Show cover of Defining Hospitality

Defining Hospitality

Welcome to Defining Hospitality, the podcast focused on highlighting the most influential figures in the hospitality industry. In each episode we provide 1 on 1, in depth interviews with experts in the industry to learn what hospitality means to them. We feature expert advice on working in the industry, behind the scenes looks at some of your favorite brands, and in depth explorations of unique hospitality projects. Defining Hospitality is hosted by Founder and CEO of Agency 967, Dan Ryan. With over 30 years of experience in hospitality, Dan brings his expertise and passion to each episode as he delves into the latest trends and challenges facing the industry. Episodes are released every week on Wednesday mornings. To listen to episodes, visit or subscribe to Defining Hospitality wherever you get your podcasts.


Telling A Brand’s Story - Kristen Freeland - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 158
Joining the show this week is an award-winning brand innovator who is responsible for the design and experiences across most of IHGs family of brands. Please welcome to the show A Director of Design Strategies at IHG, Kristen Freeland!Kristen joins Host Dan Ryan to dive into the nuances of telling stories. Kristen shares the importance of mentorship programs, the best ways to get customer feedback, and the need to cater to different audiences. Takeaways: Hospitality is all about telling a story. Regardless if you are creating a new story, or breathing life into an old one, the intent is to tell a story and deliver it successfully to your guests. To effectively cater to your audience, first understand their needs by gathering insights, and then develop and test solutions. Ensure your projects are guided by clear, focused briefs that align with your success metrics to avoid losing direction.To better understand customer preferences, engage directly with your target audience to gather valuable insights. Real-life dialogue and firsthand observation are crucial in confirming whether your strategy and design efforts meet customer needs.Seek opportunities where you can work closely with industry leaders and immerse yourself in real-world business environments that aren't taught in college. The hands-on experience gained from these situations will boost your professional courage.Nurturing and maintaining relationships is crucial in hospitality, as they form the foundation of your professional network. Make it a priority to stay connected, meet new people, and keep learning about new things to thrive in the hospitality industry. In the strategy world, continual innovation prevents work from feeling monotonous and keeps things exciting. Embrace the idea that nothing is off the table, as new challenges constantly emerge once solutions are found.Quote of the Show:“When your target guests and target audience are telling you, ‘Hey, there's other ways that you could appeal to me.’ It's important that we listen to that and that we evolve with them.” - Kristen FreelandLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:21:47 - Hilton: 29:19 - Larry Traxler: 33:43 - Scott Galloway: 37:57 - Crowne Plaza: 43:47 - Dr. Chloe Carmichael: 46:38 - Karen Gilbride: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
58:59 6/12/24
Crossing The Threshold Of Hospitality - Eran Chen - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 157
In this engaging episode, Dan sits down with Eran Chen, renowned architect and the founder of ODA. Chen discusses his journey from starting his own firm in 2007 to becoming an influential figure in urban design, teaching at Columbia and NYU. The conversation dives into the significance of hospitality in architecture and the importance of saying 'yes' to various opportunities. Eranalso explores his innovative concepts like the 'Flying Dormer' and shares insights into his books.. They discuss the importance of understanding zoning laws, balancing creativity with regulations, and envisioning a more sustainable, connected future for urban living.Takeaways: Hospitality has evolved from offering a uniform "home away from home" experience to providing authentic, culturally rich interactions that reflect local customs and traditions. Embracing this cultural authenticity in designs creates unique experiences for visitors.Embrace the journey of unknowns in your professional pursuits, as it can lead to amazing and impactful work. Stay true to your core beliefs and principles despite challenges and assignments, as they refine and strengthen your practice.When running a firm and taking on new clients, it's crucial to ensure mutual respect and collaboration, seeing clients as partners in the creative process. Decline projects where clients do not value this process of discovery, even if they offer the biggest commissions.The key to defining yourself in a noisy world is to genuinely understand what drives you, and then find effective ways to convey that authenticity. Embrace the gaps in your creative journey, as these transitional spaces are where true innovation occurs.Intergenerational collaboration fosters personal growth and enriches project outcomes. By acting as both leader and collaborator, one can guide and provide valuable feedback, mirroring the relationship between a good professor and their students.Don't be discouraged by regulations. Instead, understanding the rules allows you to creatively break them. Mastering the tools at hand is essential for architects, regardless of location.Quote of the Show:“As we go along we don't know where we're going and we love that.” - Eran ChenLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Book Link: Book Link: Shout Outs:6:00 - Perkins Eastman: 29:14 - NYU: 29:16 - Columbia: - Harvard Graduate School of Architecture: 44:47 - 15 Renwick: 56:11 - Bard College: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
61:32 6/5/24
Building A Legacy Of Hospitality - John Hardy - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 156
Joining the show this week is an industry titan who is shaping the next generation of hospitality professionals. Our guest is none other than Founder of the Radical Innovation hospitality awards, Founder and Chairman of the Hardy Group, John Hardy!John joins Host Dan Ryan to discuss the importance of innovation and creativity. John reflects on his journey, the challenges, and triumphs of innovative hospitality development, and the future trends shaping the industry. Discover his insights on creating unique, experiential hotels and the importance of continual innovation.Takeaways: Hospitality is about how you treat guests whether they are in your house or hotel. It is about making them feel comfortable, providing for their needs, and surprising them with extras. Innovation in the hotel industry often comes from outsiders rather than industry insiders, encouraging radical thinking. Creativity thrives when intuition guides decision-making, paving the way for unconventional ideas to flourish.Innovation often arises from challenging industry norms and embracing creativity. Embrace unconventional thinking and foster a culture of innovation to drive progress and success in your endeavors.The shift towards experiential accommodations like AutoCamp and Airbnb reflects a growing trend among younger consumers who are less brand loyal. To stay competitive, big brands are adapting to offer unique experiences tailored to this trend.Embrace risk, dedication, and innovative ideas to drive success. The people who will drive the industry forward are those who are willing to put in the time and effort and aren’t afraid to risk failure. In challenging times with fluctuating interest rates, it's an opportunity to elevate deal-making skills and seize smarter opportunities for future success. Success lies in mastering both the risk and reward game throughout fluctuating cycles.Quote of the Show:“I never let somebody second guess what I thought was the right thing to do.” - John HardyLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Website: Shout Outs:15:46 - I. M. Pei15:49 - Philip Johnson15:51 - William B Tabler16:03 - Morris Lapidus16:18 - Hilton: 17:52 - Hyatt Atlanta: 18:02 - Trammell Crow 20:24 - Marriott: 25:12 - Barry Sternlicht: 26:42 - Bill Kimpton31:26 - Westin Hotels: - HD Magazine: 32:30 - Mike Mazigian32:31 - Simon Turner32:34 - Jim Woods32:46 - Wing Chow40:34 - UNLV: 40:39 - NYU: 48:48 - Autocamp: - Airbnb: 54:51 - Steve Higgins54:54 - W Hotels: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
66:20 5/29/24
Crafting Stories in Luxury - Michael Doneff - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 155
