Stay Tuned for the Introducing of HoteliersGuild's Leading Hôtelières Chapter

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Hôtelières making a change !

Only recently when looking at our members roster we realized that we have

far too few women

members in our private society. Thus, the decision

was taken to integrate a new female chapter, and today I am thrilled and proud

to announce that the idea has developed into a remarkable and powerful interest group in a very short time. With Lindsey Ueberroth acting as Honorary Co-founder & Ambassador, we are overjoyed that Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Managing

Frank M. Pfaller

Founder President


Partner of CONSIDERATEGROUP, a renowned expert on SDG matters, advisor to The Prince of Wales' Charities' International Sustainability Unit and outspoken advocate of the Global Female Leaders Forum, has graciously

accepted an

appointment of Chairlady. She will be supported by Prof. Dr. Sowon Kim as Co-chairlady. Sowon is an associate professor of EHL and founding member of Women in Leadership.

not waste any thoughts on segregating women in powerful positions from other We certainly do

they are recognised as leaders and decision makers among leading men and women. But we feel the necessity to put the focus women, as

on certain facts, especially in this difficult times and with the view on future leadership in our industry.

generations of

The hospitality industry is now facing even more external challenge s than during ’ normal’ times. They include globalization, the need for customization and at the same time, the industry suffers from internal challenges such as

furloughs high level staff turnover as well as Corona related lack of motivation.



chapter aims to


HoteliersGuild’s efforts to making a change!

Recent research from Cornell’s School of Business showed that women now make up 25.5 percent of senior managers across the hospitality and travel sectors. While female

hospitality industry has still got this subsurface ‘boy’s club’ image of a male dominated industry. The hospitality industry, not unlike other industries, historically has had a scarcity of influential women among its ranks.

leadership is growing,


Now, women make up a greater proportion of executive-level roles. A commendable development which hopefully will turn into a trend soon. At


we are determined to lend

our full support to it and our LeadingHôtelières chapter is,


in fact, meant to instigate a campaign to this effect In this context I also encourage you to not only

take a look

at our HoteliersForGood initiative, but we would be really happy to see more pro bono contributors from the new chapter.

Many thanks for your support and warm regards!


Dear Frank, apologies for my long delay in greeting back to you on this very thoughtful addition to the hoteliers guild and commitment to encouraging further focus on women in leadership roles within our industry. You are absolutely correct that we don’t want to be segregated. It would be a pleasure to join the chapter and act as an ambassador or honorary Co- founder. I truly appreciate your sensitivity to not adding to current work loads. We are all navigating these difficult times and I think we are all working harder than ever. Please let me know next steps or what expectations/ commitment you would need from me. Warm regards, Lindsey

I’m happy to see more women CEOs in hospitality. However, we are still a far cry from where I hope we can be in terms of representation. The biggest challenges for women looking to achieve top leadership roles were the need to travel, relocate and dedicate long hours. In the past, once having children and raising a family came into the equation, many women were forced to make a choice, and those challenges were hard to overcome. Given the innovations in technology and a more open attitude towards flexible working hours and “home offices,” many of these hurdles seem alleviated. Lindsey Ueberroth CEO | Preferred Hotels Group Hon. Co-Founder & Ambassador | LeadingHôtelières

You may wonder about the

raison d’être

to integ

women in p other women, as they are leaders and decision friends stated, we certainly don’t think that

we feel the necessity to put the focus on certain facts, es generations of leadership in our industry. May I assume that

now facing even more external challenges tha

the need for customization and at the same time, the industry staff turnover as well as Corona related lack of motivation.

