A few words from Jay Schultz

James (Jay) Schultz
Senior Vice President,
Hospitality Group

Anyone who reads this column knows I am a big fan of lists. In the past, I have referenced Forbes’ list of  “100 Most Powerful Women,” the Fortune 500 annual ranking of America’s largest corporations and Working Mother magazine’s “100 Best Companies.” Now, it’s the 2016 edition of Fast Company featuring its annual “Most Creative People” that caught my eye.

For those not familiar, Fast Company is a business publication with an edge, providing executives a different twist on the facts, data and analysis they rely on to accomplish their goals. As a side note, I had the pleasure to meet Bill Taylor, Fast Company’s cofounder and founding editor, when he was the keynote speaker at an event I attended in Vail, CO. He had just written, “Mavericks at Work—Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win.”

The progressive publication’s “Most Creative People” ranking is described as “a celebration of business innovators who dare to think differently. The ones taking risks and discovering surprising new solutions to old problems.” This year’s lineup is a diverse group of executives representing multiple areas of business, technology, entertainment, etc.

So, do you know where I’m going with this? I am sure you do. The hotel industry is not represented on this list. One can take this in a number of ways: (1) Is there no person from our ranks worthy of consideration or (2) as an industry, are we overlooked?

By no means am I implying that the hotel industry doesn’t have an abundance of world-class creative talent, nor do I feel that, as an industry, we were singled out by Fast Company for omission. I do believe, however, we have not spent a lot of time “tooting our own horn” on some of the wonderful and cutting-edge accomplishments we have realized over the past few years.

It’s time to start bragging and getting the message out that the hospitality industry is just as creative as any other. All anyone had to do was travel to Las Vegas and New Orleans earlier this year to attend HD Expo and HITEC, respectively, to realize what  the hotel industry has to offer in terms of both design and technology.

With most indicators pointing toward more positive times in our industry,  budgets should continue to increase, leaving Fast Company editors with plenty of reasons to keep an eye on hospitality executives. Let’s give them something new to write about.

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