Faculty
Adjunct Faculty Spotlight: Calvin Anderson
October 5, 2016
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written by Niki Iwasaki

Calvin AndersonCalvin Anderson is a young, successful hospitality professional with a rich background in hotel technology, operations and revenue management. He joined the NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism as an adjunct instructor in spring 2015, teaching Distribution and Channel Management to undergraduate students, and is back again this fall to teach New Media and Distribution in our graduate program.

Q1. What is your background?

I was a triple major in history (of all things) at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. While I was in college, I was also the assistant general manager at a Courtyard Marriott, where the hotel was ranked #1 in guest satisfaction out of every Marriott in the Americas, for 11 out of the 12 months I worked there. Because of the high satisfaction and therefore large percentage of returning guests, we were able to charge higher than normal prices for a typical limited service hotel.  Guests would often comment on how highly priced the property was, so I created a curriculum that taught the front office team how to gracefully explain the concept of revenue management to guests, and how that affected their rate. This is when I first touched the idea of revenue management.  I was fortunate that my work caught the attention of our SVP of revenue management for the company at that time – Alliance Hospitality. He encouraged me to pursue revenue management instead of operations because he felt I had “green talent.” When I graduated from college, I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to work with him, and this is how my career in revenue analytics began. Since then, I’ve worked in a revenue management capacity for HHM, Highgate, and Hilton, all in New York City. I was the director of revenue for the New York Hilton Midtown (NYC’s largest hotel at the time), and a little over a year ago began my current role with Duetto.

Q2. What is your role at Duetto?

Duetto is a revenue management technology company, which is exciting  because technology is where all analytics, marketing and distribution are heading.

I am currently vice president of managed services, which is “tech” for consulting. Any client that uses our revenue management software can bring on our team for revenue management consulting, or full revenue strategy for hire.

 Q3. How exciting! Now can you talk about your involvement in higher education, and what brought you to teach at NYU?

I am a four-year board member for the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) national revenue advisory board, the NYC HSMAI director of revenue, and chairman of HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Conference. HSMAI is very involved in the academic world, and NYU has its own collegiate chapter. I’ve also just finished co-writing a textbook, and I’ve guest spoken a few times at Georgetown and NYU. The guest speaker experience led me to teach as an adjunct at NYU’s Tisch Center which I am really excited about.

Q4. Can you give me a brief overview of your class: New Media and Distribution?

My approach to this class is to evolve people’s mindset from a typical understanding of revenue management where we used to just price and yield, to a place where distribution and marketing strategy are all backed up by powerful data analytics. The goal will then be to draw out an effective strategy from the data and learn to how to actually put it into practice.

We will go through real-life data illustrated by powerful visualization technology in order to understand how hotel rooms are bought and sold, and ultimately we will discover how to optimize this very process. We will also look into pricing models that offer different rates, offerings and packages, and how that ties in with revenue optimization.  The class will have a focus on hotels, but technically this analysis can be applied to any industry.

Q5. What is the significance of distribution in today’s world?

Distribution is the way that everything in the world is bought and sold. Hotel rooms are purchased the same way as clothes, concert tickets and groceries, so I want my students to learn about distribution, marketing and pricing because it’s all connected, and the concepts are transferable across industries.

Q6. As a last question, being a successful industry leader, what should students focus on during their time in school?

Developing practical skill sets. When it comes to your education, what matters most is what you remember, not just your grade. These modern skill sets will give you a true edge against the competition as you begin the journey of working towards your dream-career.

Another thing I would say is to develop a habit of self-educating constantly; because really, the trends and technologies are changing so fast you’ve got to get used to learning as you go. I always say, every six months you should learn one unique skill that can become a resume bullet point.

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