Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Skaife

Jennifer Skaife

Design Director, DiLeonardo

As Design Director at DiLeonardo, Jennifer Skaife believes the process of reaching successful design solutions will be enriched by the participation of all DiLeonardo team members and encourages young talented designers to offer up ideas and concepts from the get go. Ms. Skaife studied Fine Art & Sculpture at Banbury School of Art, Oxfordshire, England and received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Three Dimensional Design/Interior Design from The City of Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham Institute of Art & Design) in England. Ms. Skaife has also served as a guest critic at California State University Long Beach. One of the legacies of Ms. Skaife’s childhood in the Scottish Highlands is a deep love of wilderness and open spaces. She holds a Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification and when not working she likes to be outdoors with her dogs. She enjoys camping, backpacking, and ocean kayaking. Ms. Skaife also tries to spend at least one week a year on a silent meditation retreat. Ms. Skaife believes that the early involvement of all project design disciplines - in other words get as much information about the project up front from as many sources as possible - leads to greater innovation which ultimately leads to reaching exceptional design solutions. A strong design and aesthetic sensibility, supported by ‘off the cuff’ sketching skills, has enriched her process in successfully leading her design teams through challenging project demands from Concept through to Construction. There is rarely a day that valuable words and examples set by past mentors do not come to mind.

Ms. Skaife can be contacted at 401-732-2900 or jskaife@dileonardo.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.