> North East North American Federation

North East North American Federation


Suzanne Bagnera
Boston University

NENA: Laissez les bon temps rouler (“Let the good times roll”)

NOLA Conference Thoughts

The month of July and the ICHRIE Annual Conference, despite the heat and humidity, always brings me joy. I have formed some amazing friends within the world of hospitality higher education and the ability to network, make new friends, and see old friends is a time of fun.  I hope you were able to join us for the federation meeting on Friday; if not the minutes from the meeting will be shared by Noel, our new Secretary shortly.

Save the Date for the 7th Annual NENA Regional Spring Conference

The board is pleased to have you save the date for March 27, 28 and 29 in 2020 for our annual conference.  This year the conference will be hosted by AJ Aluri at West Virginia University.  AJ has a great line up going already along with Lauren who is chairing the Conference Committee.  If you are interested in being involved in the planning process, please contact Lauren (  In the meantime, start thinking about how you want to share your knowledge; through a poster, a research session, on a panel, or take part in the new concept ‘rapid research.’

Upcoming slate of NENA Conference Locations

The board has also approved conference locations for the next few years to help in the planning process.  Please join me in congratulating the following institutions for acceptance of their RFP.

  • 2021 – James Madison University
  • 2022 – Continuing to explore possiblities
  • 2023 – University of Southern Maine

Plans for NENA in NY Experience

Our committee is working on changing things up slightly, by offering our industry speaker to join us during the NENA Experience in NY event on Sunday evening, instead of attending the meeting on Monday morning.  We hope the larger audience will allow for greater exposure of the content and an increased opportunity to engage and network after the session. Stay tuned for more details.

Board of Directors

Please congratulate our officers for their continued or new role as a member of the leadership team of NENA!

Immediate Past President  (2019-2020)                    
Suzanne Bagnera                   
President  (2019-2020)                                        
Jennifer Forney                     
Vice President  (2019-2020)                                                  
Theresa Lind                         
Treasurer  (2018-2020)                                                           
Joseph Scarcelli                   
Secretary  (2019-2021)                                                         
Noel Criscione-Naylor           
Director of Research  (2019-2021)                                             
Gilpatrick Hornsby                 
Director of Networking (Conferences & Events)  -  2019-2021    
Lauren McCulligan        
Director of Education  (2019-2020) 
Lynsey Madison
Director of Marketing  2018-2020 
Rick Lagiewski
Director of Member Services (& Development) - 2019-2020
Damien Duchamp

                     Area Consultant Coordinator    Paul Bagdan
                     Canada: Statia Elliot     
                     New England: Tracy Michaud Stutzman     
                     Southern: Berkita Bradford     
                     Central: Kirsten Tripodi


“Pass a good time”

As the New Orleans natives say, it’s time to start having a good time! The issue marks my final article as my time as President of NENA.  When I started my first full-time position teaching back at Mount Ida College, my former faculty member at Johnson & Wales University, Fred Faria, introduced me to a new young energic faculty member, Paul Bagdan, while in NY at the Hotel Show; where I was told I needed to get involved with ICHRIE and Paul would be the man to help get me connected.  Who would ever have guessed out that one introduction would have led to our partnership for research and presentations, and a friendship that has led to Paul being my son’s godfather.

