Bill Keffer is the Cluster General Manager of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites and the iconic JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, a flagship of the JW Marriott Brand that opened in 2012 as the world’s tallest hotel. Bill is leading the hotel team of over 1,000 associates and more than 50 nationalities and is responsible for every aspect of this 1,608 room landmark, having already led the team to significant operational success.
Given his extensive tenure within the hospitality sector, it’s hard to shortlist his prominent achievements. Despite a turbulent past 12 months, Bill was able to continue this trend seeing the hotel team to continue to offer unrivaled guest experience with the team at the hotel being recognized with over 15 awards already year to date. Bill’s wealth of experience in the industry allowed him to lead the iconic 1,608 key hotel through the pandemic without having to close the hotel doors, a feat which was unachievable by many hotels across the globe, especially one of this size. His understanding of the market and savvy business analytics led him to the decision him to close one tower, saving electricity and costs across the board also allowed him to retain the majority of the associates.
In regards to revenue generation, Bill and his team adapted the hotel’s sales strategy during the pandemic, diversifying into long stay business for the hotel as well as reaching out to new markets, such as Israel. These new strategies helped maintain and support the business during the tough times and into 2021 helped drive more demand leading the hotel to achieve budget year to date.
His kind and friendly demeanor combined with charismatic personality makes him approachable and well-trusted by his team which is reflected in the Associate Engagement results in 2021 where the hotel achieved 90% Engagement. Just on that note, like a true mentor, Bill was overjoyed when promoting Nick Patmore (ex. Food & Beverages Director) to Hotel Manager last year. Nick’s promotion was a result of F&B exceeding its budget by 5 % in 2021, a huge achievement following a year where the hospitality and F&B industry were badly hit, helping for a speedy recovery for the hotel.
However if you were to ask Bill himself to pinpoint his favourite achievements, the avid animal lover would shout out the cat shelter project he has being part of lately. Teaming up with associates from the hotel, the group is facilitating over 25 stray cats at the staff accommodation in Ras Al Khor where our furry friends are well looked after.
Hailing from the Southern state of Tennessee in the US, Keffer has held managerial positions with Marriott International for over 25 years. Beginning his career in the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Keffer joined Marriott International in his home state of Tennessee some time later, followed by positions in Florida and New York. In 2000, Keffer decided on a move to Asia and spent two years in Japan as the Food and Beverage Director of the Renaissance Hotel, Sapporo, followed by three years in South Korea as Director of Operations in the JW Marriott, Seoul. 2005 saw a move to Europe taking on the role of Area Director of Operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland until 2009, when he came to the UAE as General Manager of Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel and Suites.
Throughout his career, Keffer has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including Continent General Manager of the Year 2012, Continent Hotel of the Year 2011, Global Hotel of the Year for 2011, three individual recognitions for Leadership and Engagement Excellence between 2010 and 2012, Food and Beverage Excellence in 2011, Operational Excellence in Asia Pacific Region 2005 and a special award for ‘Investor in People’ in Middle East and Africa, 2011. In his past assignments he was actively engaged in local community projects and business councils, winning a “Contribution to Culture” award in the Marriott Business Council and “Spirit to Serve” Community award in Dubai.
With career spanned over 2.5 decades and counting, served in three continents for multiple owners and at the iconic properties backed with numerous awards and accolades, Bill’s committed and dedication to the industry is truly legendary.