Hospitality is about intuition and reading the customer. Are you doing too much, or are you not doing enough for them? The guest on this episode has left an impact on leading luxury lifestyle brands in hospitality, food and beverage, design, and wellness over the course of his 30-year career. Please welcome the Vice President of Food and Beverage Concept and Brand Development at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Michael Doneff.Michaell joins Dan Ryan as they discuss the significance of a unique dining experience. Michael shares the power of storytelling in brand development, the importance of company culture, and offers advice for aspiring professionals in the hospitality industry.Takeaways: Customers want to come into an environment where they feel understood, appreciated, and heard. Your job is to create an experience that exceeds their expectations.For early-stage brands, everything boils down to storytelling, and you get to see that story come to life from the name to the logo.If a brand is constructed correctly and thoughtfully, then it's usually meant to last. But it's only as good as its execution.A brand should check off all the boxes, even in the small areas of hospitality. Making sure that their employees are genuine, truly love what they do, and love taking care of their guests.An employee should have intuitive skills to know what the customer needs and if they could be doing more for them, but they should also know what the customer doesn't need and if they’re doing too much.As a brand, you should strive to have your mission statement and values be true throughout every level of your company, and every team member should be living out these things.Don't be afraid to ask questions, push boundaries, and try things, but also don't be afraid to fail at them and find a new way of trying to do things.Quote of the Show:  “We’re in a world where you can tell when things are scripted.” - Michael DoneffLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:2:09 - Villa De Leon11:26 - Jean-Pierre Coffe16:28 - Danny Meyer: 19:24 - SBE: 19:34 - Canyon Ranch: 19:29 - Viceroy Hotel Group: 20:28 - Michael Douglas20:39 - Susan Magrino Agency: 21:57 - Jeffrey Bilhuber: 22:09 - Richard Pandiscio25:08 - Island Outpost: 26:59 - W Hotels: 27:09 - Barry Sternlicht: 27:10 - Rande Gerber27:21 - Ian Schrager37:55 -José Andrés Group: 38:42 - World Central Kitchen: 44:05 - Arnie Malham: 44:08 - Worth Doing Wrong: 50:11 - Marriott: 50:12 - Accor: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
63:49 5/22/24
Reimagining Spaces - Jun Aizaki - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 154
For a vision to come to fruition, there must be a level of persistence to make it happen. Here to share his insight is a designer skilled in interior and custom furniture. Please welcome the Owner and Founder of CRÈME, Jun Aizaki.Host Dan Ryan and guest Jun Aizaki discuss CRÈME’s award winning Gourd project. Jun dives into how he finds inspiration for new projects, shares his early career and what led him to be a successful designer, and reveals advice to future innovators on the mentality needed to be successful.Takeaways: Hospitality revolves around the service you provide for guests, and the problems you solve for them. By providing meaningful solutions, you make someone’s life richer, more interesting, and more practical.Persistence is key when it comes to stating your vision. Having the mentality of not taking no for an answer goes a long way, by forcing yourself to try different directions, you may stumble upon new solutions. When it comes to working towards what you want, you may have to put in extra time and effort. While it may not be time that your getting paid for, if you continue to put in the extra hours, the results will pay offWhen creating a new project, inspiration should come from the uniqueness of the environment around you. Each design should tell a story and be special in order to capture the eyes of others.Creativity can strike at any moment, and having a way to capture it is crucial. Keeping a sketchbook or digital tablet on you at all times allows you to put pen to paper whenever an idea pops into mind. The gourd project was born out of a need to replace single use plastic drinking cups in the hospitality industry. By growing a gourd in a cup shaped mold, you are left with a disposable option that biodegrades safely. Good design comes from the minds of many, rather than a solo visionary. Encouraging communication and empowering your team creates products that draw on the strength of diverse backgrounds.Quote of the Show:“If you can dream something up, there's always a way to get there.” - Jun AizakiLinks:Instagram: LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:1:28 - Kimpton Theta: 7:06 - The Rockwell Group: 13:04 - David Allen: - Kimpton Eventi: 24:58 - Laurent Tourondel: 25:52 - DLJ Capital: 25:53 - Andy Rifkin31:45 - Bermanfalk: 35:37 - Sheraton Kagoshima: 40:20 - Morris Lapidus53:19 - Kosciuszko Bridge53:52 - Pulaski Bridge01:03:59 - Margaret McMahon: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
69:07 5/15/24
Investing In The Guest Experience - Keith Brenan- Defining Hospitality - Episode # 153
As an advisor, helping guide your clients to the project of their dreams can be challenging yet rewarding. Here to shed light on the advisory process is a Principal and Managing Director at Weitzman, Keith Brenan! Keith joins Host Dan Ryan to discuss the nuances of investing in hospitality properties, and some of the many considerations that clients may have. Keith also shares the difference between institutional and mom and pop investors, the best way to mix hospitality and office space, and how to pick the perfect amenities. Takeaways: While hospitality touches on many different aspects, at its core, it is about welcoming and understanding. Hospitality is about the ability to welcome into a space and exceed their expectations in terms of what they expect from human interaction. Hospitality as an investment class presents some unique challenges. As your tenants are essentially checking in and out on a daily basis, quality amenities alone don’t cut it. To truly make hospitality excel as an investment, the human element must be there.Advisors see two typical types of investors, institutional and mom and pop investors. Institutional investors are typically assessing if they want to get involved with hospitality, while mom and pop investors already have a vision and need help implementing it. Having the right amenities makes a great project. By tying the value of the amenity to the development of the building creates a cohesive experience for guests. Unique amenities serve as a focal point for guests when choosing a place to stay. Many investors are not only considering the current role of a hospitality asset, but how the building may need to transform over the years. As topics like adaptive reuse become more popular, more investors are looking for flexible assets. When mixing hospitality and office space in a single building, hospitality needs to be on the top half, however, elevated lobbies present unique challenges. Consider how guests enter the building, and simplify the path they take to get to the lobby. As an advisor, your main role is to show people all the details and help them make an informed decision. While telling someone no on a project can be disappointing, it’s better than letting someone go down a path towards eventual failure. Quote of the Show:“It's a way of welcoming and it's a way of understanding. It's providing human interaction often in a physical space.” - Keith BrenanLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:1:32 - Aggie Zamir: 1:33 - ALIS: 29:38 - Marriott: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
63:49 5/8/24
Showing Up With Intent - Hemanshu Parwani - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 152
Our guest this week has over 30 years of hospitality experience in international operations, capital markets, and strategic development. Please welcome to the show, CEO and Owner of Olson Kundig, Hemanshu Parwani!Hemanshu joins Host Dan Ryan to dive into the importance of showing up with intent. Hemanshu shares why designers should chase meaningful work rather than all out growth, the need to take care of those who take care of others, and how mountaineering inspires his work. Takeaways: Hospitality for many, comes close to being a religion. Built out of a devotion to caring for others, hospitality is about how you make someone feel in a space, and how you build memories with them. When in a space, people are either thinking about what memories this space reminds them of, or how the space will build new memories for them. Building spaces around the formation of memories will leave guests with unforgettable experiences. A guaranteed way to make your guests remember your experiences is by making them feel as if they were one of your group. Allowing your guests to feel like they can be their authentic selves creates satisfaction.The ethos of being an innkeeper is taking care of people. Care extends not just to your guests, but the people who are taking care of your guests. A team that is well cared for will provide even better service to guests. Everything you do should be with intent. Knowing why you are doing something is the foundation to any action. Good design comes from an intimate understanding of why you are designing. While growth is good, it should not be the end all to your pursuits. Chase aspirational, meaningful work in design, and growth will follow. Instead of simply seeking to grow, seek a challenge that forces you to work creatively.Mutual learning is an important aspect of design, and helps you be more intentional about what you do. Keeping an open mind and showing genuine interest in other’s work allows you to learn quickly. Quote of the Show:“Growth is not something that we are chasing. We are chasing aspirational, meaningful work in design.” - Hemanshu ParwaniLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:1:22 - ALIS: 18:20 - Bill Marriott: 20:49 - Harvard Business School: 21:56 - Ian Schrager: 21:58 - Adrian Zecha39:59 - Bashar Wali: 48:55 - Barry Sternlicht49:29 - W Hotels: 50:02 - 1 Hotels: 51:18 - HD Expo: 52:24 - Populus: 53:06 - Sonu Shivdasani: 54:34 - Bermanfalk: 59:07 - Ed Viesturs: 1:02:05 - Aggie Zamir: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
63:13 5/1/24
Detox, Destress, And Discover - Leon Emmett - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 151
