Horwath HTL, an independent advisory brand focused one hundred percent on hospitality, tourism, and leisure development, announced that Melissa Maher has joined the group as Managing Director to support hoteliers with actionable items to optimize their business offerings.
"Melissa will bring her unique understanding of the technology and data sources our industry uses daily to our team. Her ability to look at all the data and sort through what is truly needed and the best way to interpret the data to enhance overall operations and push profitability will help our clients achieve best in class for their properties and portfolio," saysJohn Fareed, Global Chairman, Horwath HTL.
Maher started her career in the hospitality business as a Sales Manager for the Courtyard by Marriott Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. She most recently spent the last 21 years with Expedia Group in various positions, including Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President of Marketing and Industry Engagement, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Innovation, Chief Inclusion Officer, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Group, Vice President Global Strategic Accounts & Industry Relations, and Regional Director of Market Management. In her time with Expedia, she formed strategic relationships with brand partners, founded the ownership council for hotel owners, and created B2B marketing programs to assist owners in growing their business more scalable way through innovative technology and special initiatives, including promotions, data, and insights.
"I am excited to join John and the Horwath HTL team in the California office. Having the ability to work with a global firm to bring commercial development and strategy to hospitality companies will allow me to utilize my experience and expertise to ensure hoteliers optimize their business offerings," says Melissa Maher, Managing Director, Horwath HTL.
Maher has been recognized with many honors throughout her career, including the Top 40 Women in Travel WINiT by Global Travel Associations. She was named one of the 30 Most Influential Women in Hospitality by Hotel Management Magazine. She serves as a board member and advisor for several organizations, including Women in Travel Thrive, Thayer Ventures, and StayBoutique. She formerly served as a board member for WINiT by GBTA and HSMAI. She also volunteers for organizations she closely connects with, including the Lupus Foundation of America, Crystal Cove Conservancy, and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. Maher holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management and a Master's of Business Administration from the University of Nevada, located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Horwath HTL's strategic advisory services include asset management, planning and development, positioning and repositioning, transaction services, and expert witness and litigation support.
Horwath HTL Announces Dorothy Dowling as Managing Director
Horwath HTL, the world’s only independent advisory brand focused one hundred percent on hospitality, tourism, and leisure development, announced that Dorothy Dowling has joined the group as Managing Director to support global hospitality industry clients with go-to-market strategies to help grow scale, revenue, and profitability with services ranging from repositioning to commercial business planning and activation.
“Dorothy is an industry icon and brings the wealth of her knowledge and experience to our team,” said John Fareed, Global Chairman, Horwath HTL. “Given her background and vast experience, Dorothy will be a senior advisor at Horwath HTL who will bring her owner focus to enhance our ability to provide clients worldwide with superb expertise.”
With over 40 years of hospitality industry experience, she started her career in the hospitality business as a Senior Consultant with Laventhol and Horwath in Toronto. Dowling most recently spent the last 18 years as Chief Marketing Officer of Best Western, where she directed all marketing and commercial strategies, overseeing the brand’s loyalty program, digital transformation, advertising, public relations, e-commerce, and consumer and distribution partnerships, and hotelier support marketing including regional coop marketing. In her commercial role, she oversaw the global sales organization and supported strategic partnerships with global intermediaries, corporate customers, and digital partners. Dowling has held senior leadership positions with major hospitality industry companies, including Wyndham formerly Cendant, Forte Hotels, Travelodge Canada, Royal Host REIT, and ARAMARK. Dowling serves as a board member and advisor for several organizations, including DEI Advisors, HSMAI, Stay Boutique, Commit Advertising Agency, and WINiT by GBTA, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for CubeSmart, a real estate investment trust and the third largest owner and operator of self-storage properties across the United States.
“I am absolutely thrilled to join John and the Horwath HTL team by creating a new Scottsdale office,” said Dorothy Dowling, Managing Director, Horwath HTL. “Being part of this global firm will allow me to enhance their offering, helping companies apply strategies and expert industry knowledge from business exploration to activation.”
