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President's Message

Reflections

Happy 2020 to all our members of ICHRIE as we start the third decade of the new millennium. Here’s hoping that you all experienced a restful and wonderful holiday. As the famous poet T.S. Eliot wrote in Little Giddings, “Last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice.” With that in mind, let’s reflect on 2019 and look ahead to 2020.

What have been our successes in 2019? The ICHRIE board and staff has been successful in achieving many of the recommendations of the Comprehensive Organizational Review (COR). We have developed a process for professionalizing the onboarding of new board members. We have reached to a number of industry trade associations and continue to do so; we seek educational, research, and student placement opportunities, representing our organizational members. Anders Justenlund, our Director of Marketing wrote a promotional placement for the USA Today special edition on hospitality education. The Director of Conferences, Alleah Crawford and her committee, along with a major effort by Steve Hood, our Industry Relations representative, delivered a conference in New Orleans that embraced COR recommendations eight and nine. The reconstitution of the Eta Sigma Delta Board of Governors has led to some wonderful changes; as I mentioned in last month’s article, the attendance at the annual breakfast at the NY Hotel experience was fifty percent larger than prior years. Finally, looking ahead to ICHRIE’s 75th anniversary, a committee headed by Mary Jo Dolasinski of DePaul University, has been formed to celebrate our important milestone in 2021.

What are our priorities for 2020?  This is an important year as we make amendments to our Bylaws, which are much needed. Thank you to Bill Frye for spearheading this effort. Similarly, based on a 2016 report commissioned by the ICHRIE Board and conducted by Fenich, Brown, and Cecil, the Board of Directors has approved Seattle, Vancouver, Minneapolis, and potentially another Canadian city as site options for the 2022 annual conference. The Board of Directors has been asked by the conference committee and the executive committee to consider an outside Site Selection company for assistance in choosing the best city for the 2022 conference. The board must work fast to make that happen; as John Wayne would say in the movie “The Cowboys” we are burning daylight. Finally, the COR recommended that a committee be formed to develop language that addresses the lack of performance by a Board member. While a committee has been formed, additional work must be accomplished by the end of 2020.

What else do we need to work on?  Based on our priorities, ICHRIE members, board, and staff must work together to achieve these, along with other initiatives that come from the ICHRIE committees that work to sustain our Association. A more specific code of ethics, similar to the Academy of Management and other professional associations that have general principles similar to our own, should be crafted. These tenets, which include responsibility, integrity, and the respect for people’s rights and dignity should be consistent with the Mission, Vision, and Values of our organization. Vice President Joy Dickerson is working with the Strategic Planning Committee to address some of these issues.

One more thing – ICHRIE at 75 years. For 74 years, we have been the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE). For many, including our European members, the question of what ‘Institutional’ means as it relates to the hospitality industry is unclear or old fashioned. Further, our industry/academy has changed over the past 74 years to include private clubs, event planning, cruise lines, and many other segments of the industry we love so much. Cheki Dev, an expert in hospitality branding and distinction from Cornell reached out to me recently with a suggestion of a slight renaming of ICHRIE. He suggested that ICHRIE is the “International Council for Hospitality Research, Instruction, and Engagement”. What do you think? I would agree with Cheki that the suggested transformation offers a true insight into who we are as an association and a brand.

Celebrating MLK This year, January 20, 2020 is MLK day. This day is traditionally recognized as the national day of service; let us all be involved in helping our local communities - especially those that are underserved.

As always, thank you for being a member of ICHRIE – I look forward to working with you in our year of vision – 2020.   

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