Hospitality Design - August 2015 - (Page 53)

helen jorgensen perspectives interview By Stacy Shoemaker Rauen 1 ©HOST HOTELS & RESORTS, L.P., Rendering by DAWSON DESIGN ASSOCIATES CLIENT CONFIDENTIAL Understanding the importance of form and function Helen Jorgensen is the client everyone wants. Not only is her passion and knowledge undeniable, but she is vice president of design and procurement for Host Hotels & Resorts, the industry's largest lodging real estate investment trust. Jorgensen is responsible for all procurement and purchasing-related matters, as well as design management and design firm qualification for Host's portfolio of more than 130 properties (both owned and in joint ventures), mostly divided across major brands such as Marriott, Westin, Sheraton, RitzCarlton, and Hilton, to name a few, in some 50 markets worldwide. Now the company is trying its hand at independent properties with three boutique hotels in the works in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Phoenix. Here, Jorgensen talks early jobs, achieving balance between form and function, and the importance of storytelling. How did you end up in hospitality? My first experience was at Marriott's architecture and construction division upon completion of a graduate certificate in administrative management at Harvard University. The importance of the partnerships between procurement, design, and construction for the success of each project really excited me and catered to my business background. Add in the artistry of design, and I was hooked. Unfortunately, after several years, the hospitality industry went into a downturn cycle, and I moved to another opportunity at Telecommunication Techniques. That move gave me insight into manufacturing, which later became a strength. After that role came 11 years at Disney media in strategic sourcing. What made you want to get back into hospitality? I realized hospitality was the most engaging industry I had experienced. I set out for opportunities when Host opened a new position in development, design, and construction for a director of procurement. From my previous positions, I was able to bring new insights in procurement and design by understanding the business side and adding a long-term process to the renovations by engaging in operation issues, durability of product, and partnership programs, which were lacking in hospitality, especially on the owner's side. [As a result], I developed the Strategic Supplier program shortly after 1. A rendering of the lobby of Host's Logan, Philadelphia's Hotel, which will be part of Hilton's Curio Collection. joining the company, and it's now becoming a full strategic partnership program with design and architecture. What have been some of the biggest changes in the industry-and the resulting challenges-since you started? In supply management, some of the biggest changes have been in manufacturing from local factories to overseas to trying to become local again. A lot of the talent has to be redeveloped locally, which takes time. Another real challenge is capacity with today's strong market being stretched both in production and in labor with our suppliers and consultants. Everyone is busy and all projects have tight schedules, which only adds stress in the process. In design, there are three areas of change which create the challenges we face: creative reuse, or how to make the big impact on partial renovation projects with limited time and budget; finding the balance between form and function, or how to keep finishes durable enough for our investment while maintaining design; and the growth of the boutique and non-branded hotels and how to create authentic, unique design experiences and use technology properly. August 2015 053

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - August 2015

Hospitality Design - August 2015
online TOC
from the editor
from the show director
trends 3d printing
interview helen jorgensen
5 questions for karim rashid
profile kelly hoppen
profile poesis design
profile 13&9
profile maria cornejo
profile design by them
profile ladies & gentlemen studio
profile emerging designers
trends collaborations
trends spanish influence
special feature custom solutions
airland hotel
press hotel
hotel henriette
newport marriott
industry kitchen
ad index
back space

Hospitality Design - August 2015