Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Robertson

Mark Robertson

Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Mark Robertson has more than 20 years of experience practicing law in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Sutherland, he spent 17 years with Hilton Worldwide, Inc., ultimately as senior vice president and assistant general counsel responsible for the company’s operations, brand and commercial services teams. He managed the full array of business and legal issues relating to international and domestic operations and services for more than 3,500 owned, leased, licensed, franchised and affiliated properties across 10 different hotel brands. Mr. Robertson has extensive experience in information technology, information services, intellectual property, eCommerce, procurement and outsourcing law, having been involved in negotiating, structuring, drafting, implementing and overseeing all manner of purchase and outsourcing agreements. His diverse experience includes oversight of marketing, branding and public relations; crisis management; compliance; joint ventures; new ventures; antitrust and competition; internet distribution; sales; mergers and acquisitions; and franchising and development. Earlier in his career, Mr. Robertson practiced real estate and environmental law at a firm in Los Angeles, California. Prior to law school, he served as a foreign service officer in the U.S. Department of State. His work there took him to diplomatic assignments around the world, including Italy, Canada, Lebanon and the Yemen Arab Republic. Mr. Robertson is admitted to The State Bar of California. He has submitted his application to the District of Columbia Bar. His work is supervised by District of Columbia bar members.

Mr. Robertson can be contacted at 202-383-0945 or mark.robertson@sutherland.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.