Member Spotlight
Robert Gordon
Vice President, WorkPlace Services
American Express

Which hospitality and foodservice services do you oversee and how does SHFM help you balance these responsibilities?

I oversee dining operations, Conference centers, Audio Visual Services, Day Care Centers, Gyms/Fitness Rooms, and Concierge Services Globally. The change of SFM to SHFM has coincided with new responsibilities to my work and has provided me information, useful statistics and a great group of people to share issues/questions with so I can bring the best experience to the people I serve.   

What do you see as the most important trend in the industry?

Sustainability- While it’s not new its ever-changing. Changes go from what we measure to how we measure it. Not only are we as operators driving change, government agencies and regulators are enacting new programs and requirements in this area causing us to think differently. As a friend in the industry said to me, “There is no Planet B for our children”

How do you keep your customers happy?

By engaging them. I hold focus groups, created advisory boards, and am always reaching out for feedback. It is important to hear what people want so you can meet their needs. Designing in a box doesn’t move the needle on raising CSAT scores, listening and acting upon it does. 

How have you seen the association grow and change since you joined?

I’ve have been part of the organization since the mid nineties and have seen a number of changes. I think the addition of the “H” has been the most positive step forward in a long time. I know many in the organization are like me and oversee much more that dining services. SHFM is now focused on delivering industry specific information on a number of topics people like me see every day. 

Which SHFM event has been your favorite to attend?

While I always enjoy the National Conference’s, this year’s Critical Issues Conference was my favorite. Selfishly I was on the planning committee, but working with such a great group of talented and passionate people made the work enjoyable. As I sat there and watched the day unfold, I thought about how these topics spoke to all of the SHFM membership, from client liaisons and contracted operators to the vendors that support us I think we all had some great takeaways from the day…… and some great food.