A statement of teaching philosophy

HospitalityEducators.com changes Business Model

HospitalityEducators.com was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

 The original business model we used was that of a membership organization, and our success included readers and members from all six continents and more than 50 countries.   When we evaluated our progress in our business plan mid -year, we realized that our business model was becoming more like a magazine which had never been our intent.

The annual SWOT analysis showed us that we were not focusing on what had been our passion and goals, so we elected to move our business model from the membership site to a resource for both hospitality and other service businesses.

This is the 1st of 3 explanations of how our business model is evolving over the next several months.

Our strengths include a network of professionals who have interacted with and assisted a number of service businesses through teaching and training.  To that end, we are pleased to share

A statement of teaching philosophy for HospitalityEducators.com

Our philosophy of teaching includes fostering self-instruction, formulating questions rather than just giving answers and establishing high expectations. Professors have limited capacity to teach students anything – they primarily motivate students to teach themselves. Our principal pedagogical role is to help students learn how to search for a complete answer as we work through the question-and-answer process of real world scenarios. Our goal is to stimulate active learning and acceptance with the idea that being “wrong” is part of learning. 

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Peter Drucker (1909-2005),  Author  

Our role as the instructor is not only a source of knowledge, but also a source of support and an avenue for other resources. Students can expect that we are approachable, available to answer questions, and genuinely invested in their academic success.

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

 Roy Disney, American Film Writer

We are firm believers in active learning, and we try to maintain a very interactive classroom. Teaching is not about lecturing to students; it is about presenting theories, concepts, and questions to students in ways they can incorporate into their own life experience or goals.

It should be the goal of every student and professor to increase knowledge and understanding in both the classroom and the real world. Group interaction is an important part of learning, so that all parties share ideas, argue or validate them with others and practice teamwork as an important link in social and mental development.


“A company culture cannot be imposed or mandated. It must grow from within over a long period.”

Isadore Sharp, Founder Four Seasons Hotels


  1. Teaching is an opportunity to inspire and empower.  Our teaching philosophy is based around concepts that bridge and link academic programs to real world situations.

  1. Strategic planning
  2. Continuous Learning
  3. Individualization      Achievement  in       “Real World” applications These real world scenarios offer solid and practical links to the academic work in      the class.

 Corporate Teaching Philosophy 

 “Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”      

Malcolm S. Forbes, Publisher, Entrepreneur (1919-1990)

The global community is changing at a record pace and recognizing and responding to emerging opportunities is critical.  Keeping focused on achieving agreed upon results requires open, honest, consistent and transparent communication.

 The Founders of HospitalityEducators.com careers have always had strong ties to academic integrity, including service as an adjunct professor at different institutions.  Additional commitment to learning was delivered to other Institutes and Universities through research and recommendations on curriculum and program specifications for hospitality programs. 

Our role as corporate and academic educators in the business world has provided us with individuals who continuously challenge us to seek better and more effective ways to reach the desired goals.  We want to challenge others to likewise achieve more from themselves and from others.

As a teacher and as a business professional, one lesson learned from mentors was critical thinking.  In a world changing at incredible speeds, this competency is invaluable.   Interdisciplinary study lends itself to more creative thought development. 

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.”        Colin Powell, American Secretary of State

Defining Success

  1. Successful graduates of balanced programs learn certain academics but also have embraced the need to learn certain life lessons, such as the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.
  2. Successful innovators and professionals need to develop strong competencies as a leader, a relationship builder, a problem solver and eventually a mentor.

As faculty members , the range of experience and exposure to the industry can be huge, especially if dealing with introductory courses. We set different learning objectives for the level of the course and the student likely to be taking it.

