Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. DeConti

Elizabeth DeConti

Shareholder, GrayRobinson, P.A.

Elizabeth DeConti is a Shareholder in the Tampa office of GrayRobinson, P.A. and is a member of the firm's Alcohol Beverage and Food Team. Prior to joining GrayRobinson, she was a partner with the Tampa office of Holland & Knight and a judicial clerk for the Honorable Antoinette L. Dupont, Chief Judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court. She earned her B.A. cum laude and with Distinction in Renaissance Studies from Yale University in 1993 and then received her J.D. cum laude in 1996 from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was a Harvey T. Reid Scholar. Awarded the highest rating assigned by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory "AV", Ms. DeConti focuses her practice on litigation and compliance matters related to the rules, regulation and business practices that govern the marketing, sale, and consumption of malt beverages, wine, distilled spirits, and other regulated products in the alcohol and food industry. She is also a circuit court mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida. Ms. DeConti's trial experience includes commercial, franchise, intellectual property, and ADA cases litigated on behalf of major breweries, alcohol suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and other members of the hospitality industry in state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. In addition to her court experience, she represents many clients in alternative dispute resolution. She also advises clients on issues pertaining to trade regulation and marketing practices in the food and beverage industry, and concentrates on regulatory compliance, as well as advertising and promotional law. Ms. DeConti also drafts contracts related to advertising, distribution, importation, and related issues associated with the food and beverage industry. Ms. DeConti is a member of The Florida Bar and The Connecticut Bar, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida. Additionally, she is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association. She is also a frequent lecturer to the alcohol beverage and hospitality industries.

Ms. DeConti can be contacted at 813-273-5000 or edeconti@gray-robinson.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.