So Many Exciting Things Happening with ICHRIE

Dr. Ralf Burbach, President, International CHRIE


Dear ICHRIE Family and Friends

My name is Ralf and after the sad passing of our dear friend and President, Lea Dopson, I took over as your President of ICHRIE in an acting capacity. In my full time job, I am Head of Hospitality Management at Technological University Dublin, Ireland, though I live in Galway. I strongly believe in and advocate our key values - Spirit of Hospitality, Knowledge, Participation & Collaboration and Inclusiveness.

ICHRIE is the largest representative association for hospitality, tourism and culinary educators in the world. I really believe that by celebrating the differences represented by our six Federations, we will be able to transform into a truly international organisation.  The world and, not least, the tourism and hospitality industry are experiencing some major challenges.  However, we can overcome these challenges through understanding, diversity and collaboration among our ever-growing community of ICHRIE members. 

I am delighted to say that our Executive Director, Fran Brasseux, has just renewed her contract for another three years, which will provide our organisation with the stability and support it needs.  Fran has achieved a huge amount in the past year and has established a dynamic team in the ICHRIE office, which is there to support the ICHRIE family.  You already will have seen an increased level of activity on social media, which is just one of the examples that show how we wish to make a greater impact.

Together with Fran, the Board of Directors has been working on a number of initiatives over the last year (including a new website, new membership database and new accounting system) which will improve the levels of service to members. 

Moreover, ICHRIE aims to play a greater role in policy, research and education.  As part of these ambitious goals, we continue to establish significant new partnerships with industry representative organisations and other bodies.  You may have seen the announcement of our new partnership with AHLA and AHLAF to promote careers in tourism and to grow the workforce.  The collaboration of industry and academia is essential in achieving these tasks. We are also in the process of setting up an industry advisory body for ICHRIE which will take representation from some of the key industry bodies. 

We have also been able to grow significantly our number of ESD students as a result of the fantastic work of our outgoing Chair of the Board of Governors, Ruth Lee O'Rourke, and we look forward to the leadership of the incoming Chair, Tim Flohr.  Our Special Interest Groups have been revamped and given their dedicated space on the ICHRIE website which should offer them more exposure – all of this due to the relentless efforts of the SIG Chair, Donna Albano.

I cannot believe how lucky ICHRIE is to have our existing Past President, Joy Dickerson, continue in her role for another year due to the untimely passing of our friend Lea.  We would be lost without Joy’s knowledge and input.

It would be remiss of me not to offer my special thanks to Kimberly S. Severt, Mary Jo Dolasinski, and Amie Garrett Grayson for their unbelievable efforts in bringing us all together again in a face-to-face environment for the 75th Anniversary Celebrations and the Annual ICHRIE Summer Conference in Washington DC. 

The year 2022/2023 will mark the first time in ICHRIE’s history that both the President and Vice President will be Past Presidents of EuroCHRIE and I very much look forward to working with Chrystel Masdupuy.

I want to thank most sincerely all of the outgoing board members and Federation Presidents.  I welcome all incoming officers of ICHRIE and the Federations.  Aside from the ICHRIE office staff, all of the work is carried out by volunteers and time and time again I am flabbergasted by the wealth of knowledge, dedication, and spirit of hospitality displayed by our ICHRIE family. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I look forward to being your ICHRIE President.  I hope you to meet you in person or virtually in the not-so-distant future. 

Until then – stay safe and good luck!


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