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Technology Rock Stars SARAH FULTS

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April 19, 2021
Technology Leaders
Fran Worrall

The People Leading the Industry
In HU’s second annual ‘Technology Rock Stars’ special report, we feature 10 technology leaders who have set themselves apart as hospitality’s best and brightest. Selected by a panel of hotel and gaming consultants and insiders, these men and women not only are driving change within their organizations but also are at the forefront of innovation in the industry. Our profiles provide an in-depth look at their recent accomplishments and highlight their predictions for technology’s future. We also share some of their personal bests ó ranging from favorite travel destinations (everywhere from Napa Valley to New Zealand) to favorite periodicals (in addition to Hospitality Upgrade, of course). We hope you enjoy this year’s special report.

VP of Distribution
MGM Resorts International 

Sarah Fults is vice president of distribution at MGM Resorts International where she is responsible for implementing technology that optimizes channel performance to drive revenue and efficiencies. She joined the company in 2016 after serving as director of third-party distribution at Choice Hotels and director of global distribution at Loews Hotels. She also has experience on the vendor side, having worked for Hetras (a Shiji Group brand), HBSi, Blue Square Studios (acquired by TravelClick), and Pegasus. While a college student in Arizona, she worked at the front desk of Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa where her brother was a bellman. “I fell in love with the industry then, and here I am today,” she said.

Throughout her career, Fults has made numerous contributions in the area of hotel distribution, both through her executive positions and her leadership within the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA), where she has served as a board member and president. The organization’s mission is to optimize and simplify hospitality distribution, a cause she has long championed.

When Fults arrived at MGM, the company had numerous booking systems in place. One of her first major initiatives was to achieve connectivity for all third-party partners and modernize content distribution. She is leading the implementation of a new central reservation system that will power and book across all channels, not an easy task at such a massive organization. After gaining support from all stakeholders, she led the RFP effort and shepherded the team through a demanding six-month discovery period.

MGM selected Amadeus as its central reservations vendor and quickly began the process of enhancing the platform to ensure connectivity to all reservation channels and to support gaming operations. At the same time, the company rolled out IDeaS revenue management system, a project that was completed late last year. Although the project is exciting on its own, the real thrill for Fults is seeing the two vendors join forces. “We’re getting the right systems in place as a foundation to build upon for years to come,” she said. “The goal is to gain a holistic view of every guest and allow them to curate their own experience, while at the same time optimizing pricing. Personalization not only transforms the guest experience but also deepens the brand engagement.”

In addition, Fults oversees MGM’s distribution technology and operations team. “A big part of my job is to make sure the right people are in the right roles and they feel empowered.”

She stays on top of technology trends, always focusing on the future and on creating win-win partnerships. “It’s important to keep an eye on innovative companies to see what they’re doing,” she concluded. “If you’re trying new approaches and disrupting established markets, you will learn something.”

Family: Single and considering.

Go-To Periodical or Website: Online Travel Update by Greg Duff, an attorney at Foster Garvey. “It offers a great weekly overview of what’s going on in the world of online travel.”

Hobbies: Fashion, interior design and learning about functional medicine.Jams: 80s and 90s rock, hip-hop and pop.

Favorite Travel Destination: Portugal’s Douro Valley. “I almost never visit the same place twice, but this area is so beautiful I’d love to buy a home there.” 

Advice to Young People: "You’ll receive criticism throughout your career. Focus on how you react and on what you can learn, and find the people you can trust to give you good advice.”

Dinner With: Hillary Clinton. “I’d love to talk with her about being a strong woman and breaking glass ceilings in a traditional industry.”

©2021 Hospitality Upgrade
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