This week’s guest helps people detox, destress, and discover while surrounded by nature. Through meditation, breathwork, yoga, workshops, and more, he creates an environment of rejuvenation. Joining the show this week is Founder of Onze Retreats, Leon Emmett!Leon dials in from the Jungle to join Host Dan Ryan on a journey of hospitality and self reflection. Leon shares the importance of motivating others through action, the need to trust the process, and why everyone should spend time outside of their comfort zone. Takeaways: The deepest feeling of hospitality can be felt when you are in someone’s family home. When someone opens their home to you, they are opening their heart to you and showing warmth and unconditional love. Healing retreats allow people an opportunity for more than just a relaxing day of yoga and meditation. Creating a welcoming space allows for guests to self reflect and realize their own potential for growth. Despite motivational words, many people need to make the decision to change of their own volition. Rather than merely provide motivation, living your values and inspiring others through your own actions can help them take the next step. Hospitality attracts people from all walks of life, and having services to reflect that is important. Having a written list or experience portfolio allows guests to customize their ideal retreat. As life ebbs and flows, it’s important to trust the process. As there are highs and lows, observe what is happening and choose to be in the middle. Making the best of your situation helps keep you grounded. It’s only when you’re out of your comfort zone when you start to experience what’s possible. Through guidance, you can try new experiences and open yourself up to vulnerability, paving the way for improvement. Quote of the Show:“Where do we spend most of our time and how much of our time do we spend on the periphery of our comfort zone?” - Leon EmmettLinks:Instagram: Instagram: Shout Outs:16:05 - Dan Brulé: 18:56 - Wim Hof: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
50:01 4/25/24
Defining Modern Luxury - Roy Kim - Defining Hospitality - Episode #150
If you’ve ever gazed across the New York City skyline, you’ve likely admired the work of this week’s guest. His work has defined modern luxury apartments. Please welcome to the show, Chief Design Officer at Extell, Roy Kim!Roy sits down with Dan to explore his journey in the world of hospitality, and how Extell is leading the world of development. Roy also shares why service outweighs design, the importance of considering the view in the design process, and how to build a team of experts. Takeaways: Hospitality has two components, spatial and service. In many cases, the service aspect outweighs design. The way you treat and take care of guests will stay with them longer than the design choices. When choosing amenities for a project, you need to consider two different types. First are common amenities missing from the area, and second are unique amenities that will help draw people to the building. When laying out a building, consider the sequences of spaces that a guest will experience. The flow that a guest takes will combine with the fit and finish to create an overall feeling of a quality space. When designing the layout of a building it’s important to consider the view from each room. Often overlooked in the design process, the view plays a large part in how a resident feels about their apartment. While having consistent room layouts makes operations easier, you may end up with small gaps. Assessing the layouts more individually allows you to maximize your square footageA design team does not need to be large to be successful. To maximize the potency of your team, ensure that each employee is an expert. Additionally, all your decision makers need to actually be making decisions. Quote of the Show:“Without the service there really is no hospitality.” - Roy KimLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:02:07 - One Manhattan Square: 03:45 - Ananda: 04:32 - Macklemore: 08:44 - Michael Lindenbaum: 09:52 - The Alden at 225 Central Park West09:57 - Roman and Williams: 10:44 - Gary Barnett11:46 - Meyer Davis: 11:50 - Gray Davis11:51 - Will Meyer: 14:40 - Park Hyatt NYC: 14:44 - Hyatt Times Square: 15:09 - One57: 15:38 - La Palestra: 31:20 - Rockwell: 34:07 - The Orion: 48:07 - University of British Columbia: - Patricia & John Patkau Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
61:32 4/17/24
Falling Forward - Karen Gilbride - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 149
Joining the podcast this week is the force behind some of IHG’s most dynamic brands. She’s a hospitality veteran who works to create seamless end-to-end guest experiences. Meet Karen Gilbride, Vice President of Avid Hotels, Atwell Suites, and Garner Hotels at IHG. Karen joins Host Dan Ryan to explore IHG’s newest brand Garner, and the design philosophy behind it. Additionally, Karen shares the power that mentorship programs can have, the nuances of designing for staff and employees, and how to build a brand. Takeaways: Hospitality is the feeling you get when you visit someone's house and feel welcomed and cared for. Everyday the hospitality industry works to make you feel like you’re visiting a close friend when you stop by a hotel.While new construction suits a lot of owners, there is a need to provide owners with a conversion pathway as well. By taking existing properties, owners can update old buildings and save on costWhen designing a hotel room, starting with foam core helps you get an initial feel for the size and shape of the room. Once you have that established, consider where the furniture goes, and how the guests will flow through the room. When building a brand you have two customers to think about. First is the guest who may check in on a given night, the second is the owner. If you can’t get an owner to invest in the brand, there won’t be a hotel for a guest to check in to. When picking furniture for a hotel, it’s important to not only consider the guest, but the hotel staff who have to interact with it as well. If a side table looks nice, but is too heavy to move, it quickly becomes an obstacle to clean around. Any guest experience is about attention to details and understanding what your standards are. If you’re only going to do 5 main things, understand what they are, and execute them to perfection.Having a strong foundation of people is crucial for any business, but doubly so in hospitality. Through mentoring programs, new and rising talent can be recognized, and given the resources they need to flourish. Quote of the Show:“I realized that it really is about high attention to detail and standards, being clear about what the standards are, training people against it, and then executing.” - Karen GilbrideLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Website: Shout Outs:6:37 - Intercontinental Park Lane London: 7:20 - Scott Norwood7:28 - New York Giants: 9:58 - Candlewood Suites: 16:48 - Kimpton Hotels: - Cornell: 36:22 - Crowne Plaza: 37:22 - Fordham University: 57:00 - Holiday Inn: 1:01:00 - Statler Hotel: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
65:38 4/10/24
Guiding The Adventure - Ben Weinberg and Michael Weiss - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 148
Joining the show this week are Co-Founders with a focus on bringing experiential and sustainable accommodations to the outdoors. Please welcome to the show, Co-Founders of Castle Peak Holdings, and Co-Founders of Trailborn, Michael Weiss and Ben Weinberg!Mike, Ben, and Dan sit down to discuss the story behind Trailborn, and the importance of authenticity. Mike and Ben share the need to stay vertically integrated, the ways to cut through the fog, and how to make your hotels feel like a part of the natural landscape. Takeaways: The hospitality business is the memory making business. Every experience should be focused on authentically creating memories that guests will take with them for the rest of their lives. Hospitality is about making people feel effortlessly taken care of. Through an understanding of who the guest is, you can prepare for their needs, ensuring a feeling of magic when the guest arrives. When your backdrop is the Rockies or Arches National Parks, your hotels should feel like a part of the landscape. Working with local design firms to imbue the aesthetic of the area into the hotel creates a unique experience for your guests tied to that location. Designing thoughtfully and beautifully revolves around meeting the needs and wants of a guest. While this may not be the strictly most profitable strategy, having rounded amenities creates guests that want to come back. Fog in business is unavoidable. Rather than getting lost, you need to provide clarity. Assess the problem, have the right tools and processes in place, and work towards a concrete solution, even if it takes time. When managing a hotel, instilling trust is the most important thing you can do. Your guests need to trust that you will deliver on what you promised and your team needs to trust that you will maintain your vision. Vertical integration in this market is essential to operation. By owning all operations, it allows you to align the guest experience with what you promise, and it holds you accountable by removing any potential blame of 3rd parties. Quote of the Show:“When we think about design, it's not just the physical design of the space, it's the design of the entire experience.” - Mike“Self awareness and humility is critical to winning in hospitality.” - BenLinks:LinkedIn: LinkedIn:  Company website:  Instagram:  Shout Outs:7:34 - Goldman Sachs: 9:06 - Estes Park: 9:09 - Rocky Mountain National Park: 12:48 - Theodore Roosevelt13:48 - Ken Burns: 20:07 - Colorado Cherry Company: 20:13 - Spotify: 33:23 - Warren Buffett44:13 - Deutsche Bank: 44:37 - ALIS: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
53:37 4/3/24
Breaking New Ground - Steve Galbreath - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 147
