Editorial Board   

Ms. Sarmiento

Fran Sarmiento

Executive Vice President, Venture Insurance Programs

Fran Sarmiento is the Executive Vice President of Programs for Venture Insurance Programs, a national program administrator for select industries, including the hotel and resort industry. At Venture, Ms. Sarmiento manages more than $75 million of insurance premiums and is responsible for overseeing the underwriting, development and expansion of all programs. An outspoken proponent of providing insurance coverage that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of the ever-changing hospitality industry, Ms. Sarmiento's 30 years of commercial insurance experience includes positions with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and CIGNA Insurance. She has spent the last 10 years focused on industry specific insurance programs, with one of her main areas of emphasis being the hotel and resort industry. Ms. Sarmiento maintains an active involvement in several community service and insurance industry organizations. Most recently she served on the Board of Directors of the Target Markets Program Administrator Association. Ms. Sarmiento attended the University Of Pennsylvania and has earned numerous insurance designations including the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriting (CPCU), the most prestigious insurance designation, and her Associate in Risk Management (ARM). She is married and has three children.

Ms. Sarmiento can be contacted at 800-282-6247 or fsarmiento@ventureprograms.com

Coming up in December 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.