  1. to fully explore the range of career options available in the field of business
  2. to provide the appropriate level of information and tools needed to help in the student’s understanding of this class to the options available in business and/or hospitality
  3. to share real world experiences and examples by a professional who is passionate about what he does

‘It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Bill Gates ,  Founder of Microsoft)

Blended Learning

Learning occurs as a progression but that process is not uniform with each student.  In our careers, we have come to the realization that students learn from us and from each other, but that we also learn from them in this fast-paced world. By sharing with them my teaching objectives and experience, students know that we are genuinely interested in them.




Eight Gifts (of Value) You Can Give Away, Which Will Not Cost You a Cent | Guest Blog – HospitalityEducators.com

Eight Gifts (of Value) You Can Give Away,  Which Will Not Cost You a Cent

But you must REALLY listen.
No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listen.

Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories.
Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal,” can make someone’s day.

Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really it’s not that hard to say “Hello”  or “Thank You.”

Friends are rare jewels indeed. 

  They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. 

They lend an ear, share a word of praise, and always want to open their hearts.


Dr. Marc Clark, CHA, CHRE, CHE, CHO,
President & CEO at SmartBizzOnLine.com

Hotel Owners Linking Higher Yield from More Personalized, Direct Selling – The Best of David Brudney

While some things change in hotels, certain fundamentals remain intact.

Enjoy this Guest blog re-posting from the BEST OF DAVID BRUDNEY

Hotel Owners and Operators Expecting Higher Yield from Increases in More Personalized, Direct Selling Expenses


While sales and marketing-related labor costs have experienced moderate growth and advertising has declined, more dollars are being directed to “Selling” expenses, according to a recent article by PKF Consulting (“Focus of Hotel Sales Personnel to Shift from Selling Room Nights to Capturing More Dollars”, by Robert Mandelbaum and Viet Vo).

 “If you’re selling a service, you’re selling a relationship”
Harry Beckwith

“Selling” expenses – – trade shows, travel, and prospect and client entertainment – – grew 9.2 percent in 2006, by far the largest increase of all major cost categories for sales and marketing departments, according to the PKF article.

What this information suggests is that maybe hotel owners and operators have rediscovered the importance and value of more personalized direct selling as a means to increasing revenue through higher average daily rates.

And doesn’t it suggest also that after investing millions of dollars in new technology, embracing state-of-the-art CRM, Sales and catering software and group database programs, managing the Internet distribution channels better and creating powerful, interactive websites and blogs, focus may be shifting now from technology based selling back to relationship based selling?

If so, hallelujah!  A primary message repeated in so many past articles of mine has been the concern I have over an entire new generation of hospitality sales professionals that have mastered the art of technology based selling while forsaking the timeless skills required in relationship based selling.

“Only a computer wants to do business with another computer.  People respond to people”   Harvey Mackay  

We’ve created a generation that prefers e-mails over phone calls, text messaging over personal sales calls and computer time over trade shows and travel.

E-mails and text messaging have become a necessity in all of our business and social lives.  No argument here.

But today’s direct sales teams must be adept at leveraging the value and impact of all of these communication and data exchange tools – – technology and relationship based – –  and understand when and where best to employ each.

Now that hotels have re-staffed their sales force “in an effort to capture group business and implement yield management strategies,”  according to PKF, I believe that owners, asset managers and operators will be looking to the direct sales teams to drive even higher group room rates in 2008.

This will pose no small challenge now with supply having caught up with demand and meeting planners, eager for the pendulum to swing back to more of a buyers’ market, having grown tired of paying top rates with fewer options.


Owners and operators’ expectations will be high and scrutiny will be intense.  There will be little, if any, patience or tolerance for direct sales teams that continue discounting practices to book group business.

Will direct sales teams respond to the challenge?  Have too many become too comfortable during the prolonged sellers’ market of recent years?  Have too many become too reactive and less proactive?  Have too many lost that selling “edge”?

The true test might be which sales departments have the experience and skills required to capture higher rates?  Which sales teams have benefitted from management’s commitment to advanced professional sales training during the recent span of high profits?

Let the real selling begin.