This week’s guest specializes in working with local governments to help bring projects to completion. With over 30 years of experience, he knows how to help cities and counties develop crucial assets. Welcome to the show, Chief Development Officer and Head of Design and Construction at Garfield Public/ Private, Steve Galbreath!Steve joins Host Dan Ryan to discuss the ways a hotel can impact a local community. Steve shares why a hotel serves more than just its guests, the methods to use a hotel to benefit small businesses, and the nuances of working with city governments. Takeaways: At its core, hospitality is about making spaces for people. However, it doesn’t revolve around just the customer. Hospitality needs to focus on the whole community, the city, and the workers. Before putting in a new hotel, it’s important to have a thorough plan based on market research. If there are other hotels in the area, it’s crucial to understand how your project will intertwine with what is currently in place.  For many counties, a well thought out hotel can be a major tourist attraction. To pull off a project successfully requires an intimate understanding of the town’s needs, and a connection to key players in the hospitality industry. When working with local governments on a project, contract lengths are often longer than a given official holds office. Maintaining a good relationship as positions change hands is crucial to the success of a project. The job of a hotel is not just to house guests, but to prop up other businesses as well. As travelers come in, they will visit bars and restaurants downtown. Planning location accordingly helps weave the hotel into the fabric of the city. A great way to get a hotel's profitability up and running is to start booking businesses at a local convention center as soon as you start breaking ground. By starting early, you ensure the hotel doesn’t sit underutilized for the first few months. An exciting aspect of the hospitality industry is to see staff grow and evolve within the industries. Most brands want to grow their talent and it’s common for a bartender or room manager to become a GM 10 years down the line. Quote of the Show:“We're not in the business of convincing people to do these projects. We're in the business of helping them do it when they've got the resolve to do it.” - Steve GalbreathLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:4:48 - Abilene DoubleTree: 4:54 - Weston Irving: 4:57 - Hyatt Regency Conroe: 5:00 - Hyatt Regency Baytown: 8:10 - RTKL: 8:12 - Sheraton San Juan: 8:19 - Jerry Faley8:30 - The Diplomat Fort Lauderdale: 9:45 - Carl Long: 10:52 - Overton Lubbock: 10:55 - Texas Tech University: 17:27 - ExxonMobil: 17:28 - Chevron: 21:02 - Abilene Convention Center Hotel Corporation28:10 - Perini Ranch: 34:00 - Jefferson City, MO: 34:41 - Robert Hanna: 53:53 - Toyota Music Factory: 1:01:34 - Conrad Hilton1:03:23 - Buddy Holly Hall: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
66:34 3/27/24
Understanding What Your Client Needs - Jeff Diener - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 146
Joining the show this week is a partner who enjoys helping people disrupt the hospitality space, and who has represented billions of dollars in acquisitions. Please welcome to the show, Partner and Co-Leader of the Hospitality Industry Team at Baker Hostetler, Jeff Diener!Jeff sits down with Dan Ryan to discuss the role of a partner in the hospitality industry. Jeff shares tips for partners who are looking to emulate his skills in the industry, the importance of spending time with your clients to learn about them, and what the future holds for property investments. Takeaways: At its core, hospitality is about providing someone with customized service. It involves creating the right combination of satisfaction, comfort, security and enthusiasm for each individual client. Understanding the value of relationships and collaboration in the hospitality industry can lead to more successful outcomes. Embracing a service-oriented mindset is crucial for anyone looking to thrive in the world of hospitality.When negotiating deals for smaller clients, you are typically negotiating on their behalf, whereas with large clients you are negotiating with them. Understanding what a brand cares about and how to get them on board are integral skills. One of the most important things you can do with your client is spend time with them in both formal and informal settings. As you spend time together, you better understand what matters to your clients, and can speed up further aspects of the project. Looking towards the future of deals that are yet to come, many owners are buying properties and wanting to make adjustments. When working with owners, understand the story they are trying to convey, to help them make the necessary changes. Investing in real estate requires a shift in mindset post-COVID, where traditional assets like offices and multifamily properties may not always guarantee returns. Diversifying across asset classes can be key to maximizing returns in the current market.Embrace market turbulence as an opportunity for growth and value creation when looking at properties. Stay informed, stay prepared, and capitalize on deals to thrive in a dynamic environment.Quote of the Show:“It's getting more and more involved in their business, and that's where the joy is.” - Jeff DienerLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:3:38 - Cornell: 10:59 - W Union Square: 11:03 - Marriott: 13:11 - ULI European Hospitality Council: 20:21 - Hilton: 26:46 - Ohana Real Estate Investors: 26:55 - Peter Fischer: 30:42 - Chuck Feeney30:47 - Warren Buffett30:50 - Bill Gates30:53 - Duty Free Shopping: 30:58 - Atlantic Philanthropies: 31:58 - Bob Goldman: 33:03 - Homewood Ski Resort: 35:02 - Apple: 35:23 - Tiffany’s: 40:03 - ALIS: 46:32 - The Peninsula Hotels: 55:32 - Adam Smith1:02:48 - BakerHostetler: 1:03:08 - Christie Pink: 1:03:10 - Ritz Carlton: 1:04:08 - Horst Schulze: 1:07:08 - Keith BrennanWays to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
68:37 3/20/24
Finding Success In Constraints - Dan Welborn- Defining Hospitality - Episode # 145
Our guest this week is a global design and development leader who excels at hospitality. With over 25 years of experience, he helps developers and owners turn their vision into reality. Joining us is Principal at DW Design Strategy, Dan Welborn!Dan and Host Dan Ryan chat about his journey into the hospitality industry. Dan dives into what it takes to be a good leader, the importance of aligning decisions with business goals, strategies for getting unstuck, and why as a solo practitioner you’re selling yourself everyday.Takeaways: Hospitality is about blending all aspects of design into one. You are combining residential, guest rooms, office space, and convention spaces. In hospitality you get to create a building with one unified experience. While planning is critical for any project's success, it doesn’t happen as often as it should. Before implementing a PIP, take time to review and assess if everything is necessary. Having a tight plan to send to designers results in a better finished product. Knowing your goals from both a personal and business perspective will help you make better decisions. When deciding to pursue a project, attend a conference, or shift directions, aligning those decisions with your goals creates better outcomes. As a sole proprietor, you are selling not only your business, but yourself as well. What matters most to clients is how you make them feel, and every interaction you have with your clients is a reflection of the work you do and who you are. Effective leadership in project management requires setting the tone early and ensuring continuous course corrections. It is crucial to actively engage with clients throughout the project and prioritize being present until the very end for a successful outcome.When faced with a project deadlock, bringing in a fresh perspective and facilitating group discussions can help in finding innovative solutions. Utilizing visual tools like mind mapping can aid in visual problem-solving and spark creativity among team members.The key to successful collaboration is openness and a willingness to explore solutions together, regardless of their size or experience. Embracing constraints and challenges in projects leads to innovative design solutions that wouldn't be possible in ideal scenarios.Quote of the Show:“I love a difficult, highly constrained project and problem to solve.” - Dan WelbornLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:5:32 - Georgia Tech: 7:24 - Gensler: 12:35 - Royal Caribbean: - Gettys:  17:58 - Roger Hill: 22:35 - Art Wilde: 26:42 - Warren Buffett48:22 - New York Times: 52:50 - Thomas Jefferson University: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
65:01 3/13/24
How Story Meets Function - Brad Zuger - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 144