Therefor we suggest that right

leadership matters and leadership are still a minority, even though they

women in leading positions in h not only because style matters, but because it is academi such as power, charisma, sociability & profe cooperative and people oriented than their male

RAISON d’être

We believe that more

enthusiastic support of so we are now also working in collaboration with profes have agreed to form students task-form-gro collaboration of a selective circle of female ho services for this cause.

were we able to secure the

grate this chapter in HoteliersGuild? And as one of our good

powerful positions like to be segregated with n makers among leading men and women. But

specially in this difficult times and with the view on further

our hospitality industry is an during ’ normal’ times. They include globalization, you share my opinion that

y suffers from internal challenges such as furloughs high level

d we push this further because

women in hospitality y represent more than half our workforce!

hospitality can and, in fact will make a change! And ically proven that they already lead in categories essionalism, and that they are as well more e colleagues. I am thrilled to inform you that not only have

ome of our member Hôtelières & Hoteliers, but ssors of various hotel&tourism universities who oups on this subject. And we have secured the ospitality entrepreneurs who offer their pro-bono


Maria Pajares

Sue Harmsworth

Prof. Dr. Sowon Kim

Lucienne Anhar

Irene Hoek

Gail Ueberroth

Franziska Altenrath

Lindsey Ueberroth

Marie-Laure Akdag Dr. Reneé Minnaar PhD

Nathalie Seiler-Hayez

Anne Arrowsmith

Eva Malstrom

Xenia zu Hohenlohe

Franka Holtmann

Dagmar Symes

Sue Williams

Céline Vadame

Maribel Esparcia Pérez

Xenia zu Hohenlohe - Managing Partner & Co-Founder of

ConsiderateGroup our first Chairlady & Lead Strategic Alliance Partner. Xenia is as passionate about hospitality and travel as she is about helping to create new systems in order to integrate sustainable practices into every aspect of life. She has been working in the hotel and tourism industry all over the world for the last 20 years, building experience and knowledge on what ingredients are needed to make a hotel as well as its services outstanding. Sustainable management policy being one of these ingredients, as it ensures a hotel's successful future existence. To her being a Considerate Hoteliers means living and working responsibly for a future world the next generation can still live in.

Lindsey Ueberroth - President & CEO, Preferred Hotels Group, our Hon. Co-founder & Ambassador on why there are so few women CEOs in hospitality? “I’m

happy to see more women CEOs in hospitality. However, we are still a far cry from where I hope we can be in terms of representation. The biggest challenges for women looking to achieve top leadership roles were the need to travel, relocate and dedicate long hours. In the past, once having children and raising a family came into the equation, many women were forced to make a choice, and those challenges were hard to overcome. Given the innovations in technology and a more open attitude towards flexible working hours and “home offices,” many of these hurdles seem alleviated.

Sue Harmsworth, the ‘grand dame’ of ESPA, now “semi-retired with more on my

plate than ever and giving back to the industry…”, our Hon. Ambassador. Sue began her career at the young age of 21 as a journalist covering health and beauty stories. She later opened a salon business in Toronto, then a resort in France, and then a health farm in the UK. In 1993 she created ESPA and a holistic line of skincare products. ESPA also currently manages five-star spas in 60 countries. Sue recently sold ESPA for more than one hundred million dollars. Now she’s free to focus on other projects and passions, and one of those is RealWealth’s development in Costa Rica called RISE Costa Rica.

Eva Malmström is creative director and co-founder of the incredible Soneva

resorts. Eva creates and oversees the interior design process. During the 70s and the 80s Eva was a top fashion model appearing on the covers of more than 100 high-end magazines world-wide. Eva also had a successful clothing company in Paris, called L’EVA. Her real flair is in her impeccable taste, innovative and unconventional ideas and an overall daring approach that ensures a different 'feel' for each project. Her attention to detail is considered legendary amongst the Soneva hosts. Prof. Dr. Sowon Kim - Associated Professor with EHL & Founder of WIL Sowon’s initiative puts the focus on projects regarding women, and on a wider scale the initiative aims to promote leadership, culture, and policies that foster diverse, balanced, and peoplefocused environments. It strives so that students, faculty, staff, and alumni can lead fulfilled professional and personal lives.

Irene Hoek - Vice President, Global Residential Development at Rosewood Hotel Group.

Irene is also a Senior Committee Member with WomenInHotels , a well-rounded hotel development executive with more than 20 years of industry experience. Extensive track record of growing the footprint of luxury hotel brands via acquisitions and management agreements, including Aman, Dorchester Collection, InterContinental, and St Regis.

