17 Dec Meet Randy!
Randy Cravens, Creative Lodging Solutions’ new Director of Hotel Network Management, leads the team responsible for creating positive relationships between clients and hotels. I got the opportunity to talk to him about his goals at CLS as well as his hobby and some words of wisdom for his coworkers.
What are you most excited about in your new role of Director of Hotel Network Management?
I’m looking forward to really building on the relationships that we’ve already established and taking the holistic approach to improving them. I’m completely focused on creating a long-term, sustainable partnership that mutually benefits both CLS and our hotel partners. In order to make a business relationship work, it can’t be one-sided. I’ve got a great team that is committed to communicating with our hotel partners and meeting their needs.
What are some of the most pressing goals you have for your department?
CLS is growing rapidly, and so is our hotel partner base. We’re embarking on a new era for hotel partners, where HNM Specialists will personally visit the properties and do everything that we can to help build brand awareness for our partners with our client base. As a leader, I must communicate every change that comes along–with both our employees and our partners. We want to let everyone we care about know each step before we take it because when one person is affected by a change, we all are.
What else is involved in the new era for our hotel partners that you mentioned?
Over the last year, CLS established a team of dedicated and specially trained Project Specialists whose goal has been to identify properties to handle our clients’ largest pieces of project business. The core focus of that team has been to match our partner properties with our clients’ needs, at rates matching budgets that may be lower than they have for their normal transient stays. The shared success between CLS, our clients, and our hotel partners which has resulted from those efforts has led us to expand the reach of our Project Specialists, and to expand our team as a result. What this means for our clients and hotel partners is more personalized and tailored responses to the requests of our clients. And, for our hotel partners, better-qualified leads, leading to increased conversion rates for our partners in the sales arena. I am so excited to have such an amazing team of professionals working to expand our service offerings across the board.
What words of wisdom do you want to share with your team members?
I want their hours here to be enjoyable and productive, and to serve as a gateway to the time they enjoy back at home with their family and friends. If they ever start driving to work and get the urge to turn the car around, that’s my fault as a leader. Above all else, I hope to emphasize that the interpersonal skills that they develop with their family and friends enhance their work performance while giving them the passion for succeeding in their jobs. At CLS, our partnerships with our employees and hotel partners must be personal, honest, and transparent, just like our relationships at home.
What’s a fun fact about you that you’d like to share?
Working for the travel industry, even for business travel lodging, makes perfect sense because of my personal love for adventure, especially when a trip involves good food. Brazil ranks at the top of my list of foodie travel destinations. Not only is the food high-quality, perfectly seasoned, and tasty; but the music and cities provide a stunning backdrop. Traveling gives me a greater appreciation for other people which is a vital skill for my job here. Having a more global perspective allows me to provide a much more personal local experience with our clients, hotel partners, and employees.