Our guest this week is a designer who treats each project as a chance to innovate. He’s worked across the globe on hotel, restaurant, and office projects. Please welcome to the show, Principal and Studio Leader at Rockwell Group, Brad Zuger!Host Dan Ryan joins Brad at the Rockwell office in New York to discuss some of the recent projects the firm has been involved in. Brad shares the importance of having passion, the best ways to design with curiosity, and why Rockwell has a strong focus on incorporating wellness into the projects they design. Takeaways: Hospitality is about making meaningful connections and indulging in people's curiosity for life. Craft narratives, prompt curiosity, and create spaces that make people want to connect and return.Consider how personal narratives can inspire unique experiences and meaningful connections within a space. Understanding the client's vision and creating innovative entry points can lead to transformative dining experiences.Design decisions should be made with depth of curiosity, allowing for interpretations that spark conversation and connection with spaces. Embrace layers of discovery in design to create rich and engaging experiences that invite people to return.The key to creativity lies in embracing risks and individuality, while finding purpose in meaningful work. Embrace risks, celebrate individuality, and find purpose in your work to make a meaningful impact.An often overlooked design element is dynamic change. Through a change in layout and lighting, a space can serve multiple purposes and engage with customers in multiple instances throughout the day. Wellness encompasses more than just physical well-being; it also involves mental revitalization and meaningful connections with others, which are crucial for overall wellness and cognitive health as we ageTo improve engagement and attract people to office spaces, consider redefining shared spaces based on common interests. Emphasize creating a sense of community through innovative design elements and versatile spaces that facilitate connections.Quote of the Show:“How could we think about this whole restaurant experience in a new way?” - Brad ZugerLinks:Instagram: LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:4:21 - USC: 4:28 - Howards End5:43 - W Union Square: 5:45 - Seahorse5:53 - Coqodaq: 7:54 - Simon Kim: 8:16 - COTE: 21:44 - John McDonald: 21:48 - Mercer Street Hospitality: 21:50 - Lure Fishbar: 35:24 - Philip Johnson36:42 - The Olayan Group: 39:56 - Assouline: 44:38 - Naftali Group: 44:46 - JEM: 48:53 - Miki Naftali: 55:24 - Greg Keffer: 1:01:13 - David RockwellWays to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
67:39 3/6/24
Understanding To The Nth Degree - Bill Bensley - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 143
Joining the show this week is someone who rejects normality in his pursuit to disrupt the hospitality industry, and who uses hospitality as a tool for preservation. Please welcome to the show, Author of the book “More Escapism”, and Director of Bensley Studios, Bill Bensley!Bill sits down with Host Dan Ryan for an enlightening conversation on the intersection between hospitality and conservation. Bill shares the importance of understanding the natural site you’re building on, the benefit to training a local talent pool, and how his paintings build houses. Bill also shares some of the work the Shinta Mani Foundation has done including building over 150 houses and 1800 water wells, and funding local conservation projects. Takeaways: Hospitality involves sharing the deep knowledge of a place through architecture and design. A good project should always reflect the culture and the environment in which it is based. While much of hospitality is focused on sharing new experiences, it also needs to be focused on protecting the local environments. Through the revenue generated at a hotel, conservation programs should be put in place. Understanding the idiosyncrasies of natural sites is key to successful projects. Embracing and respecting Mother Nature's beauty is crucial in landscape and architectural design.Budget is a key component of any project, and when clients come in with big dreams, balancing those two desires can be tricky. To alleviate this, strong communication allows you to educate clients on what can realistically be achievedThe best way to learn about a site is to physically  spend time there before you start designing. By sketching on site, you get new perspectives and up close details that may not be accounted for on a first pass render. If you are building a hotel in an area with a limited talent pool, training local citizens is a strong strategy. This approach both develops a local workforce for the hotel, and offers local communities the chance to learn new skills and find employment. Quote of the Show:“Even though I'm a pretty darn good architect, no matter what I put on that site, it's never gonna be as good as what Mother Nature has already given us.” - Bill BensleyLinks:Instagram: LinkedIn: Website: Website: Book Link: Shout Outs:04:20 - Shinta Mani Wild: 07:50 - Cal Poly Pomona: 08:05 - Intercontinental Danang: 08:06 - JW Marriott Phu Quoc: 08:08 - Rosewood Luang Prabang: 15:57 - Capella Ubud: 18:31 - Coleman: 23:29 - Shinta Mani Mustang: 23:58 - Conde Nast: 25:27 - Hôtel de la Paix26:40 - Park Hyatt Siem Reap: 28:58 - MOCA Bangkok: 31:58 - Shinta Mani Foundation: 37:32 - Baker Furniture: 38:04 - Restoration Hardware: 38:18 - Jim Thompson: 38:39 - High Point Market: 44:36 - Jim Thompson House: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
56:14 2/28/24
Security, Surprise, Significance, and Synergy - Kimberly Jackson - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 142
Joining the show this week is a talented multi-disciplinary designer with over 25 years managing a variety of projects. As a designer, she’s led teams through the full life of a project. Our guest this week is none other than the Managing Director at AvroKO’s Miami Studio, Kimberly Jackson!In a candid conversation with Host Dan Ryan, Kimberly shares her insights about her journey in the field of design and hospitality. She sheds light on her practice of incorporating "hospitable thinking" into all of the spaces she designs, highlighting the aspects of security, surprise, significance, and synergy, and emphasizes the role of diversity in the industry.Takeaways: Hospitality extends beyond mere spaces like hotels and restaurants, and is fundamentally a mindset. It revolves around how we interact with everyone around us, including friends, family, colleagues, bosses, and employees. The concept of hospitable thinking revolves around four key elements: security, surprise, significance, and synergy. It is important to create spaces that make guests feel comfortable, delighted, and important.Pushing boundaries and surprising both guests and the ownership team is a key aspect of innovative projects. Incorporating unexpected elements and layering them into the design process will drive innovation and shape future designs.Collaboration between the interior design team and the brand bureau is crucial in creating a cohesive narrative and strategy for each design. By combining their expertise, they can develop a unified vision that incorporates both spatial and branding elements.When crafting a spatial-heavy brand, it is important to set up a cohesive brand identity across all spaces. If a brand focuses on individuality, it is advisable to create unique and hospitable spaces that complement the brand without overshadowing it.The Hospitality Diversity Action Council (HDAC) was formed to create a more diverse hospitality industry at all levels. By embracing diversity, the industry can craft more hospitable spaces where everyone feels comfortable.Ensuring security in a space involves more than just the physical layout, such as not placing people in high-traffic areas. It also means creating an environment where all the elements work together seamlessly, providing comfort for everyone involved.Quote of the Show:“What is it about this project that is going to push the boundary a little bit? That's going to surprise the guest?” - Kimberly JacksonLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Instagram: Shout Outs:15:50 - Brand Bureau: 21:32 - Danny Meyer: 27:56 - Hospitality Diversity Action Council: 28:35 - Stacy Shoemaker Rauen: 29:34 - HD Expo: 29:35 - BDNY: 37:06 - Saxon and Parole38:02 - Madame Geneva38:05 - Ghost Donkey: 39:20 - MIT: 42:18 - William Harris: 42:19 - Kristina O'Neal: 42:19 - Adam Farmerie: 42:20 - Greg Bradshaw46:57 - Mike McCall54:05 - Tory Schenkkan: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
55:22 2/21/24
Hospitality Daily - Chip Conley - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 141
On this episode of Defining Hospitality we’re shining a spotlight on the work of a previous guest and fellow hospitality podcaster. Josiah Mackenzie is the publisher of Hotel Operations, and the host and writer of the Hospitality Daily podcast and blog. We’re excited to share a recent episode from his podcast where he interviewed Chip Conley, Founder and CEO at Modern Elder Academy.Takeaway: In an environment like AirBNB where there is a lack of real time feedback, exit surveys for guests are important. By collecting this feedback, Chip was able to help hosts improve their offerings to guests. Links:Hospitality Daily Podcast: Original Episode: Twitter: LinkedIn: Website: Book Link: Shout Outs:04:21 - Brian Chesky: 09:05 - PEAK: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
11:11 2/14/24
A Duty To Be Hospitable - Michelle Jaime - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 140