Yasmine Mahmoudieh, Iconic Architect&Designer. Yasmine studied art history in

Florence, architecture at the l’école d’Ingénieurs de Genève in Switzerland, interior design at the college of Notre Dame in San Francisco and architecture and interior design at UCLA in Los Angeles. A year after she graduated from UCLA (aged 26) she opened her first studio in Los Angeles, and today has her headquarters in London. Her work can be found across Europe, the United States ,into the Middle East and Asia, and even in the skies above, working as one of the few chosen de-signers to work on the Airbus A380.

Sue Williams, General Manager, Whatley Manor

Sue is an experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Catering, Food & Beverage, Operations Management, Hotel Management, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Strong sales professional graduated from Brooklands Technical College, Weybridge. Whatley Manor became a partner of NOW in February 2109 and also a proud partner with and accredited by EarthCheck with 4 out of 5 Globes.

Marie-Laure Akdag - Founder and Managing Director of Marie-

LaureConsultancy Throughout her career, she has challenged the status quo and driven growth by thinking out of the box. Her tenures in luxury hotels include leading sales and marketing and positioning iconic hotels such as the Amstel Intercontinental and the Grand Sofitel Demeure in Amsterdam, the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the European Fairmont hotels from her base at The Savoy in London. She has built a global network of talented individuals she interacts with regularly and can call upon. Her diverse background and skills set support her passion for helping brands join the dots around the customer to create and deliver authentic and meaningful experiences and achieve commercial success.

Dagmar Symes - General Manager, Riyadh Private Estate. Dagmar brings a

wealth of experience in both the hotel and luxury retail industries across Europe and the Middle East. Starting her career with the leading hotels of the world, Dagmar previously worked in various luxury properties in France, Switzerland and her native Germany. Prior to joining Private Estate, Dagmar held the position of General Manager at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, Cluster General Manager at Phoenicia InterContinental Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon and Le Vendome InterContinental Hotel.

Maribel Esparcia Pérez - Maribel is a professor at the University of Lleida - Faculty of Law, Economics and Tourism, with a degree in Tourism Management and Master in Hotel Management. With an entrepreneurial spirit and higher vision, she founded the company Purpose-Driven Net in London (2016) and currently is the Founding Partner of

The European Sustainable Hospitality Club (2019) an entity dedicated to driving growth and positive impacts simultaneously for the Travel Industry. Maribel is also a Hospitality and Sustainability Wolrd Experts Panel member and Women in Hospitality and Travel-Tech Brand Ambassador.

Céline Vadam - Founder & CEO of WE(i)think Celine is a living and breathing example of how powerful and empowering living a healthy life could be. Formerly a Development Manager with Four Seasons Hotels responsible for pre-opening & renovation support to Global Operations and Corporate F&B and Spa/Wellness strategic initiatives, Céline’s vision today with WE(i) Think is to look at each project with Wellness and Sustainability in mind and to aligning people and planet aspirations. She also gives lectures at prestigious universities and speaks at global industry events.

Franziska Altenrath - Co-Founder and Managing Director at TUTAKA

Franziska gained various insights into the problems and effects of unsustainable consumption patterns from different industries such as automotive, real estate and fashion. Being a true materialist herself, excited about design, materials and production, she searched for ways to challenge the status quo. She decided that it is time to reach to the roots of sustainability concepts and went back to University to study Ethics, Politics and Economics at LMU in Munich. Here she dedicated her thesis to "Sustainability and Humanitarianism in Tourism" and started the TUTAKA journey. Los Angeles. A year after she graduated from UCLA (aged 26) she opened her first studio in Los Angeles, and today has her headquarters in London. Her work can be found across Europe, the United States ,into the Middle East and Asia, and even in the skies above, working as one of the few chosen de-signers to work on the Airbus A38

Cecilia Y M Lui - VP Sales & Marketing Greater China, Peninsula Hotels. Cecilia is an experienced hotel executive with in-depth knowledge required for customerdriven industry and exposure in high-tech field. She is responsible for the group’s Greater China sales, revenue management, brand marketing, communications, digital marketing and digital customer experience strategies and activities and sales & marketing promotions.

