> North East North American Federation

North East North American Federation


David Schweiger
Northampton Community College
3835 Green Pond Road
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania USA 18020

Highlights from the NENA Regional Conference in Philadelphia

Last month the Fifth Annual NENA Regional Conference, “Pursue Your Educational Happiness,” was held in Philadelphia with close to 60 individuals in attendance.  I would like to share some of the highlights from the conference, as well as provide some “shout outs” to all of the sponsors and individuals that helped make this conference such an outstanding networking, growing and learning experience.

On Friday, there were three exceptional tours: the Sysco Warehouse Tour, the Aramark Global Innovation Tour and the Union League of Philadelphia Tour.  Each were extremely educational in their own distinctive and remarkable way.  The evening was topped off with the Welcome Reception on the 33rd floor of the Loews hotel. We would have had a breathtaking view of Philly if we hadn’t been in a downpour of rain all day, so we were in the clouds!

Saturday’s program started off with “Finding Your Bliss through Mindfulness,” presented by Cassandra Hale-Hughes, Regional Director of Learning & Development for Hyatt Hotels. All participants were able to take the journey from our head to our heart in order to find our inner happiness.  

On Saturday the Research Poster Presentations were held, sponsored by Hyatt Hotels. In conjunction with the Poster Presentations were Video Presentations sponsored by Boston University. The following is a list of the Research Winners:

  • Best Poster Award | The Case for Community Engagement in USM Tourism and Hospitality, Tracy S. Michaud-Stutzman, University of Southern Maine
  • Best Presenter Award | A Study of Determing the Customer Equity in the Hotel Industry, Yumi Park Kim and Vidyanihdi (Vinnie) Rege, Howard Community College
  • Best Abstract Award | Revenue Management and Length-Of-Stay-Based Room Pricing, Arash Riasi, Zvi Schwartz, Xuan Liu and Songzi Li
  • Best Reviewer Award | Courtney Suess Raeisinafchi, Boston University

Congratulations to all who submitted and presented a Research Poster at the NENA conference.

Also on Saturday there were three excellent industry panel presentations focusing upon Trends in Beverage Tourism, Women in Club Management and Diversity in the Meeting and Event Planning Industry. There was also an impactful Round Table Discussion focusing upon High-Impact Educational Practices. Thank you to all of the industry professionals who took their time to share their awareness and expertise of their industry segment with us.      

On Sunday, Caroline Cooper, former Dean of the Hospitality College at Johnson & Wales, and the Federation Founder of the NENA region, was given the Legacy Lecture Award. Caroline had many thoughtful words of advice that she shared with the audience.  What stood out in my mind was Caroline’s advice on becoming a leader.  She stated that you have to attract more than “maintenance people,” i.e. they are there for only the title. We need to be grooming leaders that desire it and possess the self-satisfaction to do the job well.   

I would like to give a big Thank You to all of the sponsors for this year’s conference. Without their support, we would not have been able to provide everyone such a successful learning experience.

Platinum Sponsors

  • American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI)    
  • Temple University—School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management

Diamond Sponsors

  • Hart School at James Madison University
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Gold Sponsors

  • Johnson & Wales University, School of Hospitality
  • Penn State, School of Hospitality Management
  • University of Delaware, Department of Hospitality Business Management
  • Virginia Tech, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • York College of Pennsylvania, Hospitality Management

Silver Sponsors

  • Boston University, School of Hospitality Administration
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Northampton Community College, Hospitality Management
  • Widener University, Center for Hospitality Management

• Saturday Food and Beverage Break: Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

This conference would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work provided by the following individuals: Theresa Lind, Suzanne Markham-Bagnera, Erinn Tucker, Emma McAfee (Temple Grad student), Joy Dickerson, Shiang-Lih Chen McCain, Jeff Lolli, Donna Albano, Rick Lagiewski, Paul Bagdan, Tarik Dogru, AJ Aluri, Jennifer Forney and Ronisha Goodwin.  

Mark your calendars to attend the Sixth Annual NENA Conference to be held March 23-25, 2018 at

Howard Community College is located in Columbia, Maryland, and is conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington D.C.   I hope to see you there!

Good luck with the end of the semester, which means grading many projects and finals.  I hope all of your students get A’s (or at least pass!!)

In hospitality,  


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