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 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.