Our guest this week is a designer for whom discovery is at the heart of what she does. Her design skills have been featured on HGTV as the co-host of Aloha Homes, and her firm has won multiple awards, including two gold key awards. Joining the show is President and Creative Director of The Vanguard Theory, Michelle Jaime!Michelle joins host Dan Ryan to discuss Hawaii's unique culture in terms of hospitality. Michelle also shares her experiences as an entrepreneur, and dives into the need for authentic representation of Hawaiian culture in design.Takeaways: Hospitality in Hawaii is ingrained in the culture, where locals often adopt and warmly embrace visitors, sharing their traditions, food, and experiences. Genuine care and immersing guests are authentic aspects of life, both on a personal and industry level.Hawaiian firms often design Hawaiian projects, but rarely design mainland projects, hindering their recognition and opportunities outside of Hawaii. This disparity may be attributed to misconceptions about distance and cultural specificity.To gain recognition and attract profitable opportunities, it is important for small businesses to showcase their achievements. Building successful partnerships and establishing a strong reputation can lead to further growth beyond the local market.When working with clients, it's important to build strong relationships and understand their goals, budgets, and timelines. By designing around constraints and considering logistics, you create high-quality projects that meet expectations regardless of location.It is crucial for non-local design firms working on projects in Hawaii to be sensitive to the local culture and avoid appropriation. Engaging with local fabricators, artists, and designers is essential to ensure an authentic representation of the community.Being cautious about scaling and expanding too quickly is crucial, especially in areas where external factors can significantly impact businesses and lead to layoffs. Prioritizing sustainable growth can help prevent potential negative consequences.Many people face the challenge of lacking business guidance and mentorship, relying on failure to learn and overcome obstacles. Despite the absence of a mentor, the experience of navigating failures can drive personal growth and resilience.Quote of the Show:“If we don't engage the community, that's not really authentic.” - Michelle JaimeLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:1:05 - The Laylow: 4:26 - Philpotts Interiors: 4:28 - Jonathan Staub: 4:30 - Marion Philpotts-Miller: 5:21 - Kelsey Grammer5:44 - Fraiser6:35 - Hirsch-Bedner: 7:37 - HGTV: 7:40 - David Jaime: 9:13 - Shaleah Soliven: 12:07 - Rockywold Deephaven: 18:12 - Gensler: 19:37 - Independent Lodging Congress: 19:38 - BDNY: 19:40 - Hospitality Design: 19:48 - Gold Key Awards: 20:29 - The Surfjack Hotel: 21:14 - Green Oak21:19 - Ben Rafter: 21:26 - Erik Warner: 21:27 - Stephen Chen22:52 - Billy Madison22:56 - Adam Sandler28:08 - White Sands Hawaii: 28:11 - Hotel Renew: 35:02 - Westin Maui: 35:32 - JMI Realty: 38:06 - Small Giants: 39:57 - Coach Mackey42:02 - Susan Cain: 42:04 - Quiet: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
54:17 1/31/24
Taking Care Of Business - Ben Nicholas - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 139
Our guest this week is a designer who believes that the best results come from challenging the norm. With over 20 years in the industry, he knows what makes and breaks a project. Joining the show is Chief Brand and Design Officer at Design Environments, Ben Nicholas!Ben sits down with Host Dan Ryan for a conversation on the importance of building human connections in all elements of the industry. Ben shares how his route as a paperboy inspired his love for hospitality, his philosophy of creating designs that foster genuine and effortless hospitality experiences, and the importance of challenging the norm.Takeaways: Hospitality is about creating connections and ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging and being part of something. It extends beyond physical spaces like hotels and can be experienced in restaurants, bars, and everyday life.Being open to unexpected opportunities and taking leaps of faith can lead to amazing experiences and personal growth. Embracing naivety and excitement allows us to create unique and memorable journeys in life.Maintaining meaningful connections and cherishing the time spent together are valuable lessons. Prioritizing relationships and seizing opportunities can lead to personal and professional growth.Working on projects globally brings challenges that require adaptability and quick learning, such as understanding different markets' expectations and keeping teams motivated to deliver great design.The future is full of exciting opportunities and possibilities, especially when it comes to establishing and growing a service design team. Embracing the potential and putting in the necessary work can lead to exciting outcomes and personal fulfillment.The most cherished memories from working on projects are not about the physical outcomes, but rather the people and experiences that were shared. These memories serve as a reminder of the joy and bonds formed during the collaborative process.In design and project planning, having a well-defined process and being open to exploration are crucial. Renovation presents greater challenges than new builds, requiring creativity to enhance the space within constraints.Quote of the Show: “I like the term tour guide. I don't like the word boss.” - Ben NicholasLinks:Instagram: LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:04:10 - Iowa State: 04:41 - The Gettys Group Companies: 05:32 - Agatha Christie05:35 - Thomas Mann11:54 - Ali Bacon: 31:07 - Katy Daly: 31:29 - Elvis38:48 - Mongoose: 38:51 - Huffy: 38:57 - Stranger Things: 39:41 - Magnum PI39:48 - Golden Girls41:29 - Bea Arthur45:36 - Oreos: 48:24 - Madonna48:25 - Dick Tracy48:53 - Warren Beatty49:14 - Regent Beverly Wilshire: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
50:04 1/17/24
Adaptive Reuse And Sustainability - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 138
Welcome to 2024! As we embark on a new year, our resolution is to shift our attention to the remarkable sustainability initiatives happening within the hospitality industry. In the current climate, sustainability has become increasingly crucial, benefiting not only the planet but also businesses themselves.To kick-start this focus, we’re bringing you a compilation of past episodes centered around sustainability and adaptive reuse. In this compilation, we feature conversations with past guests who are true experts in the field of sustainability and at transforming old buildings into vibrant, renewed spaces. Join us as we explore innovative solutions and inspiring stories in our quest for a more sustainable future.In this episode you’ll hear from Founder and CEO of MindClick: JoAnna Abrams, Partner at Dutch East Design: Dieter Cartwright, President at Becker + Becker Associates: Bruce Becker, and Chief Development Officer at NuovoRE: Heather Ciszczon.Takeaways:The importance of measuring and recognizing the impact of sustainability is increasing in the marketplace. Financial institutions are leading the way by committing to carbon neutrality in lending and embracing measurement practices for a sustainable future.Making the decision to disconnect from fossil fuels and prioritize sustainable qualifications, such as Passive House and Net Zero, are crucial steps towards achieving a high level of performance and sustainability in building projects.Despite brands making pledges to reduce fossil fuel emissions, emissions in full-service hotels have been increasing. This disconnect between intentions and actions calls for more integrated efforts in the hospitality industry to achieve sustainable practices.Historic tax credits play a vital role in preserving and adapting old buildings for revitalization, but navigating the requirements and preferences of review programs can be challenging.Links:Connect with JoAnnaLinkedIn: Website: Connect with DieterLinkedIn: Website: Connect with BruceLinkedIn: Website: Connect with HeatherLinkedIn: Website: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
32:08 1/10/24
The Future Of Augmented Hospitality - Damien Perrot - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 137
Joining the show this week is someone who believes that hotels are more than just a place to sleep and eat. Please welcome to the show, Global Chief Design, Technical Services & Innovation Officer for Premium, Midscale & Economy brands at Accor, Damien Perrot!In this vibrant conversation between Dan Ryan and Damien, the duo delve into the world of hospitality, hotel industry and its transformations. Damien shares his insights on everything from creating unique hotel experiences to the future of the industry. Takeaways: Hospitality is about connecting with people and leaving a lasting impression. It's the art of welcoming strangers who could become friends, even if you will only know them for a short time.The importance of creating memorable experiences in the hospitality industry cannot be understated. It's not just about food and beverage, but also about the ambiance and overall experience that sets a property apart and creates a destination.Creating a meaningful guest experience in a hotel involves immersing oneself in the local culture and surroundings, ensuring both guests and locals can truly live the experience they desire. This approach also proves to be profitable for hotel owners.Innovation in the hospitality industry extends beyond the confines of a hotel, encompassing the entire travel experience. By addressing pain points and enhancing guest satisfaction, hotels can create a positive and memorable stay for travelers.Hotels face the challenge of managing travelers' luggage, which often requires dedicated staff and even the use of meeting rooms. By allowing travelers to conveniently check their luggage at the hotel, the process is more efficient and hassle-free.Design in hotels goes beyond aesthetics, playing a vital role in guest experience. From achieving sustainability goals to driving profitability, investing in efficient and innovative solutions now is crucial for future success in a rapidly changing world.In the ever-changing world, being a part of shaping the future and challenging norms is exciting. Hospitality industry, like hotels, can play a vital role in evolving cities and ensuring a high quality of life amidst increasing urban density.Quote of the Show:“Hospitality is about welcoming people who are not yet your friends, but could become your friends.” - Damien PerrotLinks:Instagram: LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:01:43 - The New Museum: - Radical Innovation: 01:58 - Marriott: 01:59 - Hilton: 02:00 - IHG: 05:08 - Mama Shelter: 06:37 - Philippe Starck: 10:16 - Faena Miami: 10:38 - Fairmont Royal York: 14:40 - Alexis Henri C M Clerel Tocqueville17:56 - Ibis: 37:28 - Wyndham: 37:42 - Novotel: 40:26 - Chamonix: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
