Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Brashear

Katie Brashear

Complex Director of Public Relations, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel

As complex director of public relations for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, the premier convention hotel in Arizona, and The Westin Phoenix Downtown, Katie Brashear is responsible for overseeing the public relations initiatives, media and community outreach efforts, social media strategies, advertising plans, content creation, and marketing initiatives for the hotels. She is also the sustainability champion for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel where she manages and guides the property’s “green” initiatives. With more than 10 years of professional experience in public relations, marketing, advertising and branding, Ms. Brashear’s strong vision and professional leadership helped shape the two downtown Phoenix hotels into unparalleled and flourishing, urban destinations. Ms. Brashear joined Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel as director of public relations. Shortly, she assumed the public relations efforts for Sheraton Crescent and the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, later in 2012, she assumed The Westin Phoenix Downtown. Prior to Ms. Brashear’s experience with the Sheraton and Westin brands, she held the marketing manager position and the sustainability champion at W Scottsdale. Ms. Brashear began her hospitality career with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in 2007 with W Scottsdale - the hotel opened on September 30, 2008. Before the hospitality industry, Ms. Brashear worked in public relations for luxury retailer, Neiman Marcus Scottsdale. Ms. Brashear graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College and the Walker Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications with a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in business.

Ms. Brashear can be contacted at 602-817-5323 or katie.brashear@sheraton.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.