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West Federation


Scott Smith
Johnson and Wales University, Denver

What a Great Conference!

On February 2nd and 3rd, Metropolitan State University (MSU) was host to the 2018 West Federation CHRIE conference in Denver, Colorado. I know that at the time of this printing, it will have been several months since we held our conference, but I for one am still thinking about what a grand time we had! I think my biggest takeaways were:  the networking among colleagues; meeting new attendees and visiting with old acquittances; the wide variety of beverage symposiums; and probably the biggest takeaway was the incorporation of technology in our curriculum. Our three technology sponsors were HM Bookstore, Knowledge Matters, and REDglobal. Each provided information, presentations, and hands-on experiences that demonstrated the potential of using these tools and platforms in our classroom.

To recap the events of our conference, on Thursday we held a preconference reception and dinner; a fun time was had by all at the Rhein Haus with beer and bocce. On Friday, we began with some welcoming messages from MSU Provost, Dr. Golich, West Federation CHRIE president, and the conference scholarship presentations. Probably the coolest thing about this session was the presentation of the scholarship checks by a robot! HM Bookstore provided the services of Archie the robot. To view this event, follow this link to a short video  The winners of the scholarship awards were Jungyun Christine Hur, Annamarie Sisson, Yang-Su Chen, Laura Shroder, Carlie Allen, Xingyu Wang, and Jie Sun. The reminder of the day consisted of many activities including: breakout sessions; technology simulation labs; industry keynote panel discussion with representatives from the event planning community; poster session, which included a cake and ice cream competition; and two beverage symposiums. The evening was capped off by a Wine and Food pairing at 1515 Restaurant.

Saturday’s schedule was just as impressive with more breakout sessions and beverage symposiums. In addition, we had a visit with Eta Sigma Delta via video conferencing; a keynote discussion on the fast-casual dining segment; and the presentation of the Best Research Track proposal award to Sheng Yao, Heyao Yu, Xingyu Wang and Priyanko Guchait and the Best Teaching Track proposal award to Michael Wray and Suzanne Hoffman.

As you may or may not know, it takes a lot to put on a conference, as I found out first hand. On that order I would like to offer my heartfelt thank you’s to all of the folks who were involved in putting on such a wonderful conference. First, we are very grateful to Metropolitan State University for the tremendous support they provided as host and offering us the privilege of holding our conference in their beautifully equipped building. I would personally like to thank all of the staff, faculty, and more importantly all of the student volunteers who helped put this event together and who assisted throughout the conference. Secondly, I would like to thank the West Federation CHRIE Board and Conference Planning Committee, particularly Michael Wray, who put together such an engaging program.

Now that we have the 2018 conference in the rearview mirror, it is time to look forward to the 2019 West Federation CHRIE conference to be held in Sonoma County, California! Plans for another great conference are taking shape and we hope to see you all there.

Scott R. Smith, PhD, CEC, CCE


Federation Overview
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Call for Proposals
Conference Scholarship Info




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