20 Years of Change

As part of our year-long 20th-anniversary celebration, we're sharing the changes that we love most over the last two decades. Whether they are inside our company, in the hospitality industry, or in the larger world, it's pretty impactful to realize just how big a difference 20 years makes!

Within HVMG:

We have operated 114 hotels throughout the US, including luxury, lifestyle, full-service, and select-service branded and independent hotels.

We were first known as Hospitality Ventures, HV for short. We became Hospitality Ventures Management Group in 2011 and now go by HVMG.

Sue Sanders explains that process:

In late 2010 the Leadership Team started the process to build our first strategic plan. Through primary research, we learned that people viewed Hospitality Ventures as an investment group rather than the full-suite-of-services, turn-key total management solution that we actually were and are today. After more research and related branding activities, we landed on the new name and subsequent branding - Hospitality Ventures Management Group.

What I love about that process is that we let the primary and competitive research drive the branding attributes and territories first, and then we derived the name from that. Too often that important and difficult work is skipped. We were well informed to build our strategic plan following the comprehensive renaming and rebranding exercise.

We won the Atlanta Business Chronicle's Pacesetter Award in 2012 and were recognized as one of the Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies in Atlanta. We've been a Top Workplace since 2018.

Our ability to grow the HVMG brand through social media has been a game-changer in the Talent recruiting space! -- Sue Sanders

Over the past 20 years, I have been so proud to witness the evolution of our culture into what we feel today. I remember one particular moment, several years ago, when our culture was just forming. We knew we wanted to call our culture "Be Excellent," but we didn't yet have the logo and branding we have today. We were hosting our property leaders in Atlanta for a leadership conference, and our social event was bowling. Imagine 100 people in a bowling alley all wearing HVMG t-shirts that said "Be Excellent" on the back. As I was bowling, a man said, "I was just bowling with my son and noticed all of you wearing those t-shirts. I thought that was so cool because that is the exact same thing I say to my son every morning when he gets on the school bus... I say 'Be excellent, Daniel,' and he responds, 'Be excellent, Dad'." I still get goosebumps from that to this day. At that moment, I knew our culture was going to be impactful and lasting! When I look at our "Be Excellent" culture today, it is so much stronger than it was back then, and that is because of our associates who are inspired each day to wake up and say, "I am not going to be average...I am going to Be Excellent!" -- Matthew Woodruff

Within the hospitality industry:

Paper airline tickets were the norm 20 years ago, and hotels that offered boarding pass printing stations were the height of technological sophistication. Today you rarely see them.

iPhones, Blackberries, and Kindles had yet to be invented, so hotels had banks of payphones and very few electrical outlets near the bed. Now, there are giant boxes of left-behind device chargers in every hotel, and most nightstands include at least two plugs.

GPS devices weren't mainstream in cars until 2007, with phones coming later than that, so hotels needed detailed local maps and geographically-gifted concierge to direct visitors.

More women in leadership positions! -- Carla McDonald

The biggest change in food and beverage over the past 20 years has been the smartphone. We eat with our cameras. Our guests are constantly taking photos of their food for social media. -- Marcus Marshall

The brands have moved away from managing hotels on behalf of owners to an almost complete franchise model aside from a small number of core hotels. -- Cory Chambers

I enjoy going to restaurants and bars with no cigarette smoke! Love the non-smoking ordinances that didn't exist 20 years ago! -- Margie Vito

In the greater world:

Social media, streaming services, and the sharing economy did not exist 20 years ago! No #OOTD, no Netflix and chill, and no Uber -- instead, we talked on the phone, went to the movies, and tried to luck into finding a cab.

Phone calls to numbers outside of your immediate city cost money, and many of us spent days dreading the arrival of our long-distance phone bills.

We used to get music on CDs, the radio, or MTV (which still played music in those days) rather than our cell phones.

Connection is now 24/7 via phones and the internet. News is instant, texts are instant, movies and TV shows at your fingertips. There is no more disconnecting during evenings, weekends, travel days, and vacations, so we must make a decision to balance connection time with human interaction time. -- Kim Brooks-Martin

One of the biggest shifts is the mindset of associates towards a balance of work and personal life. Generational differences are more obvious, and leaders have to find ways to motivate and reward both and appreciate both perspectives. -- Wilson Turner

You can do everything now with a click of a button and there has been a shift in work/life balance and the desire for flexibility. People are seeking a company that will allow them the time to spend with their families, and there is much more advocacy for the importance of downtime. -- Mandisa Brown de Gonzalez