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VANCOUVER, B.C.—Tourism Vancouver’s recent appointment of a tourism energy specialist is believed to be a worldwide first among destination marketing and management organizations. The role was made possible through sponsorship from BC Hydro with the mandate to guide member hotels, restaurants and attractions in energy efficiency and conservation initiatives. The new tourism energy specialist role will enable Tourism Vancouver to more actively support the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan and goal to be the world’s “greenest” city by 2020. The services of the tourism energy specialist will build on the BC Hydro partnership and further assist Tourism Vancouver’s 1,000-plus member businesses to manage their energy and realize financial savings. A 2011 survey conducted by Capilano University on behalf of Tourism Vancouver found that 81 percent of Tourism Vancouver member businesses were interested in the services of an energy specialist.
BRUNSWICK, MAINE—Green certification specialist Peter Cooke recently joined the Manomet Center after launching several successful and nationally recognized programs—including Maine’s Green Lodging Certification Program—at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Cooke was previously the assistant director in the DEP’s Office of Innovation and Assistance. During his time in Maine state government Cooke designed and launched the nation’s first green certification program for grocery stores and the third green certification program for lodging businesses. The lodging certification system was adopted by nine other states. “I am thrilled to be joining Manomet and I look forward to working in an organization that has such an abundance of creativity,” Cooke said. Cooke said that he takes particular pride in closely monitoring results from his certification programs. “If I can’t track it, I don’t do it,” he said.
ROCKLEIGH, N.J.—Dolce Hotels and Resorts announces the appointment of Michael Moros to general manager of The Alexander Hotel, in Indianapolis. The Alexander Hotel is Dolce’s newest property and will open its doors in late 2012 as the company’s 18th North American hotel. The Alexander is being built to earn LEED certification. Moros is responsible for all operations of The Alexander Hotel. With more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Moros arrived at The Alexander Hotel from Michael’s Southshore Restaurant, an Indianapolis dining spot where he remains owner. Previously, he held top management positions at hotels and restaurants in Indianapolis and beyond, including general manager of White Lodging Services, Merrillville, Indiana; general manager of Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, Erie, Penn.; and several positions over a nine-year run at The Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
NORTH MIAMI—To what degree are our academic institutions teaching sustainability in the classroom? If there is one person who knows the answer to this question, it is Nancy Scanlon. She is a professor at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU), an author of numerous books and articles, and a leader in the application and research of sustainable operating practices and climate change adaptation for the hospitality industry. Nancy is also chair of the environmental hospitality special interest group for ICHRIE (International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education). Green Lodging News recently spoke with Nancy about her role with ICHRIE and her views on the state of sustainability in hospitality education. Nancy has been leading ICHRIE’s special interest group for about 10 years.
CHICAGO—Hyatt Hotels & Resorts announced that Malene Rydahl has expanded her responsibilities and has been appointed in the leadership role in EAME (Europe, Africa, Middle East) for its corporate responsibility program Hyatt Thrive. Her new position as director of corporate communications includes the responsibilities of developing and implementing public relations, corporate communications and media relations initiatives for Hyatt in EAME. She also manages crisis communications and reputation management for the area. Rydahl, trilingual, a native of Denmark, has spent the past 12 years living in Paris where she most recently served as director of communication for Relais & Chateaux. She joined Hyatt in 2006 in the position as director of public relations for EAME. Hyatt’s global corporate responsibility program, Hyatt Thrive, is designed to help make the communities in which Hyatt operates places in which associates are proud to work.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA.—As green lodging program coordinator for the eight-year-old Florida Green Lodging Progam, JoAnn Shearer has a lot on her plate. In size, the program she oversees is approaching 700 designated properties. Assuming rental condos and homes are not counted, that number represents more than 10 percent of all lodging establishments in Florida. With participating properties up for renewal every three years, Shearer is almost constantly evaluating properties for designation. Like other state programs around the country, Florida’s has had to weather some tough economic times. Almost three years ago the program was reduced from four workers to one. Today, Shearer is the main contact but is assisted by Brad Stombock, director, Office of Sustainable Initiatives, Florida DEP. Three retired engineers provide audits and technical assistance. “We also have great support from our district offices around the state,” Shearer says.
OVERLAND PARK, KAN.—Joe Andrick, general manager of the Overland Park Residence Inn by Marriott, has been named Residence Inn General Manager of the Year for 2011 by Marriott International, Inc. The hotel is managed by True North Hotel Group. Andrick won the award among his peer group of 611 Residence Inn general managers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Costa Rica. “My intuition told me that Joe Andrick was one to watch when I first interviewed him in the early 1990s, and my instinct keeps proving itself over and over,” said Lew Wiens, president of True North Hotel Group. “His approach is that you do the right thing, and then you do it again. That philosophy prevailed, and successfully so, during one of the most challenging economic years in our lifetime.”
CHICAGO—If you visit the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago and ask for Laura Kane, business travel sales/sustainability manager, you may want to check the basement or, if the weather is warm enough, the roof of the 27-story, 752-room hotel. In the basement are 5,000 worms consuming food scraps as part of a vermicomposting project. Kane oversees this project she would like to see expanded from three to five pounds composted every few days to 15 to 20 pounds a day. Up on the roof is a garden that Kane manages. Grown are vegetables such as peppers and squash and herbs such as basil and dill. The items are used by the executive sous chef or offered in the employee cafeteria. Vermicomposting and gardening are just two duties on the plate of Kane who spends, she estimates, about 70 percent of her time on business travel sales and 30 percent on green projects.
VANCOUVER, WASH.—International sustainable travel expert Richard G. Edwards, founder of the travel marketing firm ecoism, has joined the Advisory Board of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market. An expert in sustainability and adventure travel with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, ecotourism, and community development in Latin America, Edwards recently launched a new travel and sustainable tourism marketing company, ecoism, which is committed to a more socially and environmentally responsible approach to travel. “In the years I have worked with ATTA, I am most proud of our role in driving the market and encouraging the whole industry to embrace triple bottom line product development,” says Edwards.
PHILADELPHIA—As initiator and overseer of Hersha Hospitality’s EarthView program, Bennett Thomas makes sure that his company’s environmental and conservation programs positively impact the company’s bottom line while simultaneously improving the environment, well-being of its guests, employees, and communities. For the Hersha Group, with more than 80 hotels and almost 11,000 rooms across many brands and its own independent hotels known as the Independent Collection, EarthView is part of a larger strategy to deliver a positive internal rate of return on the company’s investments—a strategy not only good for Hersha but for its stakeholders as well. Hersha piloted EarthView from 2009 to 2010. “We launched it in late 2010, early 2011 in corporate offices and at the property level,” Thomas says. EarthView is focused on reducing energy and water consumption as well as waste. An important component of EarthView is also community—helping to enrich the communities in which its hotels are located.
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