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President's Message

ICHRIE's Bright Future

What a magnificent conference in New Orleans! Great speakers, research sessions, activities, food, and new features to our conference. Thank you to Steve Hood from STR and Alleah Crawford from East Carolina for their efforts! Your Vice President, Joy Dickerson, has written an excellent synopsis of the annual conference, so I will not rehash her note. What I will say is that I am even more excited for next year and the years to come. Steve, Alleah, and the Conference committee have “hit the ground running” for Phoenix. Let me just say that the ICHRIE conference in Phoenix will have additional new activities to add value for members. There are many people on the conference committee who have the future of ICHRIE as a priority. Twenty-twenty one is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Educators! In his last official action, Chris Roberts appointed Mary Jo Dolasinski as the chair of the 75th celebration. Please contact Mary Jo if you are interested in sharing input for the celebration in Washington, District of Columbia,  in July 2021.

Steve Hood and I are planning a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit various lodging companies for the purpose of supporting ICHRIE in the future. There are many hotel management companies that are ‘asset light’ looking for potential management staff; our hospitality students are in high demand in many industries, not just lodging, food service, and tourism. We hope to bring these companies on board in supporting ICHRIE. To that end, I recently attended the International Food Manufacturing Association Marketing and Sales Conference in Chicago. Educators: we have opportunities to help our students find wonderful jobs in a variety of areas within food marketing! Researchers: there are prospects for interesting research opportunities. Needless to say, fostering these connections with lodging, foodservice, tourism, and other allied industries will continue to be of importance in the years to come, and each of us can play a role.

As the ICHRIE conference committee considers site selection for the future, we are faced with the additional challenge of the new law by the California state legislature preventing California state employees from traveling to any state that has enacted a law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This is disappointing for a number of locations that would be attractive to our membership, especially Nashville. I have asked Amit Sharma to chair an AdHoc committee to address diversity, gender issues, and woman in leadership within ICHRIE; ICHRIE will not consider the ten states banned by the California legislature. While this may be a contentious issue for some, the hospitality industry is one that supports people of all sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. For that reason, ICHRIE must reflect the industry and consider the broader point. ICHRIE’s Conference committee is considering sites for 2022 and beyond as a result of the COR recommendations. As we all know, times change; but for now, we will not consider cities within the ten states specified by the California legislature. Going forward, I have a vision that ICHRIE holds an annual conference in an international location.

Eta Sigma Delta is off to a great start this year; a re-constituted Board of Governors are passionate and poised to have a great 2019-2020. Chair Ruth O’Rourke is currently working on the ESD breakfast. This year, Lea Dopson, Dean at Cal Poly Pomona, has generously offered a $10,000 donation for support of that breakfast. Ruth and the BOG are currently brainstorming new locations for the breakfast this November, time permitting. Please congratulate Ruth on her recent move to JMU; all her work for ESD is on top of a new job and new residence.

Finally, Immediate Past President Chris Roberts, with the nomination committee, has developed the slate of candidates for the ICHRIE election. This is earlier than in the past, but in keeping with the COR recommendation for earlier elections, giving newly board members time to learn about their new positions. The question that comes up on occasion is whether a federation board member can run for an ICHRIE board seat. The answer is yes, but if elected, must give up the federation board position.

Good luck to everyone as we start a new school year!

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