WI Lodging Industry Educational Opportunities

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Meet our panelist for our Wisconsin Women in Lodging event  – Leadership Luncheon and Panel Discussion -  held on November 7th at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino (after the Wisconsin Lodging Conference and Trade Show.


Deb Archer, CDME is the President & CEO of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and Madison Area Sports Commission (MASC). She oversees combined staff of 35 with a budget of $5.4 million.

She started her tourism career as a travel agent and in hotel sales and marketing. She is past chair and continues to serve on the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Tourism and, the WI Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors.  She has served as Chair of Destination International’s Foundation, on the DI Board of Directors and is an instructor on Community Relations and Advocacy for the industry’s professional CDME certification program.

Archer has been recognized many times and most recently was named one of In Business magazine’s Women of Industry and 25 Most Influential Business Leaders of 2017.


Connie Barbian is the Principal of Connect Hospitality Solutions, LLC, which provides management and development consulting services to hotel owners, developers, and communities.

Previously, she was a co-founder of IDM Hospitality, a full-service development, and management company that specializes in all aspects of independent boutique hotels.  She was responsible for business development and marketing.

Connie has 35+ years of sales and marketing, public relations, meeting and special event planning in the hospitality industry. She’s worked as a director of sales for a 500-room Four-Star convention hotel in Houston, Texas; regional director of marketing for a large hotel chain responsible for 15 midsized hotels in the Midwest; and corporate meeting and travel manager for a major insurance company.

Connie is actively involved in a variety of organizations in Wisconsin and she serves on the Board of Directors of WH&LA. She was the 2012 Chairman of the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association and in 2014 was awarded the prestigious honor of Corporate Champion.


Linda Gulrajani is Vice President of Revenue Strategy and Distribution for Marcus Hotels & Resorts. She is responsible for leading the development and implementation of revenue management and distribution activities and strategies for all hotels in the company’s portfolio. In addition, she also oversees the Marcus Reservations and Customer Care Center which takes reservations call for both the Marcus portfolio as well as external hotel customers.

Gulrajani joined Marcus Hotels & Resorts in 2009 as Regional Director of Revenue Strategy. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts, she served in a variety of revenue management and sales roles at hospitality companies including TravelCLICK, Walt Disney World, Marriott, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Loews Hotels.

She was elected to serve as the Chair of the HSMAI Revenue Management Advisory Board for 2016, 2017 and 2018. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Lola Roeh is the General Manager of The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. She began her career in hospitality over 25 years ago, accepting a position at The American Club in Kohler. Over the course of her tenure there, Lola held management and development positions in guest services, marketing, special events, and quality control, culminating her hotel management experiences with the position of General Manager. She was also the opening manager of the Kohler Design Center, the first manager of Commercial Development and finished her career at Kohler as the Director of Destination Marketing for the Kohler Hospitality Businesses.

In 1998, Lola became the General Manager of The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake.  In the same year, the resort earned the AAA Four Diamond award for the first time, as well as the following 18 years.  During her tenure at The Osthoff, the resort added 100 guest rooms, a 100 seat restaurant, Aspira Spa, and two spacious ballrooms, growing its conference space to 38,500 sq. ft.

She has served as Chair and Board Member for the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association for the past 14 years, and received the Association’s Innkeeper of the Year Award in 2002 and 2012.  Lola currently serves on the Board of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, as a Partner State Representative. She continues to serve on the Governor’s Council on Tourism, as past Chair and Board member for the past 15 years.  In 2014, she was honored with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Legacy Award.  Lola also serves on the Boards of Wisconsin Bank and Trust and Lakeland University, her alma mater.  She has served as the President and Board Member of the Elkhart Lake Chamber of Commerce, Chair and Board Member of the Elkhart Lake Tourism Commission and the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment.


You are invited to join Wisconsin Women In Lodging (WWIL), a female based organization which strives to provide resources, networking, and educational opportunities to advance the role of women in lodging and tourism.

To promote and develop in the hospitality industry to help them grow both personally and professionally through leadership, education, and networking support.


  • Access to the AH&LA WIL searchable directory
  • Invitations to education events with inspirational women speakers
  • Networking & Mentoring Opportunities

Membership is free for anyone employed at a WH&LA member property.
Men wishing to support the mission of WIL may also become a member at no cost, as long as their company is a WH&LA member.
To make sure you are included in our database, please email Monica Bennett at service@wisconsinlodging.org
Register now!

WIL holds two annual events – in the Spring and Fall. Stay tuned for information on our upcoming events!


