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2014 - 06 June

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Terenga Helps Nigerian Student Find Success in Global Hospitality Industry

Tobby Samson Terenga phote Tobby Samson is a graduate of the academic program offered by Terenga Limited, the EI's master licensee in Nigeria.  Terenga was founded in 2010 and offers EI's hospitality management academics courses in food and beverage, front office, housekeeping and other core functional department of the hospitality industry.  Terenga also offers other service-oriented career and professional trainings in other sectors. All of Terenga's hospitality graduates have secured employment at two or three times the income they made in previous jobs.

According to Joe Oladipo, Terenga's director, "There is a great future in hospitality education in Nigeria. Professional service delivery is in its infancy in most sectors and Terenga has made a considerable investment in creating awareness and lifting the quality of service delivery. We are in pursuit of excellence in hospitality in all the Nigerian sectors, so the potential is huge." 

As a Terenga graduate, Tobby Samson is using the skills and knowledge he acquired working at the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. and representing his country and his school.  "It was a pleasure having Tobby in the Terenga program. Tobby has stepped up to the challenges of becoming a truly global hospitality citizen," said Oladipo.  Samson shared his experiences in the following Q&A. 

Q. When you came to the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington D.C., did you feel that your classes from Terenga had prepared you well for your job?

A. Absolutely! It was just like transferring what I learnt in classes to the work place. The curriculums are modern and up to date. I also found out every practice test and instances left at the end of each chapter are real life scenario that occur day to day at the desk and basically gives you an idea of how to deal with challenges at work.

Q. What made you want to study hospitality in Nigeria? Has your experience working here in the United States confirmed your desire for a hospitality career? 

A. I did a little research and found out the hospitality industry is one of the highest employers of labor and there are a whole lot of opportunities in this industry and more to the fact that the industry is booming in Nigeria. I see a shortage of hospitality professionals in the country so I decided to dive in and it's been a jolly good ride ever since. It was important for me to obtain an internationally-credentialed hospitality course in order to differentiate myself. Terenga is the only institution offering such hospitality courses in Nigeria and I'm glad that I took that bold step. It's a very different trend here in the United States when it comes to hospitality and am so glad I was able to catch on. If I can do it here, I can do it anywhere!

Q. What do you see for your future? Do you want to go back and work in Nigeria, or do you see yourself going to another country?

A. My short term plan is to work and gain international knowledge/experience in at least two other continents while I keep studying to get my masters degree in hospitality management. Thanks to EI/Terenga in Nigeria, I can take my classes everywhere I go, and then finally back to the motherland.

Q. Describe your internship experience-what do you do in your job? What is your favorite part? 

A. My internship has been great so far, I have learnt a lot and met lots of great people here in the DC area, I was front desk agent for about four months. I also had the opportunity to be the concierge for some time which gave me the opportunity to tell tourists about fun things to do while they are in the city. I am currently filling in as the night auditor which I find very interesting. It's an opportunity to manage and take responsibility of whatever happens in the hotel during the overnight shift. I also get to manage the overnight crew and the good part is that I get to familiarize myself with the financial aspect of a hotel. (revenue management).

Q. Do you feel that your education with EI courses and certifications has prepared you to be globally competitive in a hospitality career? Would you recommend this pathway to other Nigerian youths? 

A. YES! Just as I have highlighted earlier, the curriculum is great and gives you an insight into what's happening in the industry even before you step in. Armed with EI certification, I am ready to take on the hospitality industry. My advice to fellow Nigerian youths interested in the hospitality industry would be to give it a try and I am sure they will be convinced. It's a very interesting industry that gives you the opportunity to travel, experience, meet people and see fun places, plus it gives you the rare opportunity of getting jobs globally. I have never been out of work for the past eight years. Having Terenga as an EI partner in Nigeria and Ghana is an opportunity for West African youths to obtain the necessary skills for success in this 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.

AHLEI Welcomes New Global Academic Partner School in Latvia

New GAP School in Latvia The Hotel School Viesnīcu biznesa koledža in Riga, Latvia, is a new AHLEI Global Academic Partner (GAP) school.  The school will offer AHLEI's hospitality management courses to its students and will also offer AHLEI's professional certifications in conjunction with the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Latvia. 

"We believe that this step will help us to strengthen our leading position in tourism and hospitality education and training in Latvia," said Jūlija Pasnaka, director of the school. "Since we were able to use the books and other learning resources developed by AHLEI, we could evaluate their up-to-date content and depth of the research topics. Our mission is to provide the best education in the area of hospitality and we hope to get best results with AHLEI."  

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.

 

Asia World Hospitality to Offer EI Products in Philippines

The Educational Institute has signed a partner agreement with Asia World Hospitality, a hospitality management group headquartered in Makati City, Philippines, to offer AHLEI’s training and professional certification resources.

 

According to Francinne San Juan, general manager of Asia World Hospitality, the mission of the organization is “to be an inspiring growth partner that delivers world-class hospitality and service solutions that allow businesses to create a compelling customer experience.” 