By David M. Brudney, ISHC, December 2007

© Copyright 2007

David M. Brudney, ISHC, a nationally recognized spokesman for hotels and a veteran with four decades of experience, is the principal of David Brudney & Assoc. of Carlsbad, CA

David Brudney & Associates- Hospitality Marketing Consultants


A Shared holiday smile from SIEGEL SAYS and HOTEL-ONLINE – Some Thanksgiving fun facts

A Shared holiday smile from SIEGEL SAYS and HOTEL-ONLINE

And now for you-know-what…

Some Thanksgiving fun facts:

  •  The Pilgrims’ first-ever Thanksgiving took place over three days in Plymouth, Mass.
  • Gov. William Bradford planned the first Thanksgiving dinner.
  • The Pilgrims ate items like lobster, hickory nuts, cabbage, goat cheese and squash at the first Thanksgiving.
  • Pilgrims probably didn’t wear all black with big buckles. That stereotype was created by illustrators in the 19th century.
  • A writer named Sarah Josepha Hale is responsible for Thanksgiving’s national holiday status. She asked President Abraham Lincoln to declare it an American holiday in October 1863.
  • Congress designated Thanksgiving as an official holiday in 1941.
  • For the past 67 years, the president has pardoned a live turkey every Thanksgiving. The pardoned turkeys get to live on a farm until they die of old age.
  • Benjamin Franklin campaigned for the turkey, not the bald eagle, to be the national bird.
  • Nearly 90 percent of Americans eat turkey every Thanksgiving.
  • About 46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving.
  • Turkey doesn’t make you tired. It contains no more tryptophan than cheese or chicken.
  • Most of the turkeys come from Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia and Indiana.
  • Turkeys can’t see well at night, and if they’re raised commercially, they can’t fly.
  • Most Thanksgiving turkeys weigh about 15 pounds. They’re usually 70 percent to 30 percent white meat/dark meat.
  • Every year, the average person in the United States eats about 17 pounds of turkey.
  • The oldest Thanksgiving day parade was organized by Gimbels department store in 1920. The Macy’s parade didn’t start until four years later.
  • The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has the most liquor sales of the whole year.

Happy US Thanksgiving from Hospitality Educators!

HE logo

Kathleen Hogan and John Hogan  

480-436-0283           Service@HospitalityEducators.com

Training and Development – A self-analysis | Guest Blog from HospitalityEducators.com

Training and Development – A self-analysis

Place a check mark beside each of the answers that in your opinion are true or false.

1. As long as I know what the department’s goals are, my employees only need to know what’s involved in their own jobs. True____ False____

2. All employees should be able to work well with all other employees. True____ False____

3. Our department’s goals and the methods for reaching them should come from upper-level managers.  True____ False____

4. Employees know when they’ve met their goals and when they haven’t. They don’t have to be told.  True____ False____

5. Trainers can encourage teamwork through training employees to keep the sales department up-to-date regarding special events they learn about within the community.
True____ False____

6. Trainers can encourage teamwork, by training employees to ask guest to tell housekeeping about needed repairs or cleaning problems. True____ False____

7. Trainers can encourage teamwork through encouraging employees to learn the hours of operation and the location of restaurants, lounges, health clubs, and other areas at the property so that they can help guests enjoy everything the property has to offer. True____ False____

8. A strategic training plan should be separate from the organization’s strategic plan. True____ False____

9. In general, adult learners tend to be more focused on the big picture, contributing to the betterment of the organization as a whole. True____ False____

10. In general, adult learners tend to be more focused on the practicality of learning, such as why it is needed, how it will be used, and how the individual will benefit.
True____ False____

11. In conducting training sessions with adult learners in the hospitality industry, trainers may experience more success by relating the training directly to the workplace with examples and role-plays.  True____ False____

12. The primary purpose of a cost-benefit analysis is to determine whether the skills and knowledge gained in the training have transferred back to the workplace. True____ False____

13. Common methods for identifying an organization’s training needs include conducting employee surveys, reviewing guest comments, and performing job analyses.
True____ False____

Jennifer Calhoun MBA, CHE | Founding Associate, HospitalityEducators.com
This assessment is not designed to give a score, but rather to identify areas that are already strong and others that could use additional focus.
Jennifer is currently a graduate student pursuing a PhD degree in Hospitality Management at Auburn University. Her research focus is on sustainability.   

