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Brenda Burke

Brenda Burke

Director of Hotel Technology - PMS Interfaces
Hilton Hotels

What is your job title?
Director of Hotel Technology - PMS Interfaces.

What are some of your responsibilities?
Mostly, I perform due diligence in order to select vendors and products that meet our criteria for
having an interface with Hilton's PMS systems. I'm also the primary contact for managing our POS vendors and installations.

What do you like most about your job?
I like the amount of interaction I have with a wide variety of people, i.e. software developers,
hotel owners, GMs, vendors, cabling contractors, etc.

What do you like least about your job?
I really don't enjoy having to tell GMs and owners that we aren't going to develop a custom interface
for the guest service system they just installed. Even though we have a huge variety of approved vendor interfaces, we still have those properties that want to do things their own way. It's hard to please everyone, so often I have to be the bearer of bad news.

Did you go to undergraduate school? Where? What was your major?
Yes, I went to Eastern Washington University where I graduated with a major in Business Management. I got my minor in Music. Piano was my passion in those days.

What is your favorite movie?
"When Harry Met Sally." Actually, I like most of Meg Ryan's movies, but especially this one. The storyline revolves around the question, "Can men and women just be friends?"

What is your favorite song?
Music has a way of supplementing my emotions. When I'm excited about something, I like to listen to Earth, Wind, and Fire. You just can't sit still when listening to those guys sing!

What is your favorite line from a movie or song?
There's a quote from the movie, "Steel Magnolias", that I really like, "I'd rather have a moment of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special..." I think that's a great line!

What was your first job?
Well, of course I used to babysit my sisters when I was a kid, but my favorite early job was working in a carpet warehouse! I used to drive this "bull" around, pulling down huge rolls of carpet, measuring them, and getting them ready for the carpet-layers to take on their jobs. I also did A/P and A/R for them, and I was only 16!

What was your most interesting day at work?
I've been through so many mergers and acquisitions in the past four years, nothing surprises me anymore. I suppose it's been interesting to see who gets to stay and who has to leave through these transitions.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
I would love to work part-time, if I could afford to! Two days a week would be ideal! I'd probably upgrade my house and car, set aside my kid's college tuitions, and take more vacations!

When you are not working what do you enjoy doing?
My two teenagers keep me busy! My son is a senior and captain of the football and soccer teams for his high school. My daughter dances and performs stunts with the high school dance team. I own a fantasy football team in a league that is very competitive and fun! I try to play golf, although not often enough to be good, and enjoy other outdoor sports. This fall, I'll be very engrossed in the Olympics! I really am a sports fanatic.

What is the next technology to impact the hospitality industry?
Everything seems to be heading towards "web-based" technology. I've never seen so many "dot com" companies offering e-commerce, e-business, ASPs, high speed internet access, etc. with a variety of products we will use in the hospitality industry. It will be interesting to see how it all evolves.

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