 

“As a partner of the Educational Institute, we will be providing all of the programs and certifications available for all hospitality professionals and companies in need of reshaping their approach to customer service,” said San Juan. “The Philippines is known to develop and nurture the best hospitality professionals in the world. We recognize the need to partner with a globally-renowned organization. A partnership with AHLEI will set impeccable standards to empower the Filipino service force. “

Keeping it simple: Be the change you want to see in your world

Keeping it simple: Be the change you want to see in your world By Kathleen Chiechi Flores 

Remember the old saying, "Do as I say, not as I do"?  Although it may be something we heard our grandparents or maybe even our parents say from time to time, it has never been what would be considered an effective technique to bring about actual changes in behavior.  Likewise, how many times in our professional journeys have we participated in training programs focused on operations, service delivery, or culture that were delivered to front-line associates, but never seemed to catch on with managers or executive committee members?  

Throughout my career I have led numerous focus groups and feedback sessions relating to learning, development, and training; and more often than should be the case, I have received the following feedback from front-line associates: "Why is it that we are expected to behave this way, when our managers/leaders do not seem to?"   

As a manager/leader, hearing this question can cause a flood of different emotions, from denial and anger to guilt and frustration.  But once we take a deep breath, most of us are able to acknowledge that - as difficult as it is to admit - there is probably more than just a grain of truth in there.  We get busy, we have so many responsibilities, on and on; all excuses being equal, they are still excuses.   

So what to do about it?  

Under the heading of 'Keeping it Simple,' I've used the following framework of three questions for guiding training decisions, in both hotel and corporate environments: 

1. What behaviors or programs are we looking to modify/launch and how will these improve our business?  

2. How will we as managers/leaders demonstrate our own accountability?  What will we do to create environments where our team members feel not only comfortable, but compelled to give us feedback when we are not living up to our own standards?3.How will we continue to reinforce these changes in order for them to be successful?  What type of recognition/rewards program will resonate best with our teams? 

While sometimes a challenge to tackle, these three questions motivate excellent thinking, drive associate engagement, and remind managers/leaders that we're all in this together - which ultimately lead to better results. 

And there is one more, absolutely key aspect to developing and delivering successful training programs that I would be remiss not to mention: Involve front-line employees from the beginning; don't try to create training in a vacuum.  Having team member input gives you a jump-start to creating programs that are meaningful and long lasting. 

Quick Reference 

Keeping it simple: Be the change you want to see in your world 

1. Know your desired outcomes. 

2. Model the behaviors you expect from others. 

3. Reinforce: recognize and reward great examples!

 (Repeat steps 1-3 regularly!)

 Kathleen Chiechi Flores has spent more than 20 years working in People, Strategy, and Communications roles in hospitality, e-commerce, and retail.  She is currently the Chief Administrative Officer for Hampshire Hotel Management, LLC where she leads the Strategy & Performance Management, People & Culture, and Information Technology functions.  Prior to joining Hampshire, Flores was the EVP of Human Resources and Communications for Wyndham Hotel Group.  She holds an MBA from the Columbia School of Business, an M.Ed from the University of San Francisco, and a BS in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. 

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.

AHLA Introduces New Logo for Association and Affiliates

AHLA Introduces New Logo for Association and Affiliates The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) has adopted a new graphic look to better reflect its new dynamism and focus. The change is a timely illustration of the association's new operating model that immediately affords the entire industry greater representation in its advocacy efforts.

The new logo reflects a new membership and advocacy model that was launched in January 2014.  This is just the fourth time that a new logo has been created to represent evolution in the association's 100+-year history, which serves as one of the most recognizable symbols of AH&LA's work on behalf of the industry.  

This new graphic identity, which will appear in all future materials, collateral and media is more current and sophisticated while holding true to the authentic legacy of the association. New logos have also been designed for the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI). 

Created in conjunction with New York-based design and marketing firm, Infinia, the group conducted one-on-one interviews with a wide range of members.  Hoteliers indicated they take pride in the industry and AH&LA has a long tradition of representing hoteliers; the new membership model is creating greater expectations among members; a unified voice will help express the industry's strength; and the industry wants visible alignment and engagement.  

"Working in close coordination with our officers and the board of directors, we created a new and forward-looking identity that reflects the future of AH&LA," said AH&LA President/CEO Katherine Lugar.  "Our new logo is dynamic, fresh and conveys the unity and shared purpose of the full scope of the lodging sector."

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.

New Lodging Magazine Video Feature Highlights Hospitality Jobs

New Lodging Magazine Video Feature Highlights Hospitality Jobs "Hire Ed" is a new Lodging Magazine video feature sponsored by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and featuring Ed McNeill, president of McNeill Media Group, publisher of Lodging Magazine.  The quarterly videos will be posted on www.lodgingmagazine.com.

"Hospitality is all about the people and all about the service," said McNeill. "I get to go into the trenches and do the various jobs that help to make the hotel run." 

