On 16 February some of us were lucky enough to have the great pleasure in spending more or less the entire day with Mike Leven. He is one of the most prominent US hotel icons, but it is his warmth, wisdom, humility and commitment to leadership, customer service, which is quite unique, and the way he works to improve and empower those around him, makes him really stand out.
Mike Leven has been working internationally throughout his entire career. He is a person who is up-to-date in most areas, including philosophy, psychology and politics and experienced a lot of challenges. He has always been motivated by achievements, and has worked to develop other people.
“I have had the distinct pleasure to have him as my mentor for three years, and counting, but now it’s time to take it to the next stage, coaching future mentors for the HSMAI Region Europe Mentor programme. He says that in order to be a mentor you first have to be yourself and know yourself. As a mentor you have to be a simplifier and be able to develop the confidence of a mentee to share their values,” says HSMAI Region Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth.
“Everybody” wants a piece of Mike Leven, who is more than happy to share his fortune with worthy benefactors. HSMAI in America received USD 1.5 million, and named their Leadership Day after him. In addition the Florida International University just recently received USD five million.
Discussing on the Mentor programme was not the only highlight of the day. In addition a vibrant & inspiring discussion on our new initiative the Service Pledge took place. Mike Leven shared his thoughts with us on customer services and added: “Never eliminate the human part. A technology can help you put up a meal, but the human part makes it different. Anyone can greet you, but it is what he does that makes the difference. If you as a business want a good customer service, then you have to have good employees and you have to treat them as well as your customers”.
The Service Pledge will be introduced at the Pre-ITB event which HSMAI Region Europe is co-hosting with TIC. The event will take place in Berlin on 7 March. Please click here for more information on this event and here should you wish to sign up.
On 17 February we had an inspiring tour of the Florida International University (FIU) and met with Mike Hampton, Dean of Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. He introduced to us the campus in the most passionate way the campus and the great projects that take place in a world of interconnectivity between academia and the hospitality corporate business. The FIU has more than 56.000 students and is considered as the 4th biggest campus in US. Diligent and passionate academics such as Aaron Welch, Mark Traynor and others are working on extraordinary projects and food sciences initiatives. This campus is considered to be as one of the best worldwide with outstanding facilities. The research labs, demonstration kitchen, distillery labs are built in cooperation with industry partners such as the Carnival, Badia, Wine Spectator, etc. Additionally a teaching bar as well as a restaurant was built on campus to bring in consumers for product testing and testing the service and its efficiency.
The FIU aims at producing front line managers. They offer the students the possibility to carry out real life business projects by working closely with corporate businesses such as Pure Wine, ASR, and others. More information on this project can be found under this website.
HSMAI Region Europe will be looking into possibilities on how to work together in the future with the Florida International University in many projects and initiatives. Stay tuned!
Next week we will continue part 2 of our Study Tour in New York with many internal meetings within HSMAI, as well as attending the HSMAI Adrian Awards, the Digital Marketing Conference, the CHDM Exam Questions Review, and visit the best of the best companies when it comes to customer service.
Please also see this presentation on The Service Pledge, which is another big HSMAI Region Europe project (click the icon):
President & CEO
HSMAI Region Europe
Top photograph 1: Young Ngyuen, Founder and CEO, d2o, Brigitte Gruber, Founder and Managing Director, Reburg & Partners; Per Griwel, VP Commercial, Thon Hotels; Mike Leven, Volunteer CEO, Georgia Aquarium; Ingunn Hofseth, President and CEO, HSMAI Region Europe; Mike Hampton, Dean, Florida International University; Jarle Moen, Thief Executive Officer, THE THIEF; Roksela Miha, PA and Project Manager, HSMAI Region Europe, in Florida, 16 February 2017.
Bottom photograph 2: Mike Hampton, Dean, Florida International University, Roksela Miha, PA and Project Manager, HSMAI Region Europe, Per Griwel, VP Commercial, Thon Hotels; Ingunn Hofseth, President and CEO, HSMAI Region Europe, Brigitte Gruber, Founder and Managing Director, Reburg & Partners. HSMAI Region Europe, in Florida, 17 February 2017.