 She was the Program Director for the Hospitality and Tourism Institute at Prince Georges Community College where she was responsible for leadership, program planning, marketing, recruiting, and determining the Institute’s goals and curriculum development priorities. Her responsibilities also included, identifying staffing, facilities, equipment and supply needs while ensuring high-quality instruction for programs that served the hospitality and tourism industry. She was the primary liaison in cultivating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with businesses, government agencies, and professional associations.

In 2010, HTI received the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation Award given at the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit in Annapolis and Jennifer received ,“The Lamp of Knowledge Award for United States Educator,” from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AH&LEI).

Rules of Engagement: Fair and Firm | Guest Blog from HospitalityEducators.com

Rules of Engagement: Fair and Firm

author/source: Dr. Marc Clark, President & CEO SmartBizzOnline.com

If you have any workplace rules, regulations, policies and/or procedures there’s a good probability that sooner or later they will be broken by one or more of your workers and that you may have to step up and enforce those company standards with some form of discipline.

Discipline doesn’t necessarily mean automatic termination. One has to first gather all the facts, investigate their credibility and then issue a consequence that is fair to the infraction. Hopefully your business has a written set of standards, employee handbook, and established Code of Conduct to provide you assistance in such matters (and to assist in creating consistency and continuity in the way you deal with people).

Discipline should be administered in a four step process, in a progressive manner. First infraction the employee should receive a verbal warning, Step #1, discussing the problem and expectations of eliminating the problem. However this discussion with the employee will be documented on a formal company disciplinary report and filed in the employee’s personnel folder.

If the undesirable behavior continues Step #2 is administered, the “Written Warning”. The employee’s behavior is documented and a discussion with warning in hand is conducted. Within this written warning the verbal warning is noted. The conversation held with the employee at this level is more serious and accountability is stressed. At this level the employee should have a clear understanding that any continuance of the unacceptable behavior will lead up to either Suspension, Step #3 or Termination, Step #4.

The employee must be consciously aware that it will be their conduct that will generate the final decision and outcome as to what will happen to them because of their behavior. They in essence choose their destiny and supervision will be administering their choice.

Employees should always be given the opportunity to provide their side of the story during a disciplinary action. In Steps, 2, 3, and 4, comment space should be provided the employee on the disciplinary form itself. Also for these three steps of discipline, supervision should request that the employee sign the disciplinary form. However it should be noted that signing the form does not mean that the employee agrees with what is written on the form but that the form and its contents has been reviewed and that a copy of the disciplinary report has been given to the employee. Should the employee refuse to sign, supervision should document this employee refusal and have it witnessed by a third party, preferably another supervisor.

In all but the most serious cases, you’ll want to try to avoid terminating employees, especially if they are good workers. In fact, terminating a worker without some form of discipline policy and procedure could cause you some form of legal problem especially if any form of discrimination can be justified. Without a clear policy and verification that the policy was used for the terminated employee, you could end up in a “your word against the employee’s” situation. It is always a good practice to permit employees to respond to disciplinary counseling, either verbally or in writing. By permitting the employee to respond, managers often can defuse a potentially explosive state of affairs.

Here are some things to ponder as you prepare your company’s discipline policy and procedure process:
Setting up a structured and fair discipline program gives you some background on the philosophy and the goals of a discipline program. It also explains progressive discipline and what a discipline program should contain. Remember that discipline means something more than just punishment. It also supports the idea of training that is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior that will produce moral and mental improvement. Discipline aids in providing a systematic method to obtain obedience.