57:32 12/20/23
Collect The Dots To Connect The Dots - Jessica Gidari - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 136
Our guest this week has a passion for creating restaurants that redefine the dining experience. With the innate ability to take a concept and turn it into reality, she drives innovation in the industry. Welcome to the show, Senior Director of Design & Concept Development at Union Square Events, Jessica Gidari!Dan Ryan hosts Jessica to delve into her approach to creating unique restaurant experiences and her understanding of true hospitality. Jessica shares the importance of collecting the dots, discusses her experiences with Union Square Hospitality, and explores the power of hospitality in all aspects of life and business.Takeaways: Hospitality is the act of doing something for someone rather than just doing it to them. While it may be customary to offer complimentary drinks, a customer may not want them, thus putting the customer in an awkward situation. Active listening and making connections are key elements in collecting valuable information. Utilizing these skills allows for effective networking and the facilitation of beneficial collaborations.Making meaningful connections with others can unlock the magic of building strong relationships, fostering teamwork, and enhancing personal growth. These connections create moments of excitement and shared understanding that can have a lasting impact.A cohesive combination of design, atmosphere, and narrative in a space can create a powerful and memorable experience. Ensuring all elements align and speak the same language enhances the overall impact and leaves a lasting impression on visitors.Prompt problem-solving is crucial in the hospitality industry, ensuring a seamless experience for guests even in challenging situations. By swiftly addressing issues and offering suitable alternatives, restaurants can uphold customer satisfaction.Hospitality should start by warmly welcoming guests and understanding their purpose for visiting. By paying attention to their cues and preferences, you can offer appropriate suggestions to enhance their experience.Hospitality is crucial in corporate environments, as it creates a sense of belonging and pride for employees while enhancing their overall experience. Incorporating innovative food and beverage concepts helps foster a positive and engaging work environment.Quote of the Show: “Hospitality is when you do something for someone rather than to someone.” - Jessica GidariLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Website: Shout Outs:00:43 - Danny Meyer: 07:32 - Shake Shack: 07:33 - Union Square Cafe: 07:36 - Blue Smoke: 07:42 - Gramercy Tavern: 16:58 - JP Morgan Chase: 17:24 - Foster and Partners: 38:23 - Hospitality Quotient: 44:06 - Arizona State University: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
48:02 12/13/23
Transforming Spaces Through Adaptive Reuse - Heather Ciszczon - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 135
Our guest this week is a talented designer with over 20 years of experience. She’s a leader who helps transform spaces into experiences that are truly part of their local communities. Joining the show is Chief Development Officer at NuovoRE, Heather Ciszczon!Heather joins host, Dan Ryan, for a comprehensive discussion on her journey from design to development. Heather discusses the intricacies of her work, including exceptional renovation projects like the 21C Museum Hotel in St. Louis. Additionally, Heather touches on the challenges of historic tax credit works and the responsibility of the hospitality industry in making outsized impact on the lives of people through innovation and engagement.Takeaways: Hospitality is about meeting someone where they are at and where they’re most comfortable. While luxury experiences are nice, your customers may want something more relaxed. As a designer, when working on any project, you need to fully understand what the owner wants. Understanding those goals allows you to more effectively meet them, and deliver a satisfactory end product. When you are the owner of a project, you need to help give your team agency to work effectively. Helping them understand the why behind your motivations will allow them to carry out your vision to its fullest. While any project requires a good team, renovations have particular nuances that members need to handle. Having team members who are familiar with historic buildings and tax credit work are crucial understandings in addition to their design skills. When renovating old buildings, there is a fine line between preservation and adaptation. Adjustments to a building to make it function more efficiently as a hotel may face pushback from preservation societies; designers need to be sensitive to these needs. When trying to ingrain a property in the local community, partnerships are key. By partnering with local groups and providers, you help meet everyone's needs, have stronger procurement processes, and invest in the local community. The foundation of a good team is trust. Rather than waiting for something to go wrong, establish trust early on. With a strong connection between your team, issues that arise will be much easier to handle. Quote of the Show:“That's not my skill set is to make something of a blank piece of paper. But if you give me a bunch of puzzle pieces, I will find a way to solve them.” - Heather CiszczonLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:03:38 - McDonalds04:19 - Two Roads Hospitality04:59 - The El Capitan Hotel: 05:49 - 21C Museum Hotel St Louis: - The Hermosa Inn: 09:08 - Lon Megargee11:08 - Liam Neeson12:52 - YMCA: 28:34 - New Waterloo: 42:23 - Lor Tush: 46:13 - ASU: 48:40 - Fidelity Hotel Cleveland 50:17 - Hotel Marcel: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
54:08 12/6/23
Hospitality For The Planet - Bruce Becker - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 134
Today's guest leads the charge of finding new ways to build and design sustainably. He’s responsible for the first zero emissions and passive house certified hotel in the United States. Our guest this week is none other than President at Becker + Becker Associates, Bruce Becker!Bruce joins Dan Ryan from the Hotel Marcel in New Haven, Connecticut, for a conversation on how he is trailblazing the world of sustainable hotels. Bruce shares his motivations for the hotel, how other brands need to better incentivize sustainable building practices, and how he took on his first hotel project. Takeaways: Hospitality is about caring for both people and their environments. You can’t be generous with hospitality while polluting the planet. Hospitality means preserving the future while innovating in the present. Beyond the good for the planet, sustainable initiatives can save a hotel on budget. A lower energy bill can save you as much money as having an extra 20 rooms. For the Hotel Marcell, their initiatives add up to about $300,000 a year to their bottom line. Despite the operating benefits of more environmentally friendly options, many brands still have issues implementing them, as no one directly owns these initiatives. To solve this, brands need to appoint individuals to choose more sustainable options. When hotel designers are over budget, their first intention is to start cutting back on costs from different sections. Environmental tax credits and grants are a potent way to adopt new technology while making budgets more efficient.When designing a hotel, it’s important to consider how each of the different functions interplay with each other. When you have over 100 rooms, you also need meeting rooms, lounge space, and open space. When looking to add solar to a hotel, building roof space can be a limiting factor. Covering parking spaces with solar panels offers a unique way to take advantage of existing space. A 4 story hotel has enough parking space to be 100% net zero.While there are incentives for individual designers to adopt sustainable practices, there needs to be more pressure from brands. Much like a hotel can’t open until passing a safety inspection, brands should require a certain level of sustainability before opening. Quote of the Show:“You have to have a holistic approach to taking care of people and their things and their environment and their planet.” - Bruce BeckerLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Hotel Marcel: Shout Outs:01:15 - Larry Traxler: 01:16 - Hilton: 13:14 - Hyatt: 13:17 - Marriott: 13:19 - Accor: 13:23 - IHG: 19:21 - Megan Gill: 19:28 - BLDG: 21:27 - Nuveen: 30:30 - Dutch East Design: 30:50 - Consigli Construction: 32:54 - Marcel Breuer33:01 - Bauhaus33:05 - Harvard: 33:27 - Paul Goldberger: 33:31 - AIA: 34:02 - Richard Lee: 37:34 - Cornell Hotel School: 38:16 - Yale: 45:15 - IKEA: 47:39 - Elon Musk47:41 - Tesla: 01:01:05 - Mitsubishi: 01:16:56 - Charlestowne Hotels: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
81:17 11/29/23
BDNY 2023 - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 133
In this special episode of Defining Hospitality, we’re live from BDNY 2023! Dan chats with some expo attendees, organizers, and Gold Key winners to see what excites them most about BDNY. We’ll discuss why guests have come from as far as Hawaii, what is exciting them about the future, and how to incorporate hospitality into expos.Links:Shaleah SolivenLinkedIn: Website: Website: Michelle JaimeLinkedIn: Website: Julie FrankLinkedIn: Website: Drew StuartLinkedIn: Website: Paul BienkowskiLinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:02:49 - Gensler: 02:53 - Shore Hotel: 06:10 - Rockefeller Center: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