Dr Reneé Minnaar PhD - With more than 14 years of lecturing experience in both private and public higher education institutions in South Africa, Reneé prides herself in being one of the few PhD graduates in the field of tourism in South Africa. She gained extensive industry experience during a year as a manager at one of the best hotels in the world - The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa. As a consultant she specialises in hospitality, tourism and academic solutions.

Maria Pajares

- Managing Director of MASONROSE,London, Experienced and highly professional executive within the hotel and travel sector, specialising in Sales, Marketing and PR. Skilled in running a business, inspiring teams to achieve, meeting goals, positively managing client relationships and embracing change. Passionate about the hotel industry and the people within it. Prou... see more






a deeper understanding of all you of what this initiative is prepared to provide.

It is very important to us that you have


pro-bono assistance to independent members of the hospitality industry & developers.

Due to the gracious pledges from senior HoteliersGuild members we are in an elevated position to offer the complimentary support as specified in more detail in the following pages.

submit introductions to colleagues who may be And you are welcome to

interested to join our initiative.

High-Touch is more important to us than High-Tech. Feel free to contact me directly on

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HoteliersGuild’s HonoraryAmbassador

Sonu & Eva Shivdasani, Founders of SONEVA



I am honoured to be on the panel of HoteliersGuild and want to thank Frank for the opportunity. I believe that hotels, or any business, must have a purpose beyond profit. They must play a greater role in the world beyond enriching their shareholders. By taking bold steps, we in the tourism industry can fundamentally redress the balance between business and communities, and shift back to the original purpose of the corporation as a service to society. Sonu Shivdasani

CEO | Guardian of the Culture | SONEVA

Personal Message of Encouragement Written by Sonu Shivdasani Founder and CEO, Soneva August 2020

Countries throughout the world have imposed drastic restrictions to contain the virus, the economic and social cost of being locked down have been terribly high. However, as the weeks have passed, and our understanding of COVID 19 improves, it is clear that, while potentially lethal for older people and those with underlying health complications, for healthy, younger people, the chance of dying from the virus is vanishingly small. In badly hit parts of New York City, for instance, where infection rates were as high as 25%, for those under 45 years the survival rate was 99.98%. As new information pours in from around the world, and we develop a more nuanced understanding of COVID-19, our measures to control the virus must also become more sophisticated. General lockdowns and international border closures – which are devastating huge chunks of the economy, and the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people – don’t make sense, when rapid testing, contact tracing, and good hygiene are so effective at preventing the virus’ spread -- and when the virus poses such a tiny threat to young and middle-aged people. “The greatest fear is fear itself” (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, inauguration speech, in the midst of The Great Depression) Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles to easing the lockdown is fear. The world’s newspapers and TV stations have gorged on the coronavirus, producing blanket coverage of mortality rates and other frightening details. Not surprisingly, the ‘danger indicator’ that sits in the left side of our brains remains on high alert. Like a

thermometer, once the danger indicator rises, it takes a lot of shaking with facts and reason to bring it back down. To quote Hans Rosling: “We need to learn to control our drama intake. Uncontrolled, our appetite for the dramatic goes too far, prevents us from seeing the world as it is, and leads us terribly astray.” Here are some facts to reduce our intake of drama, and temper our fears of COVID-19: •

Due to a misunderstanding of the true extent of the infection in China, initial projections of a 3-5% fatality rate were far too high.

Many countries vastly overstated their likely number of deaths. Uppsala University in Sweden, for instance, predicted 90,000 deaths in one month, but Sweden has had a total of 4,700 virus deaths to date.

Likewise, on 29 March, Columbia University issued a report highlighting a need for 136,000 hospital beds in New York City. In the end, 12,000 sufficed.

