January 2017

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2017 WH&LA Executive Committee 

WH&LA is pleased to announce the 2017 Executive Committee. Congratulations go to:

  • 2017 Chairman of the Board: Amy Simchak, CHA, North Central Group, Middleton
  • 2017 Chairman-Elect: Aaron Wolf, Comfort Suites Hotel, Green Bay
  • 2017 Vice-Chairman: Jason Ilstrup, HotelRED, Madison
  • 2017 Secretary/Treasurer: Kimberly Vele, Konkapot Lodge, Bowler
  • 2017 Past-Chairman: Dan Schetter, CHA, Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center, Oshkosh
  • 2017 At-Large Delegate: Greg Stillman, Foremost Management Services Inc., Fish Creek

WH&LA Board Member Update

WH&LA is also pleased to share the addition of 12 new board members elected by their industry peers.

  • Connie Barbian, Connections Hospitality Solutions, Fort Atkinson
  • John Chastan, CMP, Lake Delton Waterfront Villas & Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells
  • Jenna Christensen, Best Western Riverplace, Spooner
  • Jennifer Church, Milmark Hotel/Motel Investments, West Bend
  • Skip Harless, Hilton Monona Terrance, Madison
  • Jeff Hess, Westin Hotel, Milwaukee
  • Mark Hinich, Heartland Payment Systems, Brookfield
  • Mark Johnson, Best Western Plus Milwaukee Airport Hotel & Conference Center
  • Jay Jones, UW-Stout, Menomonie
  • Chris Scheel, Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells
  • Todd Winkler, Wisco Hotel Group, Madison, Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Appleton, Oshkosh
  • Kari Zambon, Holiday Acres Resort, Rhinelander

The current board members will continue their term in the 2017 year.

  • Tony Beer, Courtyard by Marriott Milwaukee Downtown
  • Justin Behling, Northernaire Resort & Spa, Three Lakes
  • Stacey Bunkelman, Sleep Inn & Suites Conference Center, Eau Claire
  • Bob Dove, Best Western Premier Bridgewood Resort Hotel, Neenah
  • Charlie Eggen, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Madison, Verona
  • Kevin Gallagher, Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Milwaukee
  • Dean Graunke, Birch Creek Inn, Manitowoc
  • Cory Latourell, Hotel Marshfield, Marshfield
  • Jim Laurino, Charter Spectrum Business, Madison
  • Peter Leiby, Best Western Premier, Brookfield
  • Pat Olejniczak, Kress Inn, De Pere
  • Mike Patel, INNsight Management, Eau Claire
  • Lola Roeh, The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake
  • Char Stankowski, Country Inn & Suites – Appleton North, Little Chute
  • Noall Silvester, Holiday Inn Convention Center, Stevens Point
  • Sheryl Tharman, Red Crown Lodge, Arbor Vitae

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WH&LA’s 2016 Wisconsin Lodging Conference & Trade Show featured just under two days of whirlwind scheduling with attendees in many cases going right from the Conference to the polls and a busy night watching election results roll out, or in some cases hosting candidate election results festivities back at their properties!


With lodging member registration packages up another 10% for the third year in a row, and a completely full 84-booth Trade Show (the largest in over 10 years), our room block at our host hotel was exceeded, and additional rooms sold out. It was a great opportunity for lodging property owners and operators to network with peers around the state and gain some new perspectives, while also having some fun at the social events.


Special thanks go to our Chairman of the Board Dan Schetter, not only for his leadership of the association but also for wearing a second hat as General Manager of our host site: The Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center! Dan and his team went above and beyond in accommodating our growing size and demonstrating their great hospitality as well.


Most members are not aware that the conference programming is created and set by a combination of our Education/Conference Committee and a special Program Task Force that chooses topics and provides speaker suggestions. This helps us to stay on track in providing the type of topics and content that is what you are looking for. Thanks go to Brandon Springer from Lake Lawn Resort for leading both groups through the program puzzle process, and to our Task Force lodging members for their valued input!


With a dozen fantastic packages assembled and donated by many dedicated leaders and members with values ranging from $500 to $2,000, our Monday night voice auction and reverse bingo was great entertainment, combined with plentiful and tasty food stations and beverage stations.  With our daytime silent auction combined with Monday evening’s events, well over $10,000 was raised for a combination of our legislative campaign funds, the Scholarship Fund, and for WH&LA’s Room Tax Legal Defense Fund. Thanks to not only our many donors but also our many buyers throughout the Conference!


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