Mr. Hobbs is responsible for maintaining the day-to-day operations, general improvements, and energy conservation for both InterContinental properties in San Francisco. Since joining the team, he has been a leading force in sustainability efforts at the InterContinental San Francisco, which recently achieved U.S. Green Building Council LEED EBOM Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance). Mr. Hobbs is also a credentialed “Certified Facilities Manager” through the International Facilities Management Association.

Mr. Hobbs can be contacted at 888-811-4273 or harry.hobbs@ihg.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.