According to recent research by the United States Biodefence and Countermeasures Center, the half-life of the COVID virus in mild conditions such as 75oF and 25% humidity is 18 hours. But when the temperature rises to 95oF and the humidity rate increases to 80% (conditions found in the Maldives and other tropical countries), the half-life reduces to 1 hour.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are no documented cases of a person becoming infected from a surface contaminated with COVID-19. Yet, every hotel and resort mini-film I have watched about reopening – including our own – has footage of an employee diligently wiping down surfaces. •A Hong Kong study, involving an analysis of 7,324 cases in China, identified 318 distinct outbreaks, all but one of which occurred indoors. This suggests the risk of catching COVID outdoors is low. •I attach a graph produced by Sir David Spiegelhalter of Imperial College, London.

This graph shows that having coronavirus effectively doubles your existing odds of death within a given year, which is extremely low for young people. SOURCE: Prof. Sir David Spiegelhalter, ONS, Imperial College London. •

Prof. Spiegelhalter highlights in the graph that coronavirus roughly doubles your chance of death once you hit around 40. While that might sound scary, we have to bear in mind that the risk of death for those under 45 or so is extremely low – 0.1% per year. A 40-year-old with coronavirus therefore has a risk of death of about 0.2%, rather than 0.1%.

There has been much controversy over the Swedish approach to the virus, which involved far less restrictive measures compared with other European countries. The below table, from Worldometer last week, shows that Sweden suffered lower deaths per capita than countries that enforced strict lockdowns. Source: Worldometer Our understanding of, and knowledge of how to treat the virus has evolved considerably since those dark days at the beginning of the year: •There have been breakthroughs in treating COVID by the Medical World: Gilead with Remdesivir, and the DanaFarber using Ibrutinib which avoided cancer patients from needing to be hospitalized. •There is also the example of my Oncologist, Dr. Abdul Kadir Slocum (I was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer at the end of 2018. Embracing “And” rather than settling for “Either, Or”, has dictated our approach to wellness, and excellence in general, in all our businesses over the years. Dr. Slocum cured me by combining traditional chemotherapy, “And” alternate wellness remedies.)

As Dr. Slocum recently wrote to us: "I'm not a front line COVID physician but unfortunately when some of our cancer patients got COVID I treated them together with my colleagues. We used anti-coagulants, anti-

biotics, anti-virals as conventional therapeutics together with high dose vitamin C, Andrographis, Thyme extract etc. as complementary therapies and all of our patients have gotten better with such treatment." The low fatality rate for those who are healthy and not old, the limitations of the virus’ spread, and the improvements in testing and treatment, means that we have the opportunity to return to (almost) normal, albeit with robust measures in place to protect vulnerable groups. The importance of protecting vulnerable groups should not be taken lightly. Let me flashback to 1979, when I was 13. My morning ritual with my father was to drive to the local tennis club and play a game before breakfast. On that particular morning, halfway through the play, my father sat down, short of breath. He asked me to practice against the wall while he recovered his breath. An hour later, he died of a heart attack. To this day, I wonder whether if we had skipped that morning ritual, he wouldn’t have died. The worry that one might have had an impact on reducing the life of one's parent is something that I would not want to wish on anyone else. We must not make a similar mistake over coronavirus, as we reopen our economies we must consider adequate protection for older and vulnerable people. How do we start on the road to recovery? To start with, we should maintain the personal hygiene habits that the virus has taught us, such as frequently washing hands, and following the traditional Asian courtesy of wearing a mask if you feel unwell. These habits will also reduce the incidence of other viruses such as seasonal flus and colds. Above all, new investments in health infrastructure put in place over the past 12 weeks, such as more hospital capacity, extensive and rapid testing, and sophisticated contact tracing means that blunt control tools, such as lockdowns, can now be relaxed before they destroy even larger parts of the economy. Then, we just need to work on our fear, which, in the final analysis, may have caused more damage than the virus itself.


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HoteliersGuild Join us in supporting the NOW Force for Good Alliance, a marketing affiliation for inspiring and responsible companies in the hospitality industry with a mission to boldly advance sustainability, social responsibility and principled business practice. It matters to your guests, your staff, your community, your profits and our planet. itmustbeNOW! Be inspired: Watch this! and register your interest to join! NOW Force for Good Alliance.


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