Four Seasons CEO Kathleen Taylor to Receive Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award

Recognition a Testament to Taylor's Strategic Focus

NEW YORK, June 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Innovation has always been fundamental to Four Seasons success, but since taking the reins as CEO of the company in 2010, Kathleen Taylor has implemented several significant measures to reignite the company's culture of innovation and ensure continued distance between Four Seasons and the competition. In the span of just two years, Taylor has introduced an organizational transformation through more than fifteen global initiatives and is breathing new life into product and service development.

"Our commitment to advancement has never been stronger and our efforts begin with our people," said Taylor. "We've provided them with a number of new platforms through which to truly reinvent the services they provide to our guests and customers, both external and internal. We're looking at everything we do as a company with a fresh perspective."

One of the first actions Taylor took in creating a platform for innovation was to restructure the company's Executive Leadership Team. The goal was to provide a robust infrastructure to support the generation of new ideas and syndicate them globally. This included the creation of Area Presidents of Hotel Operations to promote and facilitate innovation and the execution of new ideas in all of the company's operating regions. It also included the creation of a global executive level position dedicated entirely to innovation and product development.

"My role is a first in the luxury hospitality industry and demonstrates Katie's conviction that in order to maintain our leadership position we must always be one step ahead in all areas of our business," said Chris Hunsberger, Executive Vice President, Global Product and Innovation. "My job is to ensure that we are doing more than addressing the needs of the guest of today by anticipating their needs in the future."

Currently in development are programs which will transform banquets, add new energy and dynamism to dining out and revolutionize the arrival experience. Innovation at Four Seasons extends well beyond service delivery to include new approaches to design and decor, technology and the way in which guests can communicate with the company and each other.

"We are leaving no stone unturned to secure Four Seasons position as the number one luxury hospitality company in the world," said Taylor. "We are talking about a transformation that is not only enticing to our guests, but one that is invigorating for our employees and adding value for our hotel owners."

The Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award is an honour given annually by The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Taylor will receive the award at the fourth annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards, Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Click here to view a tribute video and learn more about Four Seasons dedication to excellence. It is the latest accolade for Taylor, who most recently became the first woman to receive HOTELS magazine Corporate Hotelier of the Year award. Also in 2011, she was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women's Executive Network, received the Chairman's Gold Award from the Ontario Hostelry Institute and was honored with the International Society of Hospitality Consultants Pioneer Award. Other recognition includes the Hennick Centre for Business and Law Medal for Career Achievement in 2010, induction into the Marketing Hall of Legends in 2009, Award for Business Achievement from the Canadian General Counsel in 2006, Chairman's Award from the Industry Real Estate Financing Advisory Council (IREFAC) of the American Hotel and Lodging Association in 2003 and the Schulich Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership in 2001.

Sorya Gaulin
Director, Corporate Public Relations
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

SOURCE Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts


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