As the meetings and events industry is still in reconstruction after Covid, the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), giving back to communities and sustainability has garnered more attention and discussion. The sentiment of supporting each other and doing what we can for a better future has never been so illuminated as we realize our industry works better when we do what we can for others. As 2023 comes to a close, Smart Meetings reflects on some of the year’s most moving stories featuring CSR, DEI and the all-around inspiring acts of humanitarianism in the hospitality industry.
September is National Hunger Action Month and Omni Hotels & Resorts decided to launch a CSR program, Say Goodnight to Hunger, in partnership with Feeding America, to bring awareness to food insecurity many Americans struggle with. With implemented business practices such as completed stays by visitors of the hotel equaling a meal for a family in need close to the Omni location, over 20 million meals were donated to Feeding America and providing inventory for food banks.
The theme for one of the biggest industry events of the year was simple: caring for each other. This means both professionals and attendees are dedicated to compassion and supporting each other and prioritizing humanity above all things business. Smart Meetings noticed the efforts from many great contributors at IMEX 2023 in Las Vegas and rounded up a few outstanding individuals who have been going above and beyond in creative and innovative ways to ensure human connection and satisfaction is at the forefront of all business practices.
Smart Meetings sat down for a Q and A with Denise Naguib, vice president of sustainability and supplier diversity at Marriott International, to discuss Marriott’s sustainability initiative Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction. She discusses her history of getting involved in environmental programs, the manifestation of 360: Doing Good in Every Direction and the core values of the program.
When employees feel respected, appreciated and believe their work environment is one that breeds positivity and motivating energy, productivity is increased, work moral is up and the rate of turnover is low. Celebrating the success of employees and colleagues can create the foundation for a loyal employee base. Smart Meetings provides tips on how to create that positive environment.
As the Taliban reclaimed control of Afghanistan in August of 2021, more than 1,500 refugees fled to Phoenix, Arizona to seek asylum. This coincided with the height of the staffing crisis faced by the hospitality industry and Sheraton Phoenix Downtown decided to take action. Working with the Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program, the hotel hired refugees and the mutual benefit was incredible. Not only were the new hires dedicated and essential employees, but the value of diversity and human compassion will be lasting legacies from this partnership.