THE ACADEMY OF BUSINESS STRATEGY - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
EUGENE WILLARD (AGP) MA BA
ASSOCIATE GLOBAL PARTNER (AGP)
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Washington DC (United States of America)
Washington D. C. is situated midway along the eastern seaboard of the United States between the States of Maryland and Virginia and about 233 miles south of New York City. The city sits on the northern banks of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. Divided into four quadrants – Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast – the city spans approximately 61 square miles. At the center of these four quadrants is the Capital building. Early History Founded in 1791, the city was named after George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Congress directed the selection of a new capital site and George Washington appointed three commissioners to plan and lay out the city – Major Pierre L’Enfant, an engineer, Major Andrew Ellicott, and Benjamin Banneker, a free born black man and self-taught astronomer and mathematician. The seat of government was transferred from Philadelphia to Washington on December 1, 1800, and John Adams became the first President to occupy the White House. During the War of 1812, British forces burned the Capital and the White House. The Macmillan Plan of 1901 returned to the vision of Pierre L’Enfant to emulate the grandeur and beauty of European capital cities and present an architectural plan for the redevelopment of the Mall and the elimination of tenement slums in that area of the city. Progress Towards Home Rule And Statehood – The District of Columbia is not a state nor is it part of another state but rather a unique district created specifically to serve as the seat of the federal government. The District was administered by three commissioners appointed by the president until November 3rd, 1967, when then President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed a mayor-commissioner and a nine-member Council. Congress approved a Home Rule Charter on May 7th, 1974, allowing the District to govern its local affairs for the first time in a century. As a result, the District also gained one non-voting member in the House of Representatives and the ability to elect its own Board of Education. Since then, the District has continued to push for full statehood, starting with a constitutional amendment in 1978 that would give voting representation in Congress. This amendment failed to gain ratification by the minimum 38 states. Two other petitions and bills introduced in 1983 and 1993 also failed to realize statehood.
Demographics and Cultural Heritage – The population within the district is approximately 600,000, but the Washington Metropolitan Area, which includes the city of Baltimore to the north, seven nearby Maryland counties and five nearby Virginia cities, is about 6.7 million. Ethnically diverse, the city attracted free blacks before, during, and after the Civil War era. More recently, large communities of Latinos from Latin and South America, Ethiopians fleeing political unrest in their native country, and many other smaller groups from diverse countries have settled in the District and opened up restaurants and other small businesses. Fifteen percent of the city’s residents speak a language other than English as their primary language. The city is home to 11 colleges and universities, including Catholic University, George Washington University, American University, Georgetown University, Howard University, and Gallaudet University, and these institutions host 20,000 international students – more than the city of Boston. Major cultural attractions include the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Folger Shakespeare Library and Theatre. The Smithsonian Museum’s National Air and Space Museum earned the claim of being the most popular museum in the world after attracting 219 million visitors in the first 25 years following its opening. Forbes Magazine has noted that the National Mall is the third most frequently visited destination in the United States after Times Square, New York and the Las Vegas strip. Commercial History – The founders of Washington D. C. always intended the city to become a major commercial center in addition to serving as the seat of government. During the 19th century, the existing ports of Alexandria and Georgetown functioned as commercial centers for trade of tobacco and wheat. Construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio (C and O) Canal commenced in Georgetown in 1828 but by the time it reached Cumberland Maryland in 1850 it was all but rendered obsolete by progress in building the Baltimore and Ohio (B and O) Railroad. During the Civil War, Washington D. C. became an armed encampment and many buildings were turned into hospitals visited by the likes of Walt Whitman. During the Depression Era and the Second World War, women flocked to the capital city to staff government positions vacated by men who were drafted or volunteered for military service. The federal government has tended to grow as a result of wars and increases in population and has attracted a transient community of government officials, lobbyists, foreign embassy workers and delegations. There is one lawyer for every 19 DC residents and 74 lobbyists for every U. S. Senator. Over 170 embassies and international culture centers grace the city. Since the Depression Era and the Second World War, an increasing number of consulting and contracting firms have appeared and flourished servicing government contracts. The federal government and tourism are the two principal anchors in the economy of the entire metropolitan area. In addition, many unions, non-profit, business, and professional organizations are headquartered in the District. During the 1990’s, the District lost residents to the surrounding suburbs but an urban revitalization program that included expansion of downtown housing, office space, and entertainment venues has reversed this trend. Rail and bus mass transit systems now connect the city to the surrounding suburbs, and three major airports – Reagan National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore Washington International Airport – enable outbound travel worldwide and facilitate both domestic and international inbound travel. Several developments during and after the Second World War influenced the District’s commercial trajectory. The Pentagon, one of the largest office buildings in the world, was completed in 1943, ushering in a build-up of military defense industries and many new jobs within and outside of the federal government. By 1957, Washington became the first city in the United States with African Americans as the majority population. In the 1960’s, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War elevated the District as a national stage for protest marches, keynote civil rights speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King, mass demonstrations, and destructive riots that sent many middle class white and black residents searching for new housing and neighborhoods in the surrounding suburbs. The growth of suburban malls also led many businesses to vacate the city until the urban revitalization and mass transit programs were introduced in the late 1990’s.
