2015 - 01 January

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute eNewsletter

Fliport Hotel Group Has First Certified Guest Service Properties in China

FliportCollage Fliport Hotel Xiamen Software Park and Fliport Garden Hotel Xiamen, both part of the Fliport Hotel Group, celebrated the achievement of being the first two hotels in China to earn the designation of Certified Guest Service Property from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). The hotels trained their employees using AHLEI's Guest Service Gold ® training program and certified them as Certified Guest Service Professionals (CGSP®) to earn the property-level designation. Between the two properties, 51 employees achieved the CGSP® designation.


Fliport Hotel Group, founded in 2009, is a hotel group on the west side of the Taiwan Strait. It maintains 11 property in four sub-brands, including: Fliport Hotel (5-star, full-service business hotel), Fliport Resort (5-star resort); Fliport Garden Hotel (4-star, full-service business hotel), and Fliport Inn (economy, limited-service hotel).


The Fliport Hotel Xiamen Software Park and Fliport Garden Hotel Xiamen used the Chinese version of Guest Service Gold® and taught employees using team members from the properties, as well as instruction from AHLEI certified trainer George Ubbelohde, CHE, CHT. Roleplaying, discussion, lecture, and motivational posters reinforced the training principles and prepared employees for the CGSP® examination. 


The general managers of both properties commented on the program during a ceremony held in late October that was attended by Ed Kastli, AHLEI's vice president, international sales, and Leon Shi, AHLEI's country manager of operations for Greater China. 


"It is a great honor to be certified as the first Certified Guest Service Property in China," said Mr. Charvid Li, general manager of the Fliport Hotel Xiamen Software Park. "It is not only a challenge to us, but a motivator. The seven core elements of Guest Service Gold® match well with Fliport's own service principles. With all the training, materials, and tools provided by the program, we aim to reach a higher level in our guest service and hotel operations." 


"The concepts of the Certified Guest Service Professional program will help us in improving our hotel brand, service principles, and standards," added Mr. Richard Huang, general manager of the Fliport Garden Hotel Xiamen. "We are all inspired by passing this test and getting certified, which is a treasure to us. From today on, we will blend the seven elements into every service detail to make sure our guests have a great stay and experience." 


Ms. Lansing Lin, guest services manager at the Fliport Hotel Xiamen Software Park, said that the CGSP® training and certified have inspired her to always deliver her best service to every guest. 


"Wearing the CGSP® pin every day, I will set off on a fantastic journey in pursuit of becoming a service champion, with full confidence and pride," she stated.

Are you the Conductor of your Business?

The Art of LeadershipThe Art of Leadership

Much like the conductor of an orchestra, successful leaders conduct business by getting everyone on the team aligned and working to get the required result through optimal performance. This year, you can be a new kind of leader by orchestrating results in a different way.


Old, commanding leadership styles are no longer effective. Leaders today need to think differently about the many roles they play, and one of the most important is engaging your people. Effective, impactful leaders inspire others to imagine all that is possible. They align their people with a higher purpose and provide them with clarity of focus and the tools they need to be successful. Leaders intentionally orchestrate performances that engage people on every level.


Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander said, “The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful.” Leaders consciously and passionately work to bring their people into alignment, supporting the organization’s vision and executing its mission. The conductor of an orchestra does not just love or understand music. Great conductors – and truly great leaders – love the thrill of bringing individuals together to create extraordinary results.  


Effective conductors select and interpret the composer’s music (vision) and guide each section with clear direction and timing. They see and recognize the potential of each individual player, engaging them and encouraging them to perform together (coaching for performance). While they must always listen intently for disharmony in order to correct it (improve the work product and processes), they also require practice and focus, ensuring high productivity. Conductors use their passion to keep the spirit of the concert alive for each individual. When they walk to the front of the stage and tap the baton on the music stand, they must ensure each player is inspired and prepared to play. This level of engagement drives high positivity as well as higher levels of performance. 


Each musician is prepared and focused on the single program of music before him. The musicians work in concert with one another with no one person more important to the final result, even as some have more opportunity to lead and contribute based on their roles or talents.


The audience engages as the energy of the performers fills the room with excitement fueled by the passion of their conductor (engage your customers). The music flows from stage to seat. You do not need to be a musical genius to feel (or hear) the difference between musicians who are connected to the conductor and each other, and those who are not (synergy and alignment). The same is true when an audience is not engaged with the performance. It takes more than technical skill to bring the music to life.


The conductor sets the tone for what is ahead and what might be possible. Each performance delivers a new, exciting experience – for the participants and the recipients.


