April 22, 2021
Overcoming the COVID-19 Storm – Improvement on the Horizon
by Dominic Bencivenga, Chief Worldwide Sales Officer, Travel
We recently had a conversation with Roger Pollak, Executive Vice President and CFO at Island Hospitality. Roger has been a longtime friend, business partner and a current member of the Active Travel Advisory Board.
Here are some of Roger’s insights into the current state of the Hospitality Industry:
In my 26 years with Island Hospitality, I thought dealing with world events such as Y2k, 9/11, and the real estate crisis were the most challenging times of my career. However last year, when the Coronavirus pandemic spread to the US and the economy turned upside down, I was faced with the most difficult challenge yet.
Like all other management companies, we needed to implement new processes. It was our priority to keep our team members and guests safe. Seemingly overnight, temperature checks, COVID-19 testing, front desk partitions and extensive cleaning protocols became the new normal.
Our sales teams had to notify all our existing and new customers that our hotels remained open and a safe place to stay. With the true dedication Members of both our Corporate and Hotel staffs we were up for the task and everybody performed above all expectations.
We have been able to weather the storm due the strength of Island’s strong balance sheet and keeping communication with our owners and brands so we could make the necessary adjustments to continue operating as successfully as possible. The creativity of the staff members at our hotels was especially beneficial. We were able to provide lodging for groups such as first responders who did not want to potentially expose their loved ones at home and college students who no longer had dorms open to them. We also provided excellent Wi-Fi services to our guests so they could still function while living away from home during a time of increased virtual meetings, classes, and other forms of communication.
As we start to see an improvement in the pandemic this year, we will continue to use the communication and management skills developed over the past year to continue for Island to be a premiere Management Company
Thank you and stay safe,
About Roger Pollak
Roger Pollak is Island Hospitality Executive Vice President and CFO. With over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Roger has been instrumental in the growth of Island to become one of leading Hospitality Management Companies in the USA. He has worked on the acquisition and transition of more than 200 Management contracts during his tenure at Island. Roger has been part of the Active Advisory board for the last 7 years and has also served on other Brand Advisory boards. Roger has also served as a board member in his local youth baseball league where he also a coach. Roger and his wife Jennifer are also busy raising their three kids.