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2014 - 03 March

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Best Western Trainers Model Commitment to Certification

Best Western Trainers Model Commitment to Certification Best Western International's team of seven trainers travels all over North America to deliver training to its member properties. Much of what they do includes presenting the Educational Institute's  professional certifications , ranging from the  Certified Guest Service Professional  (CGSP®) to the  Certified Hotel Administrator  (CHA®) and several manager and department head designations. It only made sense that these trainers practiced what they preach-and they have.  Every Best Western trainer is EI-certified as a CHA®, a  Certified Hospitality Trainer  (CHT®), and an Accredited Certification Instructor (ACI). 

 

Members of the training team include: Tim Burns, Tricia Fischenich, Sue Garwood, Colby Hutchinson, Michael Lunday, Braxton Perkins, and Travis Smith.

 

"Because we teach so many of EI's certifications, we wanted all of our trainers to go through the EI process," explained Michael E. Nalley, MAOM, CHA, CHE, CHT,  Best Western's Senior Manager, Education & Training.  "Initially, all of our trainers became certified as CHAs.  When the CHT was introduced, I went through it.  Then we made it a condition of hiring for our trainers to either have the CHT or to earn it as soon as possible."

 

The ACI is far less well known, and was developed by EI several years ago to help those who present and proctor EI certifications be more confident and effective. EI sent a trainer to Best Western to prepare its training team to be ACIs.

 

"Going through the training to become an Accredited Certification Instructor helped everyone better understand the certification process, what the learning goals are from EI's perspective, how to facilitate a review session, and how to proctor the exam," said Nalley.

 

He noted that one key point from the ACI training was how important it is to make sure that certification candidates prepare for their exam based on EI's resource materials, and not just their own experience.  "The correct answer for the certification exam may or may not be the same way you do things at your hotel," Nalley said.  "It's important for those conducting reviews to share that perspective."

 

Nalley doesn't know of any other hotel brand whose training department has earned all of these EI certifications and he is justifiably proud of his team. "As a brand, it shows how much we support everyone's learning and professional development," he said.

 

Chris Jack, EI's vice president, professional certification, agrees.  "We've always known that continued training and education is important for the future our industry and having one of the world's largest hotel chains validate that by engaging in certification for all of their trainers is really exciting and speaks volumes about Best Western's commitment to excellence."

 

 

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

Choose Chicago Certifies Visitor Staff as Guest Service Professionals

Choose Chicago Certifies Visitor Staff as Guest Service Professionals When Chicago's mayor set new tourism goals for the Windy City last fall, Choose Chicago, the city's convention and visitor bureau, decided the time was right to enhance the profile of the staff of its two visitor information centers.  Part of the makeover involved new uniforms and new titles, while another key piece centered on training and certifying staff members as Certified Guest Service Professionals (CGSP®) using the Educational Institute's Guest Service Gold® training program. 

Working with consultant Stephanie Leese Emrich, CGSP, Chief Service Officer/Founder of Service Speaks Ltd., Choose Chicago's 18 visitor services representatives, now renamed City Concierges, received guest service training that included the seven elements highlighted in Guest Service Gold®: authenticity, intuition, empathy, delight, delivery, initiative, and being a champion. 

Emrich noted that the Choose Chicago employees were already champions in their knowledge of the city and its attractions.  The next step was to "elevate their service posture," by sharing the message of "gold" service. 

"In the assessment phase, it became clear that this was the right fit," said Emrich. "By internalizing the seven elements, they could catapult what they already knew and give it wings." 

Emrich, who first learned about Guest Service Gold® from the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, is herself a Certified Guest Service Professional. She incorporates the Guest Service Gold® program into many of her training programs for clients.  

"It's a ready-made product that is so easy to use, because you can move it in any direction where it makes sense for the user," she explained.  "Just like one of the elements it teaches, the program is authentic-and it opens people's eyes to heightened awareness of their role in delivering an awesome service experience." 

Melody Laviste, Director, Visitor Services, for Choose Chicago, said that all 18 City Concierges passed the CGSP® exam and proudly wear their pins. 

"It means that they are official.  It tells our visitors that we are serious about what we do, and that we are experts in service," she stated.  "Our goal is to help our visitors have the highest guest experience when they visit Chicago, and that starts when they come to one of our two visitor information centers and interact with our City Concierges."  She added that Choose Chicago President and CEO Don Welsh was "elated" with the way they are raising the bar on service for the half million people who walk through the doors of the visitor information centers annually.

Laviste explained that the visitor information center teams focus on a different Guest Service Gold® element each day in their morning huddles-talking about what it means and sharing examples of how they have used or experienced that element in their interactions with visitors. 

"Earning the Certified Guest Service Professional designation is a good step in the right direction for Choose Chicago," said Laviste. "It's been a great morale booster for our city concierges-we can all hold our heads high."

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

EI Extends Time to Complete Certification Requirements

Effective immediately, the Educational Institute has implemented a policy change to its Certified Hotel Administration (CHA®), department head certifications, Certified Hospitality Sales Professional (CHSP®), Certified Hospitality Revenue Manager (CHRM®), and Certified Lodging Security Supervisor (CLSS®) programs. Candidates will now have one year from their date of enrollment in which to successfully complete the exam requirement. The previous time allotment was six months.

Additionally, candidates will now have the option of extending their enrollment expiration date up to one year upon paying a $100 administration fee. This fee will also entitle the candidate to updated study materials in the event that that program content has been revised after their date of enrollment. For more information, call the professional certification department at 1.888.575.8726 or +1.407.999.8100 or e-mail certification@ahla.com.

Welcome, New Global Partners

The Educational Institute welcomes several new global partners, including schools and hotel associations, which have recently signed agreements to offer EI courses, training, and professional certifications in their areas.

  • HEC Marbella, Spain
  • Elite Advices, Poland
  • Malaysian Association of Hotels Training and Education Center
  • Business and Hospitality Management Academy, Turkey
  • GuiZhou Commercial College, China
  • Hotel Association of the Riviera Maya, Mexico
  • Forum of Brazilian Hotel Operators

Hong Kong General Managers Earn Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®)

Hong Kong General Managers Earn Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) City University of Hong Kong, one of the Educational Institute's Global Academic Partner (GAP) schools, with the support of the Hong Kong Hotels Association, recently offered preparation for the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) designation to a group of hotel general managers, several of whom passed the CHA® examination and earned the designation, which is the most prestigious professional credential for hotel general managers and executives.

The successful candidates were: 

- Mr. Andres Teofilo Castillejos, General Manager, Harbour Plaza Metropolis
- Mr. Chiu Man Yee, Peter, General Manager, Regal Riverside Hotel
- Mr. Fung Wai Kin, Ken, Hotel Manager, The HarbourView Place
- Mr. Lee Fai Shing, Dickson, General Manager, Harbour Plaza Resort
- Ms. Sam Su Lai, Shirley, General Manager, Island Pacific Hotel

The general managers received their CHA® pins and certifications at a presentation ceremony on February 12 at the CityU SCOPE Learning Centre.  Dr. Louis Ma, CityU SCOPE Acting Director, presented the pins.  Mr. James Lu, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Hotels Association, and Mr. Henry Tong, EI's regional representative in Hong Kong, were also present to congratulate the outstanding achievement of the five general managers.

"EI congratulates all of the managers who earned their CHA in Hong Kong," said Ed Kastli, EI's vice president, international sales. "This program was a wonderful example of how various organizations came together to deliver the highest certification we have, in order to enhance the professionalism of the local hospitality industry." 

About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute's mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

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