When the performance is over, leaders get back to work to sustain momentum, discover, and share the next piece of music their audience needs to hear. In the end, the magic that results from an engaging performance drives sales and loyalty, allowing an orchestra and its players to continue to grow and awaken themselves and their audience to more than they could ever imagine.


People want to be inspired, feel admiration towards their leaders, and take pride in what they are doing—along with how they are doing it (much like a professional musician). When you think about leading like a conductor, think about:


Transitioning from a leadership style of command and control to one that inspires, empowers, and engages your people into accountable actions

Spending less time telling and directing and more time coaching and engaging people, so they know where you want to go and are able to imagine solutions that help you get there

Being less authoritative to harness the collaborative potential power of your people

Remember, leaders shine the light on others and this allows it to reflect back on them. Great leadership, just like a great conductor, is a conversation between the audience (your customers), the musicians (your associates), and the conductor (you). This year, I hope you create your opus.


Coming soon!  The Art of Leadership: Foundations is a group training program for managers and executives developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and Aspire. This program delivers actionable tools for leaders to enhance their leadership effectiveness through alignment, focus, and understanding of AHLEI and Aspire’s proven processes for learning and development, based on Aspire’s 6 Pillars of Alignment. You and your team will learn how to: 


  • Break down the 6 Pillars of Alignment to identify how top performing organizations sustain outstanding performance
  • Assess the alignment of your organization‘s staff and integrate the 6 Pillars into your team or organizational initiatives
  • Differentiate between the 4 Levels of Performance and what each person needs to improve.

New Website Serves Greater China Market

China websiteThe American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has launched a new website specifically for its growing customer base in China.  The website will enable Leon Shi, CHE, country manager of operations for Greater China, and AHLEI’s regional partners throughout China to present AHLEI’s products and services for hospitality training, education, and certification to prospective and current customers.


In the past five years, AHLEI’s presence in the  Greater China region has grown to include 11 regional partners, 12 Global Academic Partners (GAP), and one Hospitality Education Partner (HEP).  Many of AHLEI’s products are available in Chinese.

Coming Soon - New Training Certification Modules Provide a Solid START in Key Hospitality Positions

STARTThe American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) is launching new flexible training and certification modules available in multiple formats to meet the needs of schools, workforce agencies, and properties.


START for Individual Positions and quickSTART for Individual Positions provide resources for training new or prospective employees in general hospitality knowledge, soft skills, and position-specific knowledge, combined with the opportunity to earn professional certification. Training and certification is available for the following positions: front desk representative, guestroom attendant, restaurant server, and maintenance employee. 


All of the programs are available in print and online versions, with an instructor’s guide and participant study guide, as well as access to the certification exam. The main difference between the START and quickSTART programs is that, for START, job breakdowns are taught in a classroom setting, while for quickSTART, those tasks are taught on the job and validated by a supervisor or trainer.  


By bundling the training and professional certification into a single product, START and quickSTART for Individual Positions provide organizations with streamlined, cost-effective training to bring employees on board quickly and provide workers with a portable, industry-recognized credential at the beginning of their hospitality career. 


The START and quickSTART programs were developed with input from a team of hospitality industry subject matter experts, including: Mike Nalley, CHA, CHE, CHT, Best Western International; Calvin Banks, CHT, The Broadmoor; Christin Bell, Coakley & Williams; Cheryl Seckman, Courtyard by Marriott; Christine Andrews, Hostmark Hospitality Group; Gary Whitney, Intercontinental Hotel Group; Shannon Dooley, Interstate Hotels & Resorts; Mark Boccia, Marriott International; and Wilma Hall, CHA, U.S. Air Force. 


Each of the programs is available in English, Spanish, or Simplified Chinese. Quantity pricing discounts are available for organizations interested in training large groups of employees or students.

Reach Your Education Goals in 2015 with Savings on Distance Learning Courses

distance learning Taking hospitality management courses from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) is a flexible and cost-effective way to advance your industry knowledge, prepare for a promotion or transfer, and invest in your professional development, without having to take time off to attend a traditional college program.

Sign up for AHLEI's globally-recognized and respected hospitality courses and save $50 per course through March 31, 2015. Take individual courses or enroll in one of AHLEI's curriculum options, such as a five-course Area of Specialization, eight-course Hospitality Operations Certificate, or 12-course diploma in either Hospitality Management or Food & Beverage Management. 

Completing one of AHLEI's multiple-course programs can take one year off of the time in position qualification required for many of AHLEI's professional certifications. Please review the prerequisites for each certification for details. Those who are already certified can earn five (5) points toward recertification by passing one of AHLEI's distance learning courses.  

Visit Distance Learning or call 800.390.8399 or +1.517.372.8800, and reference offer code WIN15.

