Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Baxter

Stephanie Baxter

Spa Director, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

With over 15 years of experience in the spa and fitness industry, Stephanie Baxter is an accomplished spa and health club director and currently hold the position of Spa Director of Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa located in the exclusive Rancho Santa Fe community of San Diego. Ms. Baxter has a history of and has specialized in turning around under-performing spas and health clubs into successfully run establishments by using a hands-on approach to management to develop highly effective teams, producing dramatic increases in revenue and profitability. Ms. Baxter’s strengths include an intense customer focus, employee development and satisfaction, and training. In 2000, she started her own boutique skin care business in Downtown San Diego after realizing her passion for skin care and a desire to create custom skin care programs for adults dealing with acne. After selling her business in 2003, she moved to South Florida to pursue her other passion for competing in Equestrian competitions. Her hiatus was short lived after she was eager to get back to the spa industry, which led her to take on the exciting opportunity of opening the spa at a renowned Miami establishment, formerly known as the Versace Mansion, on Ocean Drive. After three successful years, Ms. Baxter returned to California after obtaining a new position as Spa Director for Hyatt Hotels, where she remained for six years before she was awarded with what she refers to as an opportunity of a lifetime, becoming the Spa Director at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa.

Ms. Baxter can be contacted at 858-759-6490 or stephanie.baxter@ranchovalencia.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.