Fortress Washington – A series of high profile terrorism and security incidents during the first decade of the 21st Century changed the face of Washington to that of a city fortress vigilant towards a variety of threats. Washington was one of two main targets for the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. One hijacked airplane that crashed into the Pentagon killed 64 people on board the plane and 125 people on the ground. A second hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in Pennsylvania but was thought to have as its targets either the White House or the Capital. Additional terrorist threats and security incidents followed that included attempts in 2001 and 2004 to send anthrax and ricin contaminated mail to prominent politicians, the Beltway Sniper attacks in 2002, which resulted in ten deaths and three others wounded, and a serial arsonist who set over 40 fires in 2003 and 2004. New security measures to combat these threats included screening devices for biological agents, metal detectors, and vehicle barriers surrounding prominent Washington government buildings and transportation centers. Future Economic Prospects – Although still a majority, the black population in the city is steadily declining as many African Americans continue to migrate to the suburbs or to other urban centers in the South to reconnect with family and to pursue a lower cost of living and job opportunities. A 2011 Gallup poll on economic confidence among states and the District, however, evidenced Washington D. C. as the only participant with a positive Economic Confidence Index, with the states of Maryland and Virginia also in the top ten. Many experts argue that this economic optimism stems from the insulating effects of the federal government and its supporting economy, dampening the adverse effects of the recession. Unlike state and local governments, the federal government continues to grow. An economic outlook drawn from a report prepared by J. P. Morgan Chase Commercial Banking, with much of the source data for the report provided by the U. S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor, predicts a relatively bright future for the region amidst the aftermath of the recession: Based on forecasts of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the District’s economy is expected to speed up in FY 2013 and 2014. Real GDP growth in the District is keeping pace with national averages. Bankruptcy filings by District businesses increased during the height of the recession but have fallen back to normal levels. The District’s economy is driven more by information and services versus credit centric industries like housing, providing insulation from the recession. In the decade starting in FY 2000, The District’s economy grew at a faster pace than the national economy and this growth is accelerating. Since Q 4 of FY 2000, when the previous business cycle peaked, there has been a 2 percent decline in the nation’s employment, but the District has seen a 7 percent increase, indicating that its job market is insulated from the recession. Unemployment peaked at 10.5 percent but has since decreased to 8.5 percent. Although the District’s housing prices are expensive relative to other markets, housing prices are firming and benefiting from the economic stability provided by the federal government. Although home building activity has been volatile in the region, it has not been as depressed in the District compared with other markets. Commercial real estate vacancy rates also are improving. Although the overall immediate economic picture looks rosy for the Washington Metropolitan Area, ongoing debate about the growth of the federal government and its impact on the long term economic prosperity of the nation continues to take center stage in Washington politics. How this debate plays out in the Congress, the Senate, the White House, and the nation will have a direct bearing on the 2016 election and the longer term economic trends for the region.