NCC Career Academy Prepares Students for Hospitality Success

NCC CareerThe NCC Career Academy is a post-secondary certificate program that provides career training in culinary arts and hospitality at the National Children’s Center Northwest Campus in Washington, D.C.  The NCC Career Academy offers job readiness, job training, and retention to people with disabilities to assist them with gaining and maintaining employment.  The program is also open to residents without disabilities, providing them with access to the training and resources needed to secure employment.


NCC Career Academy uses workforce training resources developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), including the Skills, Tasks, And Results Training (START) curriculum, Guest Service Gold®, and position-specific skills training and certification.  In addition to classroom work, students participate in internships and other activities to prepare them for the workforce. 


Shaniqua James is one of the Academy’s success stories.  A June 2014 graduate of Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C., James entered the NCC Career Academy’s hospitality program in September 2014 as part of the very first class, to pursue her passion in housekeeping.  During the seven-week program, she earned the Certified Guestroom Attendant and Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) professional certifications from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.  


The supervisors at her two internship sites described her as an exceptional and pleasant employee, and both properties offered her jobs after completion of the program. She accepted the housekeeping position at the Residence Inn Capitol, Washington D.C.  For the past three months, James has made a lasting impression on her coworkers and supervisors. The general manager and executive housekeeper speak highly of her and state that Shaniqua is very determined, very pleasant, has great time management skills, flexible, and helpful. 


At first, Shaniqua only desired to work in housekeeping; now her new professional goal is to be an executive housekeeper. 


According to NCC Career Academy hospitality coordinator Tiescheka Stuart, James transformed from a shy young woman reluctant to speak in front of groups, to a poised and confident ambassador for the career program. 


“Before exiting the program at NCC, Shaniqua spoke to a select group of students expected to graduate in 2015 from Anacostia High School about the hospitality program,” said Stuart.  “She informed the students that if they truly have a passion, love for the hospitality industry, and the desire to learn, they should enroll in the hospitality program at the NCC Career Academy. We are very proud of her.”

Vantage Hospitality Staff Models Importance of Professional Certification

VantageVantage Hospitality Group encourages managers at its 1,200-plus properties to pursue professional development through certification, but with a policy of “educate, not mandate,” the 8th-largest hotel company in the world chooses to emphasize the importance of certification by example. Corporate staff members who work with properties hold the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®) designation from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), including Director of Human Resources and Training Rita Weber, CHA, CHT, who earned her CHA® along with 20 other staff members in 2014.


“If we are an educating culture, we need our corporate staff to hold these certifications and be on top of the latest industry knowledge,” said Weber. “We have to be that way in order to help others be that way.” 


Weber noted that Vantage’s Founder, President and CEO Roger Bloss, CHA, has made it clear that earning professional certification is “extraordinarily important” to the success of the organization.  That commitment was evident as the last group of corporate staff prepared for the CHA® exam—which they all passed. 


“On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week until the test date, we met in the conference room and pored over the study materials,” said Weber.  “It wasn’t just something we did in the office.  There were study groups that met outside of work, people made flash cards; we worked hard to learn the material.” 


She noted that the CHA® assessment tool was an incredible help, showing candidates where they needed to study more, and directing them to the exact place in the study guide where the information could be found.   The practice tests also gave the candidates more confidence, because it gave them a good idea how the test was written and how it would be presented. 


“A lot of our people taking the test had only been out of school for a few years, but for those (including me) who had been out of school for a long time, they had to get back into the groove of how to study and prepare for a major exam,” said Weber. 


Weber said she was not surprised by the dedication that the corporate staff put into preparing for the CHA® exam, and she was very proud of their 100 percent pass rate. 


“These are the people who deal directly with our members,” she noted. “If we are guiding people through their operations, assisting with revenue management, and other aspects of managing a property, it makes sense that we have the certification so we are training our people correctly. It’s important to provide education so our members can succeed.”

Visit AHLEI during ITB Berlin

ITB BerlinThe American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) will be exhibiting at ITB Berlin this year in the Brand USA Pavilion, Hall 2.1, Exhibit #241.  Please stop by and speak with a member of the AHLEI team about our latest training, education, and certification resources. This exciting event will be held March 4-8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.


In addition, AHLEI and Brand USA will host cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for guests on Thursday, March 5 from 3 to 5 p.m. We look forward to spending time with hospitality professionals from around the globe and being part of this prestigious gathering. 


ITB Berlin 2015 will welcome more than 100,000 trade show visitors from 180+ countries. The event features 10,000 exhibitors who represent every facet of travel and tourism, including destinations, business travel, cultural tourism, training and employment, and travel technology.  In addition, the ITB Convention will host more than 200 presentations with leading global speakers who will discuss the hot issues affecting global travel and tourism.