Another Great Year
By Chris Woodruff, Lake Michigan College
At each commencement ceremony I have attended, there are always a few things present. Great students, who will be the future of our industry, a pineapple (for photo opportunities) and a camera. When I say students are the “focus” I really mean that, literally and figuratively! As we end another academic year that means two things. Thousands of new Hospitality students are graduating and entering the work force from the great member schools of CHRIE, and our annual conference is coming up. Moreover, as we look back on all the successes of our students, and know their future is bright, I am also looking back on the last year of Central Federation and realize all the successes we have had.
We started with new officers in Palm Springs last summer. From the Federation meeting on our officers have been working hard creating new value for our members. And we have succeeded. More on that later.
Many faculty attended the New York hotel show, and some including myself brought students to New York for an experience some have never received before. Seeing students eyes light up looking at all that is NYC reminded me of my time as an undergraduate having that same look my first time in the Big Apple. I had great professors then that understood the importance of these experiences, and we have passed that on to our students.
We had another great conference in Indianapolis. Every attendee was treated to a fun experience of presentations, activities and events. The first annual Central CHRIE Ping-Pong tournament was held, and we have already got challenges to bring it to ICHRIE in New Orleans. Stay tuned for more details and if we accepted the challenge!
Now as the academic year is winding down for most, we are finalizing our goals and plans for next year. We have some exciting new initiatives in Central Federation to add a wealth of value to current members and all new members who join ICHRIE. Membership for sure does have its privileges and Central CHRIE is no different! While a full unveil will happen at ICHRIE here are a couple activities we will be continuing or starting in the Fall.
Our FFE’s (Fourth Friday Events). A different event on (you guessed it) the fourth Friday of the month. A different topic will be decided upon each month and our board members will secure an expert speaker to present on that topic. And how do we decide the event? By having 3M (Monday Morning Monkeys)!
Each month all members will be asked to give topics that they would like to get further assistance with and those responses will be the basis for the next FFE.
In addition, I am looking forward to going to South Dakota in October for a site visit to our 2020 conference host school South Dakota State University! They are very excited about hosting the conference and our board is excited to continue the planning of hosting the best CCHRIE Conference in History!
As I look forward to becoming the President of Central Federation I would like to confirm that it takes a Village to successfully run a CHRIE Federation. It would not be possible to run a Federation of this size without the dedicated fellow officers, who have worked thousands of hours in their free time (I know, what is that?!) to make all this possible for our members. I would especially like to thank Li Miao for her countless hours of teaching me about what it means to be an officer and all that goes into it. We have had such a smooth year with so many great successes largely in part to Li’s leadership and guidance. I am looking forward to continuing to work with many board members, and am looking forward to welcoming many new board members in New Orleans
As most know, I am focused on teaching our students early on in their academic careers about the Spirit of the Pineapple and how this relates to Guest Service. In addition, my main goal of being Federation President is to give stellar guest service to our members in terms of value added benefits of being a member. I look forward to seeing all members in New Orleans in July to kick off the next even better year of Central Federation!