20 Years of Changes
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!
Sue Sanders explains that process:
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
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
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
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
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