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Published on : Monday, June 1, 2015
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has named Chris Wilroy and Colleen Birch as its Revenue Management Professionals of the Year, and Greg Cross as the Vanguard Award for Lifetime Achievement in Revenue Management honoree.
Birch, vice president of revenue optimization with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, was honored with the single/multi-unit Professional of the Year award. Wilroy, vice president of revenue management support services for Hilton Worldwide, received the Professional of the Year award in the corporate division. The awards, presented by HSMAI and Rainmaker, recognize professionals who promote excellence in the field of revenue management in the hospitality industry.
Birch is recognized as a leader in revenue management and optimization in the Las Vegas market. In addition to hotel revenue management, Birch oversees optimization for food and beverage operations, ancillary outlets and gaming for the $4 billion Las Vegas resort. Outside her role at The Cosmopolitan, Birch is actively involved with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and its hospitality school, including the school’s hospitality mentorship program.
When Wilroy joined Hilton’s Revenue Management Consolidation Center (RMCC), it had a high employee turnover rate before he successfully worked to improve team morale. After reviewing other needs, he introduced new revenue management services that improved cash flow for operations at other hotel types throughout the Hilton family. In addition, his objectives went beyond revenue goals and into personnel development. Wilroy challenged the RMCC team to make career paths transparent and well-defined. This allowed employees to understand internal job advancement opportunities, as well as Hilton positions outside of RMCC.
The Vanguard Award for Achievement in Revenue Management honors revenue management professionals who have left an indelible mark on the field of pricing and revenue optimization in the hospitality industry. Cross, corporate senior vice president, revenue management for Hyatt Hotels, is the first recipient of that award.
Cross joined Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in 2010 to develop revenue management into a staple expertise for the hotel chain. Earlier in his career, he created Hilton Worldwide’s hotel revenue management standards and practices, solidified the organizational structure for hotel support, and expanded his role into the first global revenue management leader the company ever appointed. Cross created a business intelligence unit, devoted solely to revenue management, to give the company and hotels the ability to take advantage of previously unseen opportunities. At Hyatt, Cross developed new revenue management technology. This culminates with the debut of new proprietary revenue management system technology for Hyatt this summer.
Beyond the business itself, Cross has demonstrated a long-time ability to find, attract, and develop deeply loyal and high performing talent. All one has to do is look around the industry to find top leadership that was groomed under Greg’s watch.
The winners will be honored at HSMAI’s 12th Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) in Austin on June 15. The conference annually attracts more than 500 revenue management leaders to discuss the latest trends and best practices in the industry.
“HSMAI is excited to recognize these individuals who exemplify leadership and have proven themselves in a discipline that has transformed the performance of the hotel industry – and continues to evolve daily,” said Bob Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI.
Nominations for the Revenue Management Professional of the Year Award and Vanguard Award for Lifetime Achievement in Revenue Management come from HSMAI chapters and the industry at large, and nominees represent the very best in revenue management. Nominees are judged by a panel of revenue management leaders on a variety of criteria.