HSMAI Foundation Chair Michelle Woodley Talks What’s New with the Foundation

Michelle Woodley, president at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, was recently appointed chair of the HSMAI Foundation, the research and educational arm of HSMAI dedicated to elevating the overall caliber and performance of sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals in the global hospitality industry. Here, Woodley provides an overview of what’s on the horizon for the organization, as well as what she’s looking forward to most.

HSMAI: What are your main goals during your term as chair of the Foundation?

Michelle Woodley: My goal is to ensure that each area our 2022 plan (to attract, develop, and engage talent) is implemented and makes meaningful, long-lasting impact in our industry, and that it furthers our mission to secure the sales, marketing, and revenue optimization talent we need today and into the future. It is also a priority to ensure the Foundation remains financially healthy, as it has been since its start in 1982.

During this time when there are talent shortages across the industry, why is the mission of the Foundation even more important?

The entire hospitality industry is faced with the challenge of fierce competition for talent. We applaud and support the industry organizations that are promoting and tending to the operational talent needs of hospitality. The HSMAI Foundation has a specific focus on the commercial disciplines of hospitality, which we believe needs focused attention.

What are some initiatives that HSMAI members can look forward to in 2022 from the Foundation?

The Foundation has some great initiatives and programs for this year, including:

  • Releasing our first “State of Talent” report identifying and discussing the top 10 trends for executive attention
  • Enriching our online resource portal, promoting careers in hospitality
  • Expanding the library of online educational programs in the HSMAI Global Academy
  • Supporting the Rising Leader Councils in all our global regions
  • Securing DEI partnerships to bring further insight to the industry
  • Launching a new Individual Giving Campaign, as we’re leading up to the celebration of HSMAI’s 100th anniversary

What’s one trend you’re watching that you think will impact talent and industry growth over the next year?

Our “State of Talent” report identifies the top 10 trends — all of which need our attention. The one that can be more impactful than we think, if not taken seriously, is mental health, safety, and well-being. I do not believe we fully understand or have seen the impact of the past two years on the individuals in our industry today or those contemplating hospitality as a profession.

What are you most excited about for 2022?

I am thrilled to be working with a group of exceptional leaders, representing all aspects of hospitality, who are volunteering their time to serve on the Foundation board and support our global initiatives.

Categories: Marketing, Talent and Leadership Development
Insight Type: Articles