Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Howell

Rob Howell

General Manager, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort

Rob Howell is the General Manager of The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. He has held leadership positions in the hospitality industry for nearly 30 years. Rob's specialties include increasing the sustainability of business, creating a culture of exceptional guest service, breaking the mold of typical business organizational structures, and auditing operations to focus on “what makes us successful; people and processes”. A graduate with a Master's Degree in Hotel Administration from Penn State University's Hospitality program, Mr. Howell has held responsibilities ranging from Vice President of Marketing and General Manager to Graduate Assistant and Sales Manager. Mr. Howell began his career at Allied Hospitality, later SB Yen, and finally arrived at The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort where he manages the 99 room property and 27-hole championship golf course among other amenities. Mr. Howell is a board member of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, President of the Sherman Theater, and Rotarian. He has been honored as the 2010 General Manager of the Year for the United States by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 2010 General Manager of the Year by the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association, and 2008 Outstanding Tourism Employee by the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau.

Mr. Howell can be contacted at 570-424-4050 x1409 or pr@shawneeinn.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.