West Federation

West Federation CHRIE Regional Conference

This past February, the West Federation held its 8th Annual Regional Conference in Denver, Colorado. Metropolitan State University, Denver and Johnson and Wales, Denver campus were our gracious hosts. And gracious they were. Both schools provided us with top-notch facilities, and service. Thank you to all who helped made that happen!

We had 73 attendees from all over the United States who presented 12 posters, and 36 stand-up presentations and/or workshops, ranging from topics about service leadership to sustainable cooking, and from behavioral intentions of sport event travelers to food waste and food insecurity. Congratulations go to Lee Blecher of California State University, Long Beach for winning the Best Proposal for Pedagogy award for his paper titled “Helping Hospitality Students Choose a Career Direction Utilizing a Holland Code Interest Inventor”. Karen Xie from University of Denver and Linchi Kwok of Cal Poly Pomona, won the Best Proposal for Research award for their paper titled “Monetizing Managerial Response for Hotel Performance: Application of Big Data Analytics”. The winners received a plaque recognizing their accomplishment, along with $250.

In addition to the outstanding presentations, we heard from two terrific industry keynote speakers. The co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Office of Sage Hospitality, a Denver-based company specializing in the operation, development and capital transactions of hospitality real estate, Walter Isenberg, spoke about industry trends from his real estate and development point of view. Adam Schlegel, the co-owner and Consigliere from Snooze AM Eatery, a consortium of breakfast and lunch restaurants in Colorado, California, and Texas spoke about the outlook for restaurants in 2016. He challenged us with the question “Do we have too many restaurants”? What do you think? Do we?

In between sessions, keynote presentations, and at the end of each day we all enjoyed the opportunity to network with one another. Our day ended Friday with a beer pairing dinner at the Tivoli Brewing Company on the MSU campus. The Master Brewer, Dieter Foerstner, gave us a tour of the facility before we were treated to food and beer – beer with names like Little Red Cap Alt Style Ale, Tivoli Helles Lager, and Fearless Youth Dunkel. It was a terrific time with our colleagues, and who knew that beer could be paired with food such as wine is paired with food? Thank you to Michael Wray for make the arrangements for us.

Next years conference will be held in San Diego - hosted by San Diego State University. We hope to see you there!


Michelle Millar
is President of the West Federation. Email Michelle.