Dowling was recently honored with Lifetime Achievement awards from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for her extraordinary commercial leadership, the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference for her innovation and business performance, and GBTA WINiT for her trailblazing and leadership work advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our industry. Dowling will be opening a new office for Horwath HTL in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Horwath HTL’s strategic advisory services include asset management, planning and development, positioning and repositioning, transaction services, and expert witness and litigation support.
Cisco Research Finds 92% of Organizations Need to Do More to Reassure Customers of How Their Data is Used in AI
Cisco published its 2023 Data Privacy Benchmark Study. The sixth annual global survey investigates professionals' perspectives on data privacy strategies. This year's study finds that despite a difficult economic environment, organizations continue to invest in privacy, with spending up significantly from $1.2 million just three years ago to $2.7 million this year. Yet, 92 percent of respondents believe their organization needs to do more to reassure customers about their data. The survey also finds that organizations' privacy priorities differ from those expressed by consumers.
Disconnect between consumers' expectations and organizations' privacy strategies
The study finds a significant disconnect between data privacy measures by companies and what consumers expect from organizations, especially when it relates to how organizations apply and use Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The Cisco 2022 Consumer Privacy Survey showed 60 percent of consumers are concerned about how organizations apply and use AI today, and 65 percent already have lost trust in organizations over their AI practices. Consumers also said the top approach for making them more comfortable would be to provide opportunities for them to opt out of AI-based solutions. Yet, the privacy benchmark shows providing opt-out opportunities was selected least (22 percent) among the options organizations would put in place to reassure consumers.
"When it comes to earning and building trust, compliance is not enough," said Harvey Jang, Cisco Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer. Transparency was the top priority for consumers (39 percent) to trust companies, whilst organizations surveyed felt compliance was the number one priority for building customer trust (30 percent).
Even though 96 percent of organizations believe they have processes in place to meet the responsible and ethical standards that customers expect for AI-based solutions and services, 92 percent of respondents believe their organization needs to do more to reassure customers about their data.
Privacy's return on investment
Despite a difficult economic environment, organizations continue to invest in privacy, with spending up from $1.2 million three years ago to $2.7 million this year. Over 70 percent of organizations surveyed indicated they were getting "significant" or "very significant" benefits from privacy investments, such as building trust with customers, reducing sales delays, or mitigating losses from data breaches. On average, organizations are getting benefits estimated to be 1.8 times spending, and 94 percent of all respondents indicated they believe the benefits of privacy outweigh the costs overall.
With privacy as a critical business priority, more organizations recognize that everyone across their organization plays a vital role in protecting data. This year, 95 percent of respondents said that "all of their employees" need to know how to protect data privacy.
"An organization's approach to privacy impacts more than compliance," said Dev Stahlkopf, Cisco Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. "Investment in privacy drives business value across sales, security, operations, and most importantly, trust."
Costs of data localization and greater trust in global providers
Privacy legislation plays an important role in enabling governments to hold organizations accountable for how they manage personal data, and 157 countries (up from 145 last year) now have privacy laws in place. Even though complying with these laws involves significant effort and cost, 79 percent of all corporate respondents said privacy laws have had a positive impact.
Although 88 percent of respondents believe their data would be safer if stored only within their country or region, research indicates this does not hold up once costs, security and other trade-offs are considered. Remarkably, 90 percent also said that a global provider, operating at scale, can better protect the data compared to local providers.
*Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, UK, US, and Vietnam.
Nomadix Releases New Wi-Fi 6 Access Points to Address Market Requirements
Nomadix® Inc., a technology prover to the hospitality and multi-tenant industries, announced the expansion of its Nomadix Networks portfolio with two new wireless access points (APs) and a significant firmware update. The APs include a wall plate model (AP 6WB) to address the one-AP-per-room requirement and a wall/ceiling model (AP 6SA) for medium, indoor coverage needs in areas such as corridors, staircases and individual rooms. These new additions further enhance the company’s existing WLAN range, offering increased flexibility and competitiveness for projects in and around hotels, multi-tenant communities and any Wi-Fi Hotspot implementation.
