Nicole Young, CRME, is passionate about food, fashion, and revenue optimization. A self-proclaimed data enthusiast, Young serves as senior corporate director of global revenue management for Rosewood Hotel Group. She is co-chair of HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Advisory Board and in 2018 was recognized by Hotels magazine as a “Next-Gen Leader Under 40” in the hospitality industry. Her latest accomplishment: HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Professional of the Year Award, which will be presented at HSMAI’s 2019 Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) in Minneapolis on June 18–19.
In an interview with HSMAI, Young told us about her passion for revenue optimization, how the discipline is evolving, and where she sees it going.
What was your first job in the hotel industry and what did you learn from it?
I was hired as an assistant front office manager with Loews Hotels while I was still in college. I started on Valentine’s Day of 2001. It taught me two very basic lessons. First, our business is one of details and people, and no matter the job or discipline, focusing on those two items bring smiles and success. The second lesson was that you’ll not have satisfied guests if you don’t have satisfied, happy staff.
What do you like about working in revenue optimization?
Revenue optimization can best be described as an unsolvable puzzle or a math problem with multiple right answers. Knowing there are many paths to success and that there is always additional opportunity is one of the qualities I like most. Working in revenue gives opportunity to have a real tangible impact to the overall health of the business. It is very satisfying when it goes right.
How has revenue optimization changed during the time you’ve been a part of it?
It has moved from a secondary to a primary function of the workings of a successful business. There is more interest and attention paid, and a higher level of business acumen is necessary to succeed than was when I got involved with revenue in 2010.
Is there a new innovation in revenue optimization that you’re particularly excited about?
I wouldn’t call it new, but the continuation of adoption of deep analytics and automation will continue to make the growth of the discipline interesting. I believe revenue optimization is the seed for many new trends in how we look at and operate different areas of our business.
Do you have a dream job in the industry?
I do and I am lucky to hold it currently with Rosewood. Having the strong organizational sponsorship for revenue optimization practices that I am afforded at Rosewood elevates my effectiveness and improves outcomes for brands and owners. It is a dream for me to have a role which touches almost every major global marketplace and spans multiple scales with our brands. I am so enriched by the diversity in both operating perspectives and culture which I encounter every day.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in revenue optimization?
Do it! I predict that unlike past generations, this current crop of revenue professionals will have multiple career paths available to them and will be valued for their creativity and business engineering skills, which parlay into a host of different roles. I think a career in revenue is fulfilling and a great bet for the future.