During the year an assessment of the organizational and operational changes necessary to meet Endicott House's future role within MIT and improve the center's financial position was conducted. Over the past five years, Endicott House experienced a reduction in business volume due to the shrinkage and final termination of the Sloan School's Senior Executive Program, a lessening in general conference business, and an increase in competition. It was determined that, for Endicott House to reach its former position of stability, three key issues needed to be addressed: acquiring the marketing expertise necessary to increase sales, recruiting a General Manager due to the retirement of Howard Miller, and restructuring of the existing organization.
In an effort to realize the aforementioned goals, Conference Center Consulting Group was retained on a term basis to assume responsibility for sales and marketing. Their goal is to increase sales and client awareness among both MIT clients and external clients.
As a result of Mr. Miller's retirement, a search committee was appointed to locate an individual with hospitality experience possessing a strong background in conference center management, specifically estate properties. In April, Michael Fitzgerald joined the Endicott House staff as General Manager, bringing over 22 years of industry experience, including managing three estate conference center properties.
Under Mr. Fitzgerald's guidance, a reorganized operational structure, a capital reinvestment plan, an increase in marketing activities, and an improved level of client services are being implemented. These steps have begun to yield results.
This year Endicott House hosted 65 overnight conferences of which MIT groups accounted for 20. This reflects a 16 percent increase in conferences over the previous year. Day conferences experienced dramatic growth with 113 conferences hosted of which 33 were MIT groups. Guest nights increased to 5,099 from 3,723 the previous year. The annual occupancy increased to 38 percent, a ten point increase over last year. The expectation for the coming year is an increase in growth yielding 6,970 guest nights and a 52 percent occupancy rate. In meeting these objectives, Endicott House will return to a prestigious and strong financial position.
MIT Reports to the President 1996-97