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News Updates

March 11, 2009, NEW YORK

An ASFONA Board Meeting was held at the "W" Hotel - Union Square - New York on March 11th & 12th 2009. A number of Starwood Hotels & Resorts executives joined the board and guests for the dinner on March 11th and the following mornings Panel Discussion. At the Owners Meeting a number of Agenda Items for discussion at Starwood Advisory Boards later in the month was discussed. These meetings will be attended by Matt Avril - President Global Hotel Group & Denise Coll - President - North America Operations.

Board Meeting
Wednesday March 11th - 2009  - 8.30 AM – 12.30 PM

In Attendance:
John Shingler – Chairman
Ed Kopp – Hung Luk – Paul Wischermann – Jay Mahan – Lou Karger – Abe Moses
Howard Zetley – Gerry Chase – Paul Leier
Bruce Kinseth – Clyde Guinn
Membership Report:
• 2008/2009  -  Membership Update (At March 11th 2009)
Treasurer Report:
• 2008/2009  -  Financial Report – Year to Date (At March 11th 2009)
ASFONA – Associate Members Updates:
• Information on New Associate Members
• Agenda for Associate Member Meeting

The board reviewed an overview of the two day meeting. A number of Starwood senior executives will be joining the group for dinner and also attending the morning panel session. The panel will comprise the following Senior Management Executives from Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Senior Management:
• Hoyt Harper:- SVP  Global Brand Management – Sheraton Brand
• Brian McGuinness:- SVP  Global Brand Management – Specialty Select Brands
   (  Aloft – Element – Four Points by Sheraton  )
• Sandy Swider:- VP Global Brand Management – Four Points by Sheraton
• Dave Marr:- VP Brand Management – North America All Brands
• Mark Vondrasek:- SVP Interactive & Loyalty Marketing
• Mark McBeth:- VP Information Technology – North America
• Greg Wysocki:- Director Global O&E Procurement
• Leslie Anderson:- SVP Revenue Management
(Leslie Andersons Presentation on Revenue & Yield Management will be made only to the “Owners Board of Directors” and she will not therefore be present at the Panel Discussion but will be a guest at the dinner)

Agenda Items for Discussion:
Unintended Consequences of Communications Dilemma re: Business/Conference Travel:
The board addressed the disturbing trend we have witnessed in some quarters of unfairly labeling business travel, marketing meetings and upscale hotel stays as “wasteful spending & unwarranted perks” This notion is obviously having a negative impact on our industry.

The board agreed on the importance of communicating to all our elected leaders and sensation seeking journalists that people traveling and meeting to conduct business is a vital and critically important part of our economy.

The ASFONA President, John Shingler has had discussions on the matter with Starwood’s senior executives and reported to the board that Starwood would be joining the senior management of other hotel chains in addressing this matter at the highest level this week at meetings scheduled in Washington DC. It was agreed that ASFONA would be adding their support to Starwood’s management and the support of the association to the efforts on this matter being planned and carried out by the AH&LA. John Shingler reported on his discussions on this issue with Joe McInerney the President & CEO of the AH&LA.
• Meeting with the President & CEO of American Hotel & Lodging Association.
A meeting has been scheduled for the board with Joe McInerney for the following day when he will be joining the group for lunch and then address the group as the first agenda item of the afternoon
• Memorandum of Understanding – “ASFONA  &  AH&LA”
John Shingler informed the board that discussions with the President of the AH&LA had resulted in the establishment of numerous areas of common ground which the membership of both organizations would benefit from by the groups working more closely together. As a result it has been proposed that ASFONA & AH&LA agree to a “Memorandum of Understanding” The board approved the Memorandum which is shown in “News Updates” on this website:
The following subjects were discussed by the board: 
Sheraton Initiatives: Bedding Program –  Link  – Compliance.
Brand Management: Personnel and cross functionality and responsibilities.
Brand Standards: Costs - Compliance Dates - Costs of New Initiatives – 2009 Flexible Commitments.
Capital Spending Projections in 2009: Programs – Timing  
Cost Containment Initiatives: Proposals following the continued weakness in the Economy.
Revenue Generation: National Sales activity with Key Accounts - RFP Revisions - Strengthening and investments in Incremental Revenue Producing Sales Activity & Programs - ADDITIONAL & EXPANDED Field Marketing. 
Development: Impact of Credit Crunch and the economy on the Starwood Development Pipeline.
Revenue & Yield Management:
Presentation & Discussion:-
Leslie Anderson – SVP Revenue Management

ASFONA members who wish to obtain further details on any aspect of this meeting or any specific information on any Agenda item should contact John Shingler directly, either by phone or email. Contact information for all Board Members is shown in the “Board Members” section of this website.

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