Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Miller

Walt Miller

Design Director, John Portman & Associates

A registered architect, Mr. Miller has been an important member of John Portman & Associates (PORTMAN) since 1987. An accomplished designer and planner, Mr. Miller directs the design team in resolving how to implement PORTMAN design philosophy and vision into functional spaces. He also serves as the Education Studio Director, leading new business development within the higher education sector. His responsibilities include oversight of the administration of the Portman Prize at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, an award created for the purpose of encouraging the school’s graduate students to develop a holistic design. Mr. Miller has served as the lead designer on significant projects all around the globe. His recent experience includes the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, a 1,200-room convention center hotel adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center; the Park Hyatt Hyderabad, a five-star luxury hotel with over 200 guestrooms and 42 serviced apartments; the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, a mixed-use project located outside Chicago containing a 500-room hotel, a 100,000 square-foot convention center, and 28,000 square-feet of ballrooms and meeting space; and the Westin Shanghai at Bund Center, a 570-room hotel located in the historic financial district of the Bund. He has been a guest lecturer and critic at a number of prestigious schools. Prior to joining PORTMAN, Mr. Miller was with the firm of Cesar Pelli & Associates, where he led the team which won the competition for the Key Center in Cleveland. Mr. Miller’s design integrated a new tower while repurposing the old Society for Savings building as large plate office space, saving it from demolition. Mr. Miller earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Architecture Degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mr. Miller can be contacted at 404-614-5555 or wmiller@portmanusa.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.