According to 2023 predictions from wireless infrastructure analysts Maravedis, Wi-Fi 6 will continue its fast market penetration due to its ability to “deliver significant KPI improvements, particularly high throughput, reduced latency, and better performance in crowded environments.” Keeping one step ahead of these trends, Nomadix has an available stock of wireless access points, controllers, LAN switches and internet gateways, while its latest firmware update brings new performance and security features.
Latest Nomadix Networks Updates:
AP 6WB: This access point complements Nomadix’s existing entry-level wall plate model (the AP 6WA), adding increased performance and capability to power an in-room device such as an IP phone. It delivers a maximum throughput of up to 2.976 Gbps, has one 2.5 Gbps port for backhaul uplink and four 1 Gbps LAN ports, including 1 PoE Out.
AP 6SA: Setting a new standard for connectivity in low-density areas, this wall/ceiling-mounted access point is an affordable, energy-efficient product for this use case. This provides another option to Nomadix’s model for high density areas (AP 6NA). It delivers a maximum throughput of up to 2.976 Gbps and has two ports - one 2.5 Gbps SFP port and one 1 Gbps PoE port for backhaul uplink.
Firmware Upgrades: This release includes several major features, including wireless client isolation, RADIUS security (RadSec), group pre-shared key (GPSK) - critical for multi-tenant deployments, Passpoint (Hotspot 2.0) support and configuration, and a documented application programming interface (API).
“The launch of Wi-Fi 6 technology saw the fastest adoption in Wi-Fi history. Our wide range of access points, switches, controllers and gateways that comprise our family of Nomadix Networks supports that Wi-Fi 6 growth. With available stock of the latest products designed to address properties of all sizes and performance requirements, customers can quickly upgrade or build new networks that meet the connectivity demands in hospitality, multi-tenant communities and additional verticals,” said Tammy Estes, Chief Product Officer at Nomadix.
Church’s Texas Chicken hired Will Cash for the brand’s Vice President, Purchasing role. Cash will implement his extensive procurement and supply chain expertise starting this week as he takes on this new role with the brand.
“Amid current supply chain challenges and the overall pace of innovation in the QSR industry, it’s an exciting time to join this company and make an impact on the business,” said Cash.
Cash will oversee the company’s purchasing function, leading the organization’s ability to efficiently source ingredients, equipment, and raw materials that are needed to support its growing operations. He will report to Randy Lawrence, Senior Vice President, Supply and QA.
Previously Cash held Procurement and Supply Chain leadership roles at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, flyExclusive, and Pinkbox Doughnuts.
Equally AI Launches World's First ChatGPT Powered Web Accessibility Platform For Developers and Website Owners
Equally AI, a tech provider of web accessibility solutions, announced the launch of Flowy. Powered by ChatGPT, Flowy is a game changer for innovative developers looking to build web products that are accessible and for website owners globally to improve web accessibility for all in the content they serve online.
“At Equally AI, we believe that accessibility should be a fundamental part of every web product," said Ran Ronen, Co-founder and CEO, Equally AI. "With Flowy, we've automated the process of accessibility compliance, making it super-fast, scalable, and cost-effective. Developers can now create truly innovative products without worrying about the technicalities of accessibility.”
One of the key features of Flowy is its recommendation engine, which provides developers with suggested code fixes to easily address accessibility issues. This helps developers ensure the quality of their product at every stage of the development process with minimal effort. Ultimately this empowers website owners from global brands to SMBs to improve web accessibility for all.
Accessibility headaches end with Flowy, the all-in-one platform that helps developers ensure the accessibility of their web products. With proprietary technology and features like providing recommendations, guides, explanations, and creative solutions for implementing necessary changes, Flowy streamlines the entire accessibility testing process. Developers can easily scan and categorize accessibility issues, prioritize and address them, and access regular monitoring and compliance reporting to ensure that their products are compliant 24/7 and avoid legal risks for not providing web accessibility for all. Flowy saves developers time, energy, and money while helping them build innovative, accessible products that will empower how websites will operate in better accessible ways for all users.
“We are excited to see what developers will create with Flowy," said Dani Zeevi, Chairman of the Board, Equally AI. "With this cutting-edge technology, the possibilities are endless. We can't wait to see the impact Flowy will have on the industry and the lives of people with disabilities.”