On Friday, April 24th, the leadership team participated in its third Leadership 102 trip for the school year. Prior visits included Wakefern Food Corporation and Verizon. This time the team had the opportunity to explore business and hospitality in their visit to Wyndham Worldwide in Parsippany, New Jersey.
The day began with a tour by Jeffrey Esqullio, a Sustainability Specialist. Mr. Esquillo walked the team around both Wyndham headquarter buildings while explaining their innovative sustainability approach. Each building was built from the ground up with “Wyndham Green” in mind. Wyndham Green is a special program launched in 2006 focused on brining environmentally friendly and rewarding practices to Wyndham in terms of energy, water, recycling, waste, air quality and more. Mr. Esquillo shared many of Wyndham’s environmental programs, products and services in order to demonstrate the company’s devotion to sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
The discussion on corporate social responsibility expanded with a presentation by the Corporate Social Responsibility Senior Vice President, Faith Taylor. Ms. Taylor is also a member of the Women’s Leadership Program. Ms. Taylor shared with the team her story as the original founder of the Wyndham Green program. She explained that she approached the CEO of Wyndham with her idea, and although he encouraged her to implement the program, this may not always be the case. Ms. Taylor explained that one may encounter many No’s before a Yes, but it is important to be resilient about these situations.
Kelsey Connell, Human Resource Manager, continued the discussion by providing insight on resumes, interviews, hiring practices and more. Ms. Connell kindly shared how she arrived to Wyndham, and what her hiring experience was like an interested employee. Ms. Connell then transitioned to what she looks for in employees who apply for positions. She admitted that she looks for skills acquired from leadership, work or school experiences. Ms. Connell also discussed the importance of aligning yourself with a company in order to determine if it is truly the company for you. She mentioned that the supportive, fun and exciting Wyndham work culture aligned with who she was, yet she did not begin her time at Wyndham in Human Resource. Ms. Connell began working in Wyndham in a technical position, however she felt the company was the right one for her so instead of transitioning to another company she sought ways to reach the position she wanted in Human Resource. Within a few years, Wyndham helped Ms. Connell reach the position she desired.
Desiree Rico, Strategic Sourcing Marketing Communications Manager, elaborated on Wyndham franchisees. She shared the promotional pieces her team designed for Wyndham that is mailed and electronically delivered to franchisees. The promotional pieces were focused on highlighting Wyndham suppliers in order to encourage franchisees to purchase from Wyndham approved suppliers. Ms. Rico explained that since the franchisees were not legally required to purchase from Wyndham approved suppliers, many do not. These franchisees face exposure to long/short term risks in terms of sustainability, efficiency, finances and more. Having explained the importance of the selected and approved Wyndham suppliers, Ms. Rico proposed a challenge to the team – Devise 2-3 strategies for influencing franchisees to purchase from Wyndham approved suppliers.
The team divided into two groups and began working on the challenge throughout lunch. The following ideas were proposed:
- Leverage social media to increase engagement between franchisees and approved suppliers
- Emphasize in direct mail and electronic advertisements discounts available when franchisees buy from approved suppliers
- Create an individual log-in for each franchisee lead so he or she can have unlimited access to the Wyndham portal that highlights the approved suppliers. In addition, create a platform that highlights by region all of the savings available when selecting an approved supplier
- Build a warehouse where Wyndham will store products from approved suppliers, and request that franchisees order these products from Wyndham directly in order to streamline the ordering process while creating a show room of products
- Provide bulk samples that are personalized for the franchisee based on identified needs then follow-up with order forms
- Host a fair with all approved suppliers and representatives explaining and showcasing top supplies like televisions
All in all, the team had an incredible day at Wyndham learning about its innovative practices. We would like to thank Wyndham for hosting the final Leadership trip.