SDV Miami: Update on the Academics

15 June, 2017
  • 4 min read
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Welcome to Strategy Development America! Eighteen selected students of Hotelschool The Hague embarked on a new adventure and are now in Miami to work with the management team of the Miami Biltmore Hotel. Today, it's time to update you on the academic part of their project.

Where should we start? We were simply blown away. The moment we glimpsed at the majestic tower of the Biltmore over the lovely city of Coral Gables, we knew we were about to enter something different. And we really did. Our full day visit to Biltmore started with a warm welcome by the Managing Director of the hotel, Mathias Kammerer.

Every member of the Executive Leadership Team came to our meeting room to introduce themselves, and took us on a tour through "their" department. They explained in detail what they do, how they add value to the guest experience and how these activities relate to the golden rule of the hotel business, creating shareholder value. We never expected to such interesting insights, but we especially never imagined how important e.g. an engineering department can be to a hotel.

What made the experience so outstanding, is that the management team treated us like equal partners and each member was willing to engage in interesting conversations about their departments and their view of the hotel. Our team owes special thanks to several people: Lisa Bennett, the Director of Human Resources, who organised the day for us, Marc Stidham, the CIO & Director of Revenue who went over and beyond, to answer all our questions about the system used in the hotel and revenue manager practices. Cristopher Michaels, the Director of Engineering, whose enthusiasm about his department was inspiring for the whole team. He taught us a lot about costs we never imagined occurring in a hotel. Charlotte Prescott, the Director of Spa and Fitness, who revealed how guests are pampered in the Biltmore. Martin Fauer, the Director of Food and Beverages, and his whole restaurant management team for showing us the F&B operations. Jody Krieger, the Director of Catering Services & Conference Services, who showed us what defines a real Biltmore wedding. And last but not least, Bob Coman, who discussed the golf operations with the team, which we can see is a new area for all of us, but we are excited to do our research and explore this important segment of the luxury hospitality segment.

In the coming weeks, we are looking forward to continue our cooperation with these inspiring managers and we are eager to learn more from their knowledge and experience. Next week, we will have extensive discussions with Joyce Gomez the Director of Sales, Phillipe Parodi the VP of Marketing and Sales, Jim Pelletier the CFO and David Hackett the Executive Chef of Biltmore.

Even though we spent eight hours at the hotel, it felt like we were there only for a few minutes. We never imagined that the management team would be so enthusiastic about our project, open to our questions, encouraging and excited about our future. They really want to make sure that we get the most out of this experience as possible.

It is safe to say that we are in for an AMAZING journey! We cannot wait to see what else they can show us and we are ready for the next step.

A special thanks to the Edition hotel, where we received a fascinating tour.

Are you interested in what the SDV students learn and do in Miami? Stay tuned! We have a surprise for you every Friday on the HTH Blog! Follow us on the SDV Facebook and Instagram page, and on the HTH Snapchat (hotelschool)!

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, the Hotelschool has become an international school specialised in hospitality management offering a 4-year Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13 month Master Hospitality Management programme is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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