I hope you, your families, and your teams are all safe and healthy as we head into the season of Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for, particularly at HEI. Even against really challenging conditions, with your support we have been fortunate to grow our management portfolio with 17 hotels already in 2022.
We believe this growth reflects the confidence you have not only in our platform, but in our people. Their leadership and commitment throughout the most difficult of periods has been extraordinary, and I am so thankful to work alongside such a passionate and hardworking team.
Our culture of HEI Loves is what is driving our teams every day. Since my communication to you in the summer, I wanted to share an update on many new and existing initiatives driven by HEI Loves. I remain so proud of the work we’re doing to uphold an environment for our associates that they themselves have ranked among the top 3% in the nation. Much of below is directly taken from my quarterly updates to our corporate and hotel level teams.
Mental Health & Emotional Wellness
We have seen so much progress under our Mental Health & Emotional Wellness initiative. In May, we began our Wellness Seminar series with our partners at Twello. In September, we provided materials to promote our all-important Employee Assistance Program. With the implementation of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, our IT department is working to ensure that the phones at all our hotels can directly dial 988. We’ve also introduced a new and inspiring program, Creating Acceptance and Love through Material change (CALM). Pictured, we have our associates at Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center meditating along with our partners at Twello.
Service Culture Training
We kicked off a powerful new Service Culture Training initiative in June with trainings across the country to equip our associates to drive brand loyalty and create memorable guest experiences. Our associates now have more tools to tailor the recovery strategy to each guest and be a part of the solution at every step. I’d like to thank Brian Lodermeier, Shah Adil, David Rowland, Kathryn Johnson, Richard Uribe, and Todd Capizzo for leading the charge. I cannot wait to see the impact of this initiative on our guest satisfaction scores!
Women in Leadership
Our Women in Leadership Program, which supports us in achieving our goal of reaching gender parity at the GM level by the end of 2024, has focused on education and development during the last few months with several exciting workshops, including a revenue workshop by Vice President of Revenue Management Courtney Meyer and a leadership seminar with guest speaker and author Valorie Burton. The program also opened its doors to all associates for a workshop on preparing for and entering leadership roles. The team is looking forward to their Annual WIL Conference this November at the Royal Palm Miami. I am happy to report that we are currently at 30.2% parity and on track to achieve our next goal of 40% parity by the end of 2023.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
We have made incredible progress toward our commitment to reach racial parity at all levels. Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Mentorship Programs are now underway in Operations, led by Rachel Moniz, and in Finance, led by Marcus Harris. We have welcomed 11 new leaders into the program. I am proud to share that one of these individuals has already been promoted to the GM position, and we have had several mentees out on their first task force assignments. Miguel Jimenez was recently the taskforce GM at the Kimpton Brice, not hesitating to step in wherever needed. DesMona Fletcher had a taskforce GM opportunity at Embassy Suites Chevy Chase, demonstrating the skills of a seasoned professional. Congratulations to all our mentees — we are excited to support their continued success! Lastly, we are well on our way to introducing technology to address language-barrier shortcomings at our properties. Under HEI Loves, we will do our part to ensure that language is not a barrier in any area of our business.
As I shared in our last update, we have partnered with Bender Consulting to assist with our initiative to hire more associates with disabilities. We have several candidates going through interviews at many of our hotels! In July, we launched a new Disability Fundamentals for Managers training, which provides education on disability awareness, etiquette, disclosures, accommodations, and accessible events. We also recently met with the Connecticut Department of Aging & Disability Services and forged a pioneering partnership at the state and federal levels. This partnership will allow us to make a much greater impact under HEI Loves.
Our Partnership with Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) continues to grow, and I am proud to share that HEI Hotels & Resorts is in the process of becoming an official HOH Sponsor. We will be expanding our partnership nationwide, opening opportunities to our entire portfolio. We are very excited to take the next step in this initiative and look forward to welcoming even more veterans and military spouses into our HEI family. Indeed, we are close to achieving our annual goal of doubling veteran hires year over year!
It’s inspiring to see the monthly Love Stories from our teams. For example, Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection, assembled and distributed snack bags for people experiencing homelessness, The Revere Hotel Boston Common hosted a toy drive for Shriners Children’s Hospital, and associates at The Westin Annapolis (pictured) invited neighborhood firefighters to a feast. Efforts like these have inspired us to come up with ways that we can all give back. In response to associate feedback, we have implemented a new policy that allows associates to donate up to 16 hours of their accrued vacation time! At the company level, we are supporting the work of the national not-for-profit Shatterproof. Together, we are changing the narrative on addiction and truly saving lives every day under HEI Loves!
Love Moments Award
I am overjoyed to share that we have 74 well-deserved Love Moment Award Winners so far this year! Pictured are Love Moment Award Winners Elizabeth Del Rosario and Richard “Chao” Hong of Le Meriden San Francisco, who truly represent the hospitality experience. A long-time guest presented them with an extremely generous tip for being wonderful associates, and they decided to share their good fortune with the entire team! Congratulations to all our winners! We look forward to celebrating more stories of dedication and success.
I could not be prouder of the work we continue to do under HEI Loves. What is most exciting for me to see is the momentum that our culture is taking on against our commitments to each other to drive personal value and meaning to our HEI Family members and financial results to you, our owners. Our culture is infectious, and we have all been inspired together by the tremendous work we are doing on so many profound levels. Without your continued support of our platform and the sacrifice and passion of our teams, we would not enjoy the strong results and growth that we have today.