McNeill's first video shows him at a La Quinta property in Addison, Texas, where he learned the basics of cleaning a guestroom-and then got to try it himself. Linda Wilson, operations development manager at La Quinta, said that McNeill did a pretty good job for his first time, while McNeill came away with a deeper appreciation for the work that housekeepers perform. 

"Knowing their method for cleaning rooms-the level of professionalism and efficiency-I would be very comfortable staying as a guest," he commented. "I'll never look at a room again without realizing all of the hard work that went into making it look like it does." 

McNeill said that the "Hire Ed" feature is a way to pay tribute to the people who are so important to the functioning of a hotel, as well as to highlight the training programs that brands and properties have in place to prepare workers for their jobs. 

Future "Hire Ed" videos may find him trying out careers as a pastry chef, doorman, or dishwasher.

"I love being out of the office," said McNeill, "and I love meeting the people who make hospitality happen."

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.

1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach Earns Certified Guest Service Property Designation

1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach Earns Certified Guest Service Property Designation 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach, under the leadership of innkeeper Susan Nelson, has earned the designation of Certified Guest Service Property from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI). The property, the first in California to achieve this designation, was able to offer EI's Guest Service Gold® training and Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) exam to its employees after winning the Lodging Service Award from the California Hotel & Lodging Association Education Foundation.

The CH&LAEF launched the Lodging Service Award last fall, encouraging member properties to submit entries to receive EI's Guest Service Gold® training and certification at no cost.  Susan Ragatz, CGSP, education director for the association, said that she was impressed with the property's emphasis on guest service that led them to seek the Lodging Service Award. She shared highlights from Nelson's winning application on behalf of the 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach:

"We always listen for that personal hint a guest may reveal and then we act on that with the appropriate acknowledgement."
"One should become well adapted at the art of reading guest's body language.  Strong messages are sent.  We watch closely and stay tuned in at all times."
CH&LA President & CEO Lynn Mohrfeld presented Nelson with the Certified Guest Service Property plaque in late May during the Southern California Hotel & Lodging Conference held in City of Industry, California.

"Susan and her staff set a high standard of guest service and have demonstrated their dedication by taking the time to complete the Guest Service Gold certification program," stated Mohrfeld.

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.

California Hotel and Lodging Association Earns Certified Guest Service Partner Designation

California Hotel & Lodging Association Earns Certified Guest Service Partner Designation The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) has awarded the California Hotel & Lodging Association with the designation of Certified Guest Service Partner.  They are the first partner state association (PSA) of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) to achieve this status.

To earn the designation, every member of CH&LA's 10-person staff completed EI's Guest Service Gold® training and passed the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) exam.  Three of the staff members, including education director Susan Ragatz, CGSP, participated in EI's Guest Service Gold Train the Trainer webinar for PSAs presented by Shelly Weir, EI's vice president, domestic sales, and trainer Emily Ellis, CHE, CHRE, CHT, in March. 

"We feel more equipped to answer questions about the program and to encourage properties and schools to move forward with using it," explained Ragatz. "It's such a simple certification that can go such a long way to make a property shine. As a staff, we knew before that Guest Service Gold was a good program. Now we really know how good it is."

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.

Uniskills Africa Earns Certified Guest Service Partner Designation

Uniskills Africa Earns Certified Guest Service Partner Designation Uniskills Africa (PTY) Ltd., the training division of the International Hotel Schools, AHLEI's Hospitality Educational Partner (HEP) master licensee in South Africa, has earned the designation of Certified Guest Service Partner. To earn the designation, every member of Uniskills' five-member staff, who are stationed throughout the country, completed AHLEI's Guest Service Gold® training and then successfully passed the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) certification exam. 

"I believe the greatest benefit has been giving us credibility with our clients, when selling Guest Service Gold®, as well as setting the bar of expectation on service delivery to our customers," said Stuart Blackburn, managing director for Uniskills Africa. "The passion with which we sell it, the passion with which we train it, and the subsequent impact on guest service for our clients is overwhelming."

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.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University Honored for Commitment to Faculty Certification

Hong Kong Polytechnic University Honored for Commitment to Faculty Certification During the gala dinner at ApacCHRIE, Educational Institute president and COO Robert L. Steele III, CHA, recognized the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's commitment to faculty development and classroom excellence, presenting a special award to Dr. Kaye Chon, dean and professor chair of Hong Kong Polytechnic's School of Hotel and Tourism Management and the founder of ApacCHRIE.

Hong Kong Poly is to be commended for its strong endorsement of the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE®) Program as their enrollment has been unmatched by any other school in the world. They first hosted the CHE in 1995 (almost 20 years ago) and have since hosted 21 workshops through which 347 hospitality and tourism faculty were developed and certified. To put this into perspective, this represents more than 10 percent of the total number of CHEs around the world (3,212 faculty are CHE®-certified to date). 

Dean Kaye Chon said, "The SHTM is proud to have been associated with the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association in offering CHE® workshops and we shall continue to do so. We believe that the workshops have enhanced hospitality education by making the teaching more engaging, interesting, and effective."

EI sincerely thanks Poly U and Dr. Kaye Chon for their support of the CHE® program.

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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