Back in the summer of 2008, while I was attending my first ICHRIE conference in San Francisco, my former dean and mentor, Caroline Cooper, told me I need to be a leader and serve as secretary. Who says no to Caroline? Not me…. That began my time, as we created the NENA federation. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of serving with Caroline as she started our federation. We were eager to work with Fred DeMicco as he served as President and made some great connections with the Waldorf=Astoria for our Alligator Hour and paved the way for a discount for our students to the Leadership Forum during the hotel show.  Clayton Barrows was our next president who worked to bridge the gap on faculty internships.  Joy Dickerson was revolutionary as she encouraged use to create a Professional Development weekend in Atlantic City.  This event has morphed into our regional conference and Joy has transitioned into our incoming President for 2020 of ICHRIE. Then Michael O’Fallon came on deck to carry the torch as President.  I transitioned from a Lecturer at Mount Ida College to an Assistant Professor at Endicott College; along with getting married (both Paul and Caroline celebrated my wedding with me) and starting my PhD at Iowa State.  Caroline Cooper had introduced me to Dr. Bob from ISU and told me to get my PhD. Again…who doesn’t listen to Caroline? Our next president was Kirsten Tripodi she was critical in the negotiation process with the new ownership group at the Walforf=Astoria for our annual event. The next president was Annette Graham.  Then my two and a half term role of Secretary came to an end and I transitioned into the Conference Chair as I moved over to Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration and hosted our annual conference. Once again, I returned to the board as Treasurer, under the leadership of our very engaged President David Schweiger.  Together we started enhancing the model of the conference to making it the blueprint for what we do today!  This followed by the term of Erinn Tucker and then Nelson Barber in the presidential role. With the vote of confidence from the NENA Board, my incoming presidential term moved into current vice president along with the treasurer role until I quickly went into the role of President (bypassing the typical one-year term as VP). This year has blown by so quickly. I’ve had a distinct pleasure of meeting my fellow federation presidents and getting to know more people from around the world. We are in the final stages of approvals for the growth of changes we have made for the federation officers.  As a federation we are looking at ways we can collaborate and continue to partner together for our students to provide engaging experiences in NY during the hotel show.  Our incoming President, Jennifer Forney, has been a member of the board along with me for several years and knows what it takes to continue amazing leadership.  Our incoming Vice President, Theresa Lind, has been our Director of Networking and Conference Co-Chair for the last several years and knows well what leadership and challenges lay ahead.  I am confident our federation is in good hands.  We will need more leaders, please consider the role of Vice President for this upcoming year.  There will be additional positions open on our board for this next year, that in my dual role of Immediate Past President I will be searching for.  Please seek myself or a member of the nominating committee (Donna Albano & Paul Bagdan) to connect with if you are interested.

This organization has been a part of my life for the last 11+ years.  While I’m not certain what I will eventually do with some of my new-found time, be sure that I will find ways to fill the void, yet remain an involved member and advisor to each President.  My new role as Chair of Undergraduate Programs at BU in addition to being Clinical Assistant Professor will certainly keep me occupied.  Friends and colleagues come and go, but the memories will linger forever. I am most grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve this federation. Thank you to my friends (and family) for their support and encouragement along the way.  Wishing you all a prosperous academic school year ahead! #pineapplepassion


With the spirit of hospitality,
Suzanne Bagnera

Get ready to have Pina Coladas in New Orleans! #pineapplepassion
The NENA federation officers are excited to see you in New Orleans next month!  Having had the opportunity to explore the city back in January, some personal recommendations to check out include:
Café du Monde - - the beignet’s are really yummy. The line gets started early and is really long – so go early! Also, it’s cash only.  I know Ruth Lee O’Rourke and I will be back there again for breakfast!
National WW2 Museum -  -  this is the largest museum of World War 2 material and has earned some great awards.  AJ Aluri and I checked it out and found ourselves there for about 4 hours. The addition might be done by the time we are in town.
Ruby Slipper Café - on Canal Street -an easy walk from the hotel. They have a delicious Banana’s Foster French toast.
Muriel’s in Jackson Square - - has some amazing food. In particular the King Cake was delicious (check out the history to that dessert). Also they have a ghost in the restaurant!
Restaurant R’evolution - - This restaurant is located at the Royal Sonesta hotel.  Chef John Folse did an amazing job with the food (on a higher end education budget, but worth it) with an open kitchen. Looks like they have a lunch special on Friday from 11:30am to 2pm.
Looking forward to an exciting weekend in such a hot city! Look to your emails this summer for the minutes from our March meeting and an Agenda for our upcoming Federation Meeting during the conference.  Travel safely to NOLA!

In the spirit of hospitality,
Suzanne Bagnera


Federation Overview
Meet the NENA Federation Board

NENA Promise Award Information


RFP Proposal Form

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