11:11 11/22/23
Owning Your Results - Hector Sanchez - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 132
Joining the show this week is an experienced executive who has a history of driving brands to success. Please welcome to the show, Head of Development for Ashford Inc and CEO at Premier, a subsidiary of Ashford, Hector Sanchez!Hector sits down with Host Dan Ryan to share the lessons he has learned from his time in the hospitality industry. Hector dives into the importance of owning mistakes when they happen, the challenges of aligning on budget, and how to build teams that play to their members’ strengths. Takeaways: Hospitality is the act of serving people and creating unique experiences that they can share with others. It plays a crucial role in creating memorable moments and fostering connections between individuals.Taking responsibility and providing a solution is crucial in resolving issues effectively, as it demonstrates accountability and ownership, unlike finger-pointing and avoiding responsibility.Ownership groups in the hotel industry typically do not bring various functions, such as project management, in-house. While some may handle design and project management internally, they often rely on external firms for expertise and assistance.As a newcomer to the hospitality industry, it’s important to take note of the small details around you. Observing how other projects came to fruition and noting their nuances will help you ramp up your design knowledge.While having a holistic understanding of your industry is beneficial, it doesn’t mean you need to be an expert in every discipline. Play to your strengths and build a team whose members fill in each other’s gaps. The disconnect between budget and creativity in the hospitality industry can be a large challenge. Being mindful of budget constraints while fostering creativity is crucial for successful project execution.Quote of the Show:“To me, it's just about how you react to those issues? Do you just hide from them? Do you ignore the calls or do you rise up?” - Hector SanchezLinks:Instagram: LinkedIn: Website: Website: Shout Outs:01:16 - Chris Green: 01:23 - Chesapeake Hospitality01:25 - Remington Hotels: 09:31 - Bermanfalk: 11:38 - PEMEX: 12:18 - National Oilwell Varco: 12:30 - Schlumberger: 12:31 - Halliburton: 19:13 - Carla Niemann: 19:19 - Johannes Michalsky: - Mike Funk: 27:36 - Patrick Burke: 27:51 - Rex Tullius33:20 - Mr C’s Beverly Hills33:22 - Hilton: 33:27 - La Concha: 33:30 - Autograph Collection: 33:32 - Le Pavillon Hotel: 34:35 - Courtyard: 34:37 - Ritz-Carlton: 35:41 - Barbara Carlson39:15 - Renaissance Nashville47:49 - University of Houston: 47:52 - Texas Rangers: 47:56 - Houston Astros: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
52:22 11/15/23
Understanding All The Parts And Pieces - Mitch Parker - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 131
Filling a hotel with furniture is about more than just picking the right chair, it’s about working with your client to get the right product set up the right way for them. Our guest this week is a well rounded hospitality professional and expert in all things FF&E. Joining the show is COO - FF&E Division & Partner at The Parker Company, Mitch Parker!Mitch sits down with Host Dan Ryan to dive into all things procurement. Mitch outlines the importance of planning for proper time, the intricacies that go into furnishing a hotel, and the need for designers to design for the requirements of the hotel.Takeaways: Hospitality is all about service. In a hotel, it’s providing a place for others to feel comfortable. In procurement, it’s about providing efficient service that helps your client complete their project on time and under budget. With every item, there is often an unseen level of customization behind the scenes. Multiple locations may use the same chair, but the color, texture, and finish can vary. Managing these changes is a behind the scenes responsibility of procurement. Design never happens in a vacuum, but is shaped by the bounds of what you are designing for. When designing furniture for hotels, an aesthetically pleasing design isn’t enough, it needs to also meet the functional requirements of the hotel. While it’s important to meet client needs, you also need to open a hotel on time. To help stay on schedule, highlight the importance of making decisions to clients, and try to reduce the number of 3rd party decision makers. As a leader of a business you need to balance employee agency with your own oversight. It’s important to give your employees agency to make their own decisions, but you want to be involved enough that when problems arise, you are able to help out. When furnishing a hotel, you need to understand how all the parts and pieces play into the overall guest experience. A single element can turn a positive experience negative for a guest, preventing them from returning to your hotel.  As a purchaser, time is your best friend. It’s common for clients to change their mind or ask for revisions half way through the process. By building in a buffer, you can meet client requests without delaying the project.  Quote of the Show:“You can have a beautiful design, but if it can't be executed, you have a problem.” - Mitch ParkerLinks:Website: Website: Shout Outs:01:02 - Leonard Parker04:23 - The Maxwell Company06:39 - The High Point Furniture Market: 09:13 - Marriott Courtyard: 09:43 - Four Seasons: 09:44 - Rosewood:  09:46 - The Ritz-Carlton: 33:45 - Carole Monestime: 34:11 - Linda Hein: 34:13 - Marilyn Webb: 47:38 - Gregg Parker: 48:33 - Philip Parker: 48:39 - Doug Parker48:43 - Brad Parker48:55 - Camp Waziyatah: 01:01:58 - American of Martinsville: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
79:24 11/8/23
Radical Innovation - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 130
In this special episode of Defining Hospitality, we’re featuring interviews from the 2023 Radical Innovation Awards. Dan speaks with Radical Innovation Founder John Hardy, and other event participants including Jury members, MC, and sponsors. Through each interview, you’ll hear about the excitement of the event, tips for anyone considering being a future juror, and which aspects of the designs stood out the most.Featured Guests:John HardyLinkedIn: Website: Website: Mark FriesenLinkedIn: Website: ChandnaniLinkedIn: Website: Eran ChenTwitter: LinkedIn: Website: Damien PerrotLinkedIn: Website: John EdelmanLinkedIn: Website: Vito LottaLinkedIn: Website: Shout Outs:The Gourd Project: Bruce Becker: Ways to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
21:39 11/1/23
Creating Events That Bring People Together - Keisha Byrd - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 129
On this episode, we’re joined by a show director who puts together some of the hospitality industry’s most popular events. Please welcome to the show, Brand Leader & Associate Show Director - Boutique Design at Emerald, Keisha Byrd! Keisha joins Host Dan Ryan to share what makes a successful event. Keisha highlights the importance of finding the right people, the satisfaction that comes from pulling off a successful event, and the ways students can get the most out of events. Takeaways: Hospitality is about creating welcoming experiences, bringing people together, and making everyone feel like they belong. It is important to prioritize these aspects in order to foster a sense of unity and promote meaningful connections.When it comes to putting together an amazing event, the right people make it a success. Your attendees are likely to forget the food and beverages that were served, but they will remember the conversations had and connections made. Putting on an event is a lot of work, but the feedback and positive messages make it all worth it. Hearing feedback from attendees not only makes you feel appreciated, but also helps shape future events. When vendors ask for a better space or more square footage, those are both signs of an event well done. Additional signs of success include the feedback from attendees who have found your event to be a useful resource. As events grow and evolve, there is an increased focus on highlighting specific designs. Future events will still feature a traditional expo hall, but will start to incorporate open houses that highlight both specific designs and their designers.  Setting goals, being patient, and staying true to yourself are key factors in achieving personal growth and success. It is crucial to persevere and remain dedicated to your journey, as progress takes time and self-belief.Listening and being patient with others, while embracing creativity and continuous learning, are valuable skills for events. These help to improve event experiences and foster constructive growth.Quote of the Show:“Knowing that what we're doing is actually connecting everyone to do business, that's what we're here for.” - Keisha ByrdLinks:LinkedIn: Website: Website: Shout Outs:03:43 - BD Match: - CitySCENE: 08:16 - University of Cincinnati: 10:23 - Taylor Swift11:32 - Michelle Finn: 13:22 - Association for Women in Science: 25:37 - HD Expo: 28:52 - Lynn University: 30:39 - Platinum Circle: 30:40 - Gold Key Awards: 31:02 - Shelia Lohmiller: 31:05 - Martin Brudnizki: 31:06 - Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos: 31:07 - Libby Sims Patrick: 31:22 - Moxy NYC Lower East Side: 31:28 - The Lightstone Group: 31:34 - Ziegfeld Ballroom: 31:54 - Lark Hotels: 32:22 - NEWH: 36:26 - Independent Lodging Congress: 37:28 - Pratt Institute: 37:29 - Fashion Institute of Technology: 38:04 - Cornell: 38:05 - NYU: 38:15 - Helen Jorgensen: 40:33 - Joe BurrowWays to Tune In: Spotify: Podcasts: Podcasts: Music: ​​
46:34 10/25/23