Global Partner status (Associate – Executive – Senior): Associate
Country of registration: United States of America
City of registration: Washington DC
Business and IT Strategic Planning
Program and Project Portfolio Management
Services Oriented Software Architecture (SOA)
Software Design and Development
Mission Critical Transaction Processing Systems
Business Intelligence Systems
Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence
Technology Infrastructure Design and Development
Mergers and Acquisitions
Data Security Compliance
INDUSTRY SECTOR EXPERIENCE:
Hotels and Hospitality
e-Commerce and Mobile Commerce
Multi-Channel Consumer Marketing
Rational Pricing and Revenue Management
Eugene Willard is an accomplished business and IT transformation professional who has strategically managed risk, achieved breakthrough process changes, and delivered substantial competitive advantage for over 20 years. He possesses a proven ability to build and lead high performance teams to solve complex business and technical issues. He is a seasoned strategist focused on implementing tactics that drive business results with experience across all aspects of IT service delivery. His business and IT competencies include business development, mergers and international acquisitions, reservations, revenue management, dynamic pricing, corporate and consumer marketing, customer service, and transportation logistics. Earlier in his career, Mr. Willard served as Senior Director of Information Systems for Marriott International, after which he was promoted to become Corporate Group Director of IT Strategic Planning. In these roles, he developed a comprehensive information systems strategy for all of Marriott’s Lodging Units. He led the design of a lodging information warehouse intended to improve decision-making in several marketing and operations disciplines. He also led the integration of 152 acquired Renaissance Hotels (USD 1B plus) into Marriott’s centralized distribution and marketing systems. In addition, he was responsible for all development and support of Marriott’s Reservations, Travel Industry, Marketing Distribution, Reservations Reporting, Revenue Management Systems, and Loyalty Marketing Program Systems with oversight of 125 software development professionals. His accomplishments in these roles included contributing USD 150M plus in annually recurring incremental revenues by designing and leading the roll-out of the first revenue management systems in the hospitality industry to 1100 hotels across three brands. He delivered USD 3M in incremental annually recurring revenue from the travel industry segment with a Centralized Travel Agency Commissions System (CTAC) and subsequently contributed an additional USD1M in recurring annual revenue as a result of an enhancement to CTAC. He also directed the development of a seamless, direct connection between Marriott’s reservation and inventory management system and United Airline’s Apollo Global Distribution System. He spearheaded the Red Flags expert system to increase room revenues by detecting and reporting mistakes in managing hotel room inventory controls in the Reservations System. In addition, he achieved the most advanced revenue management systems in the hotel industry to increase room revenue and profitability. Mr. Willard then joined Carey International to serve as Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy and Planning, and was later promoted to serve in his current role as Chief Information Officer. He was responsible for IT strategy and planning, business application development and support, technology infrastructure development and support, field services delivery, and end user services. He spearheaded the execution of a multi-year business process and IT reengineering program, the Carey Enterprise System (CES). He migrated the organization from a highly decentralized IT architecture and legacy platform to a highly centralized IT architecture built using a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA). He also provides overall program management and technical leadership to IT and business efforts in the area of non-discretionary corporate compliance programs (PCI and PII compliance) and remediation efforts to include a credit card tokenization and network segmentation program. While at Carey International, Mr. Willard delivered USD2M in recurring annual savings by leading the development of a Reservations Consolidation Portal that enabled the centralization and consolidation of Carey’s eleven local reservation centers. He was instrumental in the design and roll-out of CES, a major business and IT transformation and centralization program, achieving the first (and only) centralized business process and IT architecture in the chauffeured transportation industry. This program produced an additional USD1.5M in recurring annual savings and included the development of three new mission-critical systems, including a Mobile B2E Two-Way Messaging System, which streamlined job assignments, tracking, closeouts, pricing, and billing processes. This program also entailed the roll-out of standard desktops and LAN servers, the design and construction of new primary and back-up data centers, and the completion and successful testing of a written disaster recovery plan. In addition, he led the comprehensive re-branding and enhancement of Carey’s internet sites, developed an XML web services based B2B integration software architecture based on standards published by the Open Travel Alliance (OTA), and used this architecture to integrate the CES reservation system with the GGA and GroundRez industry switches and their 14 booking channels. He further led the installation of the PeopleSoft Financials applications. Since April 2013, Mr. Willard has been an independent consultant and sole proprietor of North Wind Solutions, LLC, a business and IT strategy and management consulting firm. Mr. Willard received his Bachelor of Arts in English from SUNY Stony Brook. He also received his Master of Arts in British and American Literature from the University Of New Hampshire.
Washington DC – United States of America
New York – United States of America
London – United Kingdom
Charleston – United States of America
Atlanta – United States of America
Global Partner preferred location
City: Washington DC
Country: United States of America
To contact Eugene Willard (AGP), please forward an email to the Academy of Business Strategy.