Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ellis

Bernard Ellis

President & Founder, Lodgital Insights LLC

Bernard Ellis has a track record of stewarding technology initiatives from industry startup to industry standard.   He has spent most of his career at early- and mid-stage startups bringing best-of-breed, point solutions to market, including executive roles with Micros, now part of Oracle, SynXis, now part of Sabre, and IDeaS, now part of SAS, and contract roles with d2o and Gemtouch. The remainder of it has been spent at the large enterprise software companies who acquire them, SAS as mentioned, and most recently, as VP of Industry Strategy - Hospitality for Infor.

With executive roles that have followed a rare alternating path between sales and product management, Mr. Ellis has been evangelizing Software as a Service for nearly twenty years.  He has developed strong expertise in practically every type of hospitality technology, with special depth in property management systems, central reservations, revenue management, sales force automation, and activity merchandising.  Along the way, he has earned trusted advisor status with hotel companies that span all sizes and levels of service, including Carlson, Sonesta, Four Seasons, IHG, Kimpton, Rosewood, Wyndham, and Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

This remarkably broad background gives him a keen understanding of the points of view that different stakeholders bring to any discussion, not just regarding system selection or potential mergers and acquisitions, but also regarding such issues as integration development priorities, or who makes the best partner or target customer. Mr. Ellis is probably most widely recognized for advancing the industry with his oral and written communication skills, that enable non-technical audiences to grasp the value of technical innovations, and non-hospitality audiences to appreciate the industry's nuances.  His passion for the industry brings dry subject matter to life, not to mention (and some might advise exactly that) his natural tendency to seek out appropriate opportunities for humor or the perfect pun.

Mr. Ellis recently founded Lodgital Insights LLC, a consultancy to serve those companies that are leading the digital transformation of hospitality and leisure.  These include 1) travel technology vendors, 2) industry allies and promoters such as hotel brands, industry associations, destination marketing organizations, OTAs, and other consultancies, and finally 3) owners and operators of hospitality enterprises.  Lodgital's mission is to help people become better buyers and sellers of hospitality technology, leading to an accelerated pace of innovation for the industry and its guests.

Mr. Ellis is a Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP), as designated by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), and a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME), as designated by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), for whom he has also served as a member of the Revenue Management Advisory Board and past President of the Metropolitan Washington, DC Chapter.  He received a Master of Professional Studies (now MMH) degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary. Based in Washington, DC, Mr. Ellis is a dual-citizen of the United States and Canada.

Please visit http://lodgital.com for more information.

Mr. Ellis can be contacted at 202-232-3839 or bernard.ellis@lodgital.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.