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Posted by Lodging Staff
Fast Company announced its annual ranking of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2018, honoring leading enterprises and rising newcomers that exemplify the best in business and innovation. Five hotel companies are among this year’s lists: Graduate Hotels is the only hotel brand in the top 50 innovative companies list and is also in the top 10 for travel; Best Western is among the top 10 innovative companies for the augmented reality/virtual reality category (AR/VR); Marriott is among the top 10 innovative companies for design; and both Hilton Worldwide and Equinox are among the top 10 innovative companies for wellness.
The 50 Most Innovative Companies were curated from Fast Company‘s Top 10 lists, which recognize pioneering companies across 36 categories, from artificial intelligence to wellness. More than three dozen Fast Company editors, reporters, and contributors surveyed thousands of companies—many of which were identified by a new MIC submission process—to create these lists.
Fast Company says that its annual rankings of innovative companies provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy. “This year’s MIC list is an inspiring and insightful window into how many companies have embraced innovation and are working to make meaningful change,” explains Fast Company deputy editor David Lidsky, who oversaw the issue with senior editor Amy Farley.
Ranked as the 50th most innovative company in the world as well as the second most innovative company in the travel category, Graduate Hotels made the list “for bringing team spirit to university towns,” according to Fast Company. The brand is designed for college markets in second and third-tier cities. Its portfolio is growing with 10 hotels open at the end of 2017 and a goal of opening in 100 markets in the next 10 years.
Marriott has made Fast Company‘s list of innovative companies in the past—last year, the company was among the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies and among the top 10 for travel in 2016 and 2017. This year, Marriott ranked fourth in the design sector for “creating user-friendly, tech-centric experiences.” Fast Company noted Marriott’s investment in efforts like its design-thinking lab and IoT “room of the future.”
Best Western Hotels & Resorts ranked sixth in the AR/VR category for offering guests virtual reality tours through its Best Western Virtual Reality Experience (BWVRE), which uses VR technology to reinvent the way guests view and shop for hotels. The brand also uses VR in employee training to transform communications between front desk staff and guests.
Hilton came in third in the wellness category for integrating exercise equipment into guestrooms. Guests at select hotels can take advantage of its “Five Feet to Fitness” program, which adds health-focused, in-room amenities like fitness equipment, gym storage, exercise tutorials, and nutritional drinks.
Luxury fitness brand Equinox also ranked among the top 10 innovative companies for wellness, coming in at number eight for its new hotel concept, Equinox Hotels. The company, which owns subsidiary brands like SoulCycle and Pure Yoga, is breaking into the lifestyle hotel segment with its first property slated to open in New York City next year.
The top ten companies across all industries on this year’s list are: (1) Apple, (2) Netflix, (3) Square, (4) Tencent, (5) Amazon, (6) Patagonia, (7) CVS Health, (8) Washington Post Company, (9) Spotify, and (10) NBA. Nearly 30 companies appear on this year’s list for the first time, including: Stitch Fix, Diamond Foundry, Patreon, and Ford Foundation.
Former Amadeus executives Gene Reardon and Lee Horgan bring valuable insight to secure technology provider as CFO and CRO.
By Sponsor News
Nashville-based Uniguest, a leading global provider of secure technology and print services, is pleased to announce the addition of Gene Reardon as Chief Financial Officer and Lee Horgan as Chief Revenue Officer.
Both Reardon and Horgan previously worked with Chief Executive Officer Jeff Hiscox at Newmarket International, which was acquired by the travel technology giant, Amadeus, in late 2013. As Newmarket’s CFO, Reardon successfully maneuvered Newmarket through many acquisitions, including the Newmarket-Amadeus acquirement. Post-acquisition, Horgan was named Chief Executive Officer of Amadeus Hospitality.
“Uniguest saw a lot of growth in 2017, and we have even bigger plans for 2018,” Hiscox said. “We released our new platform, Secured Advantage 10, and plan to continue to improve our service offerings throughout the year. Having Lee and Gene on board will ensure things continue to run smoothly, and I am grateful that they decided to join Uniguest.
After the Amadeus acquisition, Reardon successfully managed the integration and transition of financial and tax reporting from a privately held company to the accelerated reporting requirements of a public company. Prior to serving as Newmarket’s CFO, Reardon came on board as the corporate controller and was then named VP of Finance. Reardon is a CPA and CGMA and received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Maine.
“I first joined Uniguest as interim CFO in early 2017,” Reardon said. “Uniguest is making big strides not only within the technology space, but also within the company culture. From early on, I knew it was something I wanted to continue to be a part of.”
As CEO of Amadeus Hospitality, Horgan oversaw several successful enterprise software launches and CRM deployments. Horgan began his career in sales at Newmarket and quickly advanced through the ranks, serving as EVP of Sales and then CTO under Hiscox. He has served on the HSMAI Sales Advisory Board and the MPI Foundation Board. Horgan received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Indiana University.
“Most of my career has been steeped in the hospitality tech industry,” Horgan said. “As I began to learn more about Uniguest and its proprietary security software that serves much of the hospitality industry, it seemed to be the right fit. I am looking forward to expanding our footprint in hospitality as well as the retail business, senior living and apartment industries.”
Uniguest manages and supports more than 27,000 guest-use devices at more than 15,000 locations across 68 countries and territories, serving the hospitality, community living, and retail business industries. Its innovative suite of fully managed and supported solutions includes business centers/social spaces, interactive kiosks, digital signage, purposed tablets, mobile printing, and personalized printing.
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Hospitality technology veterans join Uniguest
There have been two industry-wide, hardware-based security flaws discovered recently by experts at Google Project Zero and other leading security firms. These vulnerabilities, nicknamed Meltdown and Spectre, exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors and allow programs to steal data which is processed on the computer. This might include passwords stored in a password manager or browser, personal photos, emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents.
Keeping user information secure is always Uniguest’s #1 priority and we have been taking active steps to address these security flaws. As of January 3, 2018, all of Uniguest’s infrastructure has been updated with the latest patches from Microsoft and Amazon to address the vulnerabilities, and we will be paying close attention to new patches and security updates as they are developed and made available to the public.
To date, Uniguest is unaware of any exploits of these security flaws or any evidence of malicious efforts. Furthermore, the existing protections on your Uniguest managed devices, including their physical security and session-based ephemerality, make the chances of any future exploit with respect to the Meltdown or Spectre security flaws existing on a Uniguest device extremely unlikely.
For more information on the “Meltdown” and “Spectre” CPU vulnerabilities, use the links provided below: