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February 2011 — International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) named one of the hotel industry’s most respected leaders, Kathleen Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, recipient of the 2011 Pioneer Award. The Pioneer Award annually recognizes an outstanding individual or organization for their contributions to the industry. The award criteria also take into account active involvement in the industry, community involvement, and special personal/organizational attributes and qualities. The award was presented to Taylor by Matt Arrants, Chairman ISHC and Managing Director Pinnacle Advisory Group, at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) held recently in San Diego.
Left to Right: Matt Arrants, Chairman ISHC and Managing Director Pinnacle Advisory Group; Kathleen Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
For a company that is based on personalized service and carefully nurtured relationships, quadrupling in size over the past two decades would seem to be a challenge, almost counter-intuitive. “Not so,” says Taylor, who is the top Four Seasons executive. “If anything, we have more points of contact, and thus more opportunities to create new relationships and further develop the ones we’ve had for many years. We’ve never had more places to welcome our guests, more career opportunities for our employees and more exciting prospects for our investment partners,” adds Taylor.
Working with the owners of the hotels and resorts operated by Four Seasons, and with other investors, is a large part of Taylor’s job, along with overseeing every aspect of the operations of the company around the world. What lies ahead? Expansion. Four Seasons has a current portfolio of 84 hotels in 34 countries, with close to 50 new properties in some stage of planning or development. The brand has become synonymous with quality and service in a highly competitive, often volatile industry. Taylor explains where it really happens, “The Four Seasons experience is what happens thousands of times a day between our guests and employees all over the world. All I do is create an environment that makes it possible for the more than 35,000 Four Seasons employees to do what they do best –create memories.”
“Our business is about relationships – with our guests, our employees and our investment partners. All of those relationships are long term and what ultimately is the success of Four Seasons,” adds Taylor.
The Pioneer Award was established in 1996 by ISHC to recognize individuals making an outstanding contribution, achievement and or improvement in the hospitality industry. Previous award winners include: include Leland C. Pillsbury, J.W. Marriott, Christel DeHaan, Bill Kimpton, Jonathan M. Tisch, Michael Leven and Randell A. Smith. The award is presented each year at the Americas Lodging Investment Conference.
ISHC is a professional society of leading hospitality industry consultants. Membership is by invitation only and members are required to abide by the ISHC Code of Professional Conduct. ISHC is represented by some two hundred members who, collectively, have expertise in over 40 different specialty areas and work experience in 65 countries. A complete listing/directory of members and specialty areas of expertise represented within ISHC is available under “Consultant Search” on the ISHC web site at www.ishc.com.