Employees’ complaints assists you in dealing with employees’ complaints and guides you though the process of setting up a program and a policy to manage these complaints.

Performing an investigation and an inquiry tells you what to do once a grievance has been received and details the steps you need to take in appraising the situation. In order for a disciplinary program to be successful, this step must be mastered by all those administering it. From top down it should be implemented in a consistent manner.

Dealing with difficult employees will help you with the most challenging part of the discipline process – actually confronting the employee. You will need to make decisions about whether to coach or council an employee and how to go about doing it fairly and without bias.

Proper documentation of disciplinary actions is a significant part of the discipline process that must be done accurately to protect your business and substantiate any actions you take against employees. All disciplinary decisions should be made on a business decisions and not personal decisions.

Share your thoughts with Dr. Clark at drmarc@smartbizzonline.com

Discipline doesn’t necessarily mean automatic termination. One has to first gather all the facts, investigate their credibility and then issue a consequence that is fair to the infraction. Hopefully your business has a written set of standards, employee handbook, and established Code of Conduct to provide you assistance in such matters (and to assist in creating consistency and continuity in the way you deal with people).

Recruiting Strategies in Hiring and Retaining Employees | Guest Blog – HospitalityEducators.com

The need to hire an employee can arise from various events such as voluntary or involuntary termination, increased workload, or restructuring of a department or position, resulting in the need for additional skills and/or abilities that current employees do not possess.

Needs Assessment
The first step in the recruitment process should be to evaluate the need to hire a new employee. In the case of an opening resulting from a termination, the company should consider:

  •  Whether the job responsibilities of that opening can be absorbed by other positions.
  •  Whether the position should be eliminated.
  •  Changing the position to a part-time or temporary status.
  •  Restructuring the department to accommodate the changes without adding staff.

Record Keeping
It is critical to maintain accurate records of the requirements for the open position (i.e., a current job description), recruitment methods used, applications received, candidates interviewed, candidate selected and reason for selection.

In the event that a claim is filed against a company for discriminatory hiring practices, the records mentioned above will provide evidence of the valid selection criteria used by the company to make their hiring decision. In order to reduce the risks of discriminatory hiring practices, companies should use a variety of recruitment strategies.

Recruitment Program
A successful recruitment program will ensure a good pool of qualified candidates to choose from. This will increase the chances of selecting an individual with the skills, knowledge and abilities to become a successful employee and a valuable asset to your company. The quality, not quantity, of applicants should be the focus of the recruiting process.

All individuals who will be involved in the selection process must have a clear understanding of the essential functions of the job and the qualifications required to successfully perform the job.

Recruitment Strategies
In developing an effective recruitment strategy, consideration should be given to company and
affirmative action goals and objectives and should be tailored to the companies needs. This can be accomplished by:

  • Identifying and projecting staffing needs by department.
  • Developing a budget to support projected recruitment activity for the year.
  • Developing formal written procedures for the recruiting process to include job requisition forms accompanied by a current job description.
  •  Making sure that everyone who might have contact with a prospective candidate is aware of and trained on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirements and restrictions.
  •  Using various recruitment techniques, rather than a single method.
  •  Identifying the internal and external recruitment methods, which will be most effective in attracting qualified candidates.

Attracting qualified candidates can be challenging and often requires creativity and planning. When selecting a recruitment strategy, the following factors should be considered:

  •  The company location.
  •  Labor market conditions.
  •  Level of the position to be filled.
  •  Pay and benefits.
  •  Company promotion policies.
  •  Time and budget constraints.
  •  Affirmative action goals.
  •  Labor union obligations (if any).
   Dr. Marc Clark, CHA, CHRE, CHE, CHO, President & CEO at SmartBizzOnLine.com

Understanding the legal and ethical obligations in the hiring and retention process of hospitality industry staff requires focused efforts and responsible follow-through by managers at multiple levels.  

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