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Join women from all areas of Wisconsin’s lodging industry for an insightful discussion on Thursday, May 9 for the Wisconsin Women in Lodging Luncheon at the Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor’s Club! Whether you are new to the lodging industry or a seasoned professional this is an event you will not want to miss. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to network and learn! This event is open to all WH&LA members. The program will include facilitated table discussions regarding the issues women employed in the lodging industry face, and the cost to attend is $25.  Register online here!


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Would you be impacted by an increase in state tourism marketing, and/or in improved allocations of local room tax revenues? Would you want to make sure legislators were more aware of the impact of some of their proposals on your bottom line? Are you aware of how much more receptive legislators are to hearing directly from businesses in their district regarding the impact of the budget or proposed legislation, than hearing it from us? This is the time to join together with your peers, learn the latest on what is on the slate at the capitol, and join others in meeting with legislators! Sign up now for WH&LA’s Action Day on April 11th at the Madison Concourse Hotel. Have an opportunity to meet with your own state legislators or their key staff at the Capitol! Whether you’ve never met your legislators, never been to the Capitol, are not up on the issues or what to say about them … join us, learn and enjoy this great new experience! For more information, see the registration form or register online.


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On June 8, Catherine Garozzo of TravelClick presented a “Growing Revenue Through Electronic Channels” webinar for lodging members. The presentation dissected the four parts of electronic revenue channels: voice, brand websites, Internet (minus “brand.com” web sites – places like Expedia and Travelocity) and the GDS.

Topics included knowing your place in the market and where your customers are coming from, driving business directly to your brand Web site, where to start, search rankings, why travelers don’t book and more.

If you missed the presentation, members can access a recording here. (You will need your member ID and password for access – contact Michelle the WH&LA office if you can not log in.)


The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association invites member lodging properties to participate in the Growing Revenue Through Electronic Channels Webinar on June 8, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

Webinar participants will learn electronic distribution channels on which to focus investment, what guests are looking for online, what makes a consumer pick a property, increasing incremental revenue online and more!

The cost to attend this online-only Webinar is $10 for WH&LA member lodging properties and $75 for non-members (lodging properties only). The deadline to register is June 7 at 10:00 a.m. – after this deadline registration rates will increase!

Sign up online here or download the registration form here.


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Focus on Energy is set to host a “Smart Strategies for Hotels” seminar at the Radisson La Crosse on April 26, and is offering a $20 discount to WH&LA members. The seminar will help lodging property owners and managers to understand where and how energy is used at hotels; identify energy-saving opportunities throughout your facility; and estimate potential energy savings and develop an effective energy-management plan.

The cost to register is just $79 with the WH&LA member discount ($99 for non-members). The class includes training materials, continental breakfast and lunch.

For more information and to register, click here. This workshop is held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Continental breakfast and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Lunch is also provided. Use WHLA when prompted to enter a discount code while registering. The seminar flier can be downloaded here.


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WH&LA is working to reschedule Lobby Day 2011 for a date in May!


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The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association will be holding their 1st Annual Safety & Security Awareness Training for lodging properties on:

Monday, November 1, 2010
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
540 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60611
1:00 Registration
2:00- 6:15 Program
6:15- 8:00 Vendor Showcase & Reception

Program presenters include:

  • Albert Guarnieri, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent (Hotel Liaison/Special Events Liaison Agent) – “Setting the Stage: See Something…Say Something”
  • Charles Dushane, Department of Homeland Security, Protective Security Advisor – “Active Shooter”
  • Dominick Kearns, Chicago Police Department, Bomb Technician  – “What To Look For: Pre-Cursor Chemicals and Bomb-Making Components”
  • Brian Brackemyer, Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Deputy Director – “Post Incident Response”

The Illinois association has extended their member pricing to all WH&LA members as well: $35 per person ($20 each for 3 or more from same property/ company). For more information, or to register, please contact Jennifer Chase with the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association at jchase@ihlaef.org or (312) 346-3135.



WH&LA is teaming up with Wil Kil Pest Control to host a free (for WH&LA lodging members) Bed Bugs Webinar on Tuesday, November 2 at 2:00 p.m. Attendees will learn where the bugs come from, how to spot the bugs, and best practices for preventing and dealing with the bugs. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions of Wil Kil Pest Control experts!

Register now!
Registration is free for WH&LA lodging members and will be capped at 50 registrants.

About the sponsors:

Wil-Kil Pest Control has been providing “superior service and quality pest management solutions” since 1929 throughout Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota, northern Illinois, northeast Iowa and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They are the first Wisconsin pest management company to provide “Bed Bug Canine inspection services” utilizing Max, the Bed Bug Dog.


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