Invest in Your Managers, Hotel Industry Experts Say; New UCLA Extension Executive Hotel Management Program Fits the Bill

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Now is the time for hotels and resorts to invest in their managers' professional skills, industry experts say. UCLA Extension's Executive Hotel Management Program is designed to do just that.

In this economy, the more educated, more well-rounded managers will come to the front.

The hotel industry will struggle in 2009, but does that mean hotel businesses should simply retrench and wait out the economic downtown? Many industry experts say no: instead, this is the time for hotel businesses to invest in their managers.

"In this climate, definitely the good, nimble managers are separated from the not-so-good managers," says Arash Azarbarzin, president of SBE's hotel division and a UCLA Extension Executive Hotel Management Program Advisory Board member. "In this economy, the more educated, more well-rounded managers will come to the front."

Providing managers with the real-world business skills and knowledge to be leaders during today's economic challenges and tomorrow's recovery is the purpose of UCLA Extension's Executive Hotel Management Program. This intensive 10-day program is designed to fast-track managers' career development and build their ability to lead their organizations and face the challenges of a fast-changing global economy. Held at UCLA, the program is intended for senior-level managers of full-service and multi-unit hotels, clubs and resorts.

Azarbarzin notes that in today's cost-conscious operations, managers are responsible for more than ever before, making it difficult for them to leave their properties for professional development. However, he adds, that also means they have less time for on-the-job training, traditionally a strong component of the hotel industry's career advancement track. UCLA Extension's short, focused and intensive program allows managers to build their skills with minimal time away from their properties. The investment, says Azarbarzin, will pay off.

The program's curriculum, developed and taught by UCLA Extension and leading industry experts, addresses the real-world complexities and dynamic trends facing hotel executives today:

Global Overview: Strategic Vision for the Hotel Industry
Advanced Hotel Management and Leadership Skills I and II
Strategic Hotel Management
Executive Management: Real Estate
Executive Management: Technology Issues
Marketing and Sales Management: Global Strategy
Financial Management: An Executive Perspective
Operations Management: Navigating Your Ship
Project Management for Hoteliers
Hotel Law: Issues Facing Hotel Executives
Green Hotel Business Model

The UCLA Extension Executive Hotel Management Program "allows managers to take a step back from day to day operations of a hotel and see the hospitality world from a very high level," says Mobil Travel Guide President and CEO Shane O'Flaherty, also an advisory board member. "Individuals can return to their property and work with management to implement appropriate changes that could have a positive impact on areas of the property such as cost savings, efficiencies and also the consumer experience."

The inaugural UCLA Extension Executive Hotel Management Program takes place Aug. 17-28, 2009. The $9,800 program fee covers registration, course instruction and materials, UCLA housing and meals, access to UCLA's world-class recreational facilities, and visits to elite Los Angeles and Beverly Hills hotels, as well as special events. The application due date is March 31. Find out more and download the application at

The program's advisory board comprises:
Arash Azarbarzin, president, Hotel Division, SBE
Bruce Baltin, senior vice president, PFK Consulting
Jim Butler, chairman, Global Hotel Group, Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP
Javier Cano, general manager, JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE
Alison Cumberland, vice president, Lodging Development, Western Region, Marriott International Inc.
Mehdi Eftekari, general manager, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles
William H. Emer, Los Angeles officer managing partner, Perkins Coie LLP
Teresa A. Holden, partner, Allimar Marketing
David Horowitz, general manager, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza
Ali V. Kasikci, managing director, Montage Beverly Hills
Victoria H. King, president, Victoria King Public Relations
Brian A. Kite, vice president and managing principal, Leo A Daly, Los Angeles
Edward E. Leamer, Chauncey J. Medberry Professor of Management, professor of economics, professor of statistics, and director, UCLA/Anderson Business Forecast Project
Carlos Lopes, managing partner, Unique Hotels
Edward A. Mady, vice president and area general manager, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
Offer Nissenbaum, managing director, Peninsula Beverly Hills
Shane O'Flaherty, president and CEO, Mobil Travel Guide
Darell Schmitt, principal, Darrell Schmitt Design Associates
Joseph Valenti, senior vice president, marine operations, Crystal Cruises

About UCLA Extension
One of the nation's leading university-based institutions for continuing education, UCLA Extension offers some 4,300 classroom and online courses and programs each year, helping 47,000 lifelong learners in Los Angeles and around the world advance their goals for career, academic and personal educational development. For more information, visit


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