Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Santora

Tom Santora

Chief Marketing Officer / Senior VP Sales, Omni Hotels & Resorts

Tom Santora is chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales for Omni Hotels & Resorts where he oversees growth initiatives for the award-winning luxury hotel brand. Through his leadership, broad knowledge base and excellent hotel expertise, Omni Hotels & Resorts has become a recognizable brand nationwide. In his position, he is responsible for establishing and driving a strategic plan across all disciplines, including advertising, public relations, e-commerce, customer loyalty, global sales, revenue management and electronic and call center distribution. Mr. Santora has more than 25 years of experience in the hotel industry. Prior to joining Omni in 2008, he was executive vice president of sales and marketing at Viceroy Hotel Group, where he built the sales and marketing organization from the ground up and established the growth initiatives for the company’s two iconic boutique brands, Viceroy and The Tides. During his tenure at Viceroy Hotel Group, he expanded the companies’ sales and marketing team to include e-commerce, public relations and national sales and supervised the development and integration of the company’s central reservations office. As director of marketing for the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, Mr. Santora focused on positioning the hotel as a major destination for individual and business travelers. He opened the flagship Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in the fall of 2001 and managed cooperative planning, sales and marketing for six other regional Renaissance properties. He also established centralized group sales centers in the west and facilitated national sales schools. Prior to joining Viceroy Hotel Group, Mr. Santora served in various sales and marketing positions during his 16 years with Marriott International. He joined the company as a food and beverage trainee at the Marriott’s Mark Resort in Vail, Colorado and transitioned into the sales discipline in 1990 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Century City. Mr. Santora was included as “One of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” by Hospitality Sales & Marketing International (HSMAI) for 2008.

Mr. Santora can be contacted at 972-871-5625 or tsantora@omnihotels.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.