LRA Worldwide Announces Promotions for International Consultants - Regional “Hubs” to Serve Growing Client Base outside the United States

May 21, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
HORSHAM, Pennsylvania; May 21, 2007 – LRA Worldwide, Inc., a leading consulting firm in the rapidly-growing field of Customer Experience Management (CEM), has announced a number of promotions within its international consultant corps, elevating seven individuals to the role of Senior Consultant or Account Manager. These seasoned hospitality industry professionals will serve as de facto field offices in the regions that they cover, providing account support for LRA client projects and field consultants throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia. They will also be charged with developing new business opportunities in those regions.

“We’ve reached a point where a great deal of our hospitality business is international,” explained John Roberto, an LRA Senior Vice President and the Managing Director of the firm’s Quality Assurance & Mystery Shopping practice. “Our international field offices will supplement the infrastructure already in place for these accounts, and the various areas of expertise among the Account Managers and Senior Consultants that we’ve promoted will provide valuable resources to our team members operating internationally.”

The core of LRA’s business is in performance measurement services – the design, development and implementation of custom Quality Assurance/Brand Assurance Audit Programs and Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Research Programs. LRA currently works with eight of the top 10 hotel groups worldwide in one or both of these capacities; LRA conducts more than 13,000 hotel audits in a given calendar year and has 350,000-plus customer survey responses in its benchmark database.

The LRA regional field offices will be covered as follows:

Kerry Welch, Senior Consultant: Prior to joining LRA, Kerry amassed ten years of experience in various management, rooms, guest service, reservations and sales positions in the hospitality industry, most recently as a General Manager for Hilton. She has split time between the U.K. and Canada, working primarily for high-end independent hotel and conference center properties. Kerry has a degree from the Wilfried Laurier University in Ontario, earned certifications in Customer Care/Customer Service in both England and Canada, and speaks conversational French and German.

Anna Astwood, Senior Consultant: Anna joined LRA after spending six years in Front Desk and Guest Service management positions at the W Hotel in New York; she also helped lead the opening team for the W Hotel Mexico City. Since joining LRA, Anna has worked out of Mexico for the past three years on the Grupo Posadas and Starwood Latin America accounts. Anna has her degree in International Business Management from Pace University in New York; she speaks English and Spanish fluently and is conversant in French and Italian.

Central and South America
Jorge Orozco, Senior Consultant: Jorge boasts upwards of ten years experience in the hospitality industry, serving in a variety of front-line and managerial roles. As Reservations and Revenue Manager at the Holiday Inn Downtown Miami, Jorge led a high-performing unit that ultimately improved customer service performance by 80-percent and increased internet business by 90-percent. Fluent in both Spanish and English, Jorge studied at Universidad Libre in Bogota, Colombia prior to coming to the United States.

Sonja Engljaehringer, Account Manager: Sonja’s background includes more than 13 years of international hospitality experience with four- and five-star hotels and resorts in Austria, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. She has worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Relais & Châteaux Hotels & Resorts in various leadership positions in sales and marketing, rooms and revenue management. Sonja is a graduate of the Hotel and Tourism Academy in Austria and speaks German, English, French and Italian.

Africa, Middle East
Douglas Cooper, Senior Consultant: Douglas’10-plus years of experience in the international hospitality industry include front office and guest service management positions with a wide range of property types, including high-end African Safari Lodges, full-service city center hotels (Sheraton Belgravia), Relais & Châteaux Hotels & Resorts and high-end contemporary properties (St. Martin’s Lane in London, part of the Morgans Hotels Group). In addition to English, Douglas speaks the national languages of Zimbabwe, Shona and Ndebele.

Ishneet Kohli, Account Manager: Ishneet has been a member of the LRA team for nearly four years, serving in both an account management and field consultant role. Prior to joining LRA she worked for Loews Hotels and Hilton Hotels in front desk management; she began her hospitality career with the five-star Taj Group of Hotels, working as a management trainee in India and Dubai. Ishneet graduated from the Indian Institute of Hotel Management and from Widener University with a B.S. in Hospitality Management and speaks Hindi and Punjabi in addition to English.

Gary Tan, Senior Consultant: Gary’s expertise spans the hospitality spectrum, with experience in the food & beverage, sales, rooms, event management and guest services divisions in both the cruise and hotel sectors. Gary has worked for Star Cruises Singapore, the world’s third largest cruise operator, as well as the Oriental Hotel Singapore and the Holiday Inn Park View. He has his undergraduate and Masters degree diplomas in Hotel Management and Tourism from the Swiss Hotel Management School and speaks fluent English and Mandarin.

The majority of account support and business development activities will still originate from LRA’s corporate office (ph: +1.215.957.1999, email:, located outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States.

About LRA Worldwide, Inc:
LRA Worldwide, Inc. is a leading consulting, organizational development and research company that specializes in Customer Experience Management (CEM). LRA helps companies and brands design and deliver the optimal customer experience across all key touch points using an integrated suite of services that measure and improve service quality, customer satisfaction, employee performance, loyalty, customer advocacy and profitability. LRA specializes in “operationalizing the brand” – turning brand promise and customer strategy into operational reality. LRA’s CEM practice areas include Customer Experience Strategy Design, Standards Development & Content Management, Organizational Development & Training, Research and Quality Assurance & Mystery Shopping; these are either deployed together in a strategic manner to continually monitor and improve the customer experience or deployed individually to address a specific tactical client need.

LRA’s clients include some of the world’s leading companies and brands, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Summit Hotels & Resorts, IBM, the PGA TOUR, the NBA and Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at

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