Where Art Thou Expert in the Rough

Expert in the Rough says it all.  It’s not only the title of my blog and a self proclamation but also my location.  Unfortunately, being truly “In the Rough” with a major career shift in 2012…I have struggled to find my voice in regards to the “Expert in the Rough” blog.

I assure despite my lack of blog output, my inspiration and passion are as great as ever, I just happen to be more engaged in the “fields of my life.”  I am sitting in a hotel room in Ithaca, New York contemplating how my I find myself on the campus of Cornell University.  On the surface I am attending a Hospitality Summit…hospitality being the primary industry my employer ITA Audio Visual Services serves which explains why I am here.

However, internally I am asking myself what in the world am I doing at Cornell University.  My barely middle class upbringing has no reference for an institution like Cornell University.  In fact, until I turned on my GPS after landing in Ithaca, NY I wasn’t even sure what part of New York I just landed in.  For all I knew I could of been in Vermont or Maine, however, as I shuttled to the Cornell Campus…I realized this was about as far from my upbringing as I could travel.

Ivy League schools are something for Mitt Romney’s children, not a simple Cincinnati Westsider like me.  Interestingly, I found out otherwise.  There was a spot at the table for me.  I was attending a Hospitality Conference and the Hospitality Industry has a very unique distinction.  The Hospitality Industry provides opportunity for anyone who has a desire to serve and work hard…regardless of social and economic status.

After nearly 20 years of working my way up in the audio visual/hospitality industry I found myself side by side with Ivy Leaguer’s, academics, investors, owners, marketers and life long hospitality professionals and I realized we have a lot in common.  We all need each other for success.

I am not quite sure what my point is today but I did want to share “Where Art Thou” yours truly Brian Monahan, the Expert in the Rough on this fine day in early October 2012.

Here are a few random nuggets of learning I have gathered this week in Ithaca.

  • Hotel Revenue Managers have 76,000 pricing decisions daily…that’s too many!
  • Customer Satisfaction is the booby prize…consider “Customer Delight”
  • The biggest innovation in the hotel industry in the last 20 years is comfortable beds.
  • Your brand is now in the consumers pocket (i.e. their mobile device).
  • Employee satisfaction has a direct correlation to customer satisfaction and increased revenue/profits
  • Howard Johnson’s used to have 800 restaurants…and now has none.
  • Consider effect over function in your business
  • Lack of mentoring and career planning might be biggest barrier to women advancing in their careers…versus traditional glass ceiling issues.
  • I am glad I am not paying off an Ivy League Student Loan



2 Responses to “Where Art Thou Expert in the Rough”

  1. brenda says:

    I can count on you to give a smile, especially that last line. Keep on blogging…I really like catching up with you this way.

  2. Julie Hogan says:

    Great blog and insights!