Webvent Academy

Bringing Professionals Together

Ultimate Service POV: What Role Does Service Play in Workplace Learning?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT  
Host: Association for Talent Development
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Service and communication expert Stephanie Leese Emrich of www.ServiceSpeaks.net reveals the mysteries of five-star hotel service standards, bringing them into the everyday workplace.

As educators and trainers, we need our messages heard. How else can we convey company culture, have successful new hire orientations, and sustain organizational performance?

  • Service makes the world go 'round!  Employee service is both internal and external. We will explore the ways these play out in workplace learning and performance. Trainer service is the essence of what we do, giving the gift of learning.
  • Awaken the Ritz within! We will discover serving beyond expectations. Think of the way it feels when you walk into one of the world's greatest hotels. 
  • Benefit your time and energy! Leverage your own style, adding to it the necessary elements to convey credibility & impact for your training programs. For consultants, elevate your relationship-building through savvy dialogue to land  that next best client.

Whether employee or trainer, communication is: personal, experiential, and subjective.

Please join us for this live session as we define the ultimate service point of view. 


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Stephanie grew up watching her grandfather glide through his Floridian hotel lobby, pleasing his guests who drove 100 miles to experience his hospitality.

That early inspiration led Stephanie to the front desk of Chicago's Drake Hotel, the day after graduating from the University of Illinois/Champaign. Her hotel career skyrocketed to sales and marketing roles with Hilton Worldwide, Air France/Meridien Hotels, and Omni Hotels & Resorts.

With her vast Rolodex, and never leaving any stone unturned, Stephanie followed her organizational and artful instincts to become an event planner. Through a consortium of boutique event houses, she attracted blue-chip clients to produce events coast to coast. Next, Stephanie was tapped as Director of Development at the Terra Museum of American Art. She studied the collection for years as a museum docent, helping the education department establish a corporate relations orientation through tours. Once employed, Stephanie managed all cultivation aspects, restructuring the museum’s revenue goals by turning the building into an event venue for profit. Stephanie's pioneering set a precedent for the way cultural events would long be held. The newly found word "edutainment" was no longer a mystery.

Bass Hotels of the UK sought Stephanie as a director for their coveted Allerton Hotel restoration and re-opening, where she directed 25 inaugural engagements. Her strengths were best leveraged in Talent Management with weekly staff orientations. She motivated the team to re-launch the radio breakfast club, with area celebrities and neighbors highlighted on the air.

Stephanie most fondly reveres her Chef Concierge role at The Talbott Hotel, an award-winning Gold Coast property in the luxury boutique category. ("Chef" meaning head or chief in French, not a role in the hotel kitchen!) Her training expertise came into play with one-on-one and classroom training for seven years. Stephanie earned the highest designation of Les Clefs d'Or, and is Past President of the National Concierge Association – Chicago. She was also a finalist for the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Stars of Industry Annual Awards.

Stephanie is a Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) as awarded by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicagoland Chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) - Board of Directors
  • Women in Lodging
  • Workplace Learning and Performance Institute
  • Chamber of Commerce memberships throught Chicago area
    Community Leader
  • The Art Institute of Chicago - Auxiliary Board education chair
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation - Auxiliary Board vice president
  • Junior League of Chicago - train the trainer
  • Lincoln Park Zoo Women's Board - events committee
  • The Alzheimer's Association - fundraising and advocacy
  • Chicago River Race - October 2012 Committee
  • Chicago Council on Foreign Relations - Co-Founder of Auxiliary Board of Directors
  • Greater North Michigan Avenue Association - Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Committee for fifteen years
  • International Visitors Center of Chicago - Citizen Diplomat

At the heart of all she does, Stephanie is an educator. Stephanie twice lead a personally developed Communications Course for the Chicago Public Schools.  Thirty CPS school prinicipals, many with whom Stephanie remains in contact, lined up in 1998 to take her 16-hour course as delivered at the Palmer House Hilton. The curriculum she built still has precedent in the system.

As President of the Industry Board of Lexington College of Hospitality, Stephanie established the school's Event and Meeting Planning curriculum and taught two custom courses. Moreover, Lexington College requested Stephanie as keynote speaker for their 25th Anniversary Commencement ~ a proud moment to back in cap & gown. 

Other scholastic outreach:

  • Paris-Chicago Sister Cities International -- Education Chair for five years including two international student exchanges
  • Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland -- Guest Presenter
  • Frequent Classroom Guest Speaker at Kendall College, Roosevelt University, Lexington College, Triton College
  • City of Chicago "Principal for a Day" Program
  • Mentoring programs in numerous capacities