Wisconsin Lodging Industry Events

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The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association (WH&LA) honored the stars of the industry on Monday, November 6th at the Wisconsin Lodging Conference and Trade Show at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino

Local hospitality supplier Jennifer Church of Milmark Hotel/Motel Investments was honored with the “Associate of the Year Award” for 2017. The award recognizes one professional each year who services the Wisconsin lodging industry in an exemplary manner. Church was presented with the award by 2016 “Associate of the Year” Jim Laurino from Charter Spectrum.

Hotelier Becky Rogers of IDM Hospitality was honored with the “Corporate Champion of the Year” award for 2017. This award recognizes one individual in key management of a company owning/operating multiple lodging properties in Wisconsin. Rogers was presented with the award by the 2016 “Corporate Champion of the Year” Amy Simchak, North Central Group.

Madison hotelier Skip Harless, General Manager of the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, was awarded the annual “Innkeeper of the Year” award for 2017. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in the Wisconsin lodging industry each year. For the past 3 years, Harless has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of the operation of the 240-room full-service Hilton hotel. Harless was presented with the award by 2016 “Innkeeper of the Year” Charlie Eggen, Madison/Verona.

Additionally, ten non-managerial employees were honored with the “Spirit of Hospitality” award which recognizes employees that exceed guest’s expectations, are wonderful examples to the rest of their team, and help to make the hospitality experience in Wisconsin legendary. Three award winners were not in attendance and will be honored at their property. 2017 Spirit of Hospitality Award Winners:

  • Josh Buttram, Bistro Chef at the Courtyard Madison East, Madison
  • Maria Cerna Ortiz, Housekeeper at the Hampton Inn Appleton
  • Abigail Elder, Bartender at the Amber Grill at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center in Stevens Point
  • Charles Feit, Guest Services Representative at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Madison West/Middleton
  • Jesse Frost, Steward at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center Stevens Point
  • Madelyn Lutz, Guest Services Manager at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Verona
  • Jacob McDonald, Maintenance Engineer at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center Stevens Point
  • Ryan McRae, Assistant General Manager – Operation at the Ambassador Hotel & Ambassador Inn Milwaukee
  • Rick Rehfeldt, Concierge at the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace
  • Scott Stoltz, Resort Night Manager at the Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan
  • Lisa Wendtland, Guest Services Representative at the Hampton Inn & Suites Madison West
  • Nora Xouca, Room Inspector at the Residence Inn Madison West/Middleton
  • Jared Dove, Assistant Maintenance Manager, Hampton Inn Brookfield (Hero of Hospitality)

 

 

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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.

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DATE: Thursday, May 25th

TIME: 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM (Registration opens at 12:15 PM)

LOCATION: Best Western Premier Park Hotel, Madison

PROGRAM: Thinking and Acting like a Leader” presentation by Dr. Lalia Rach.

Established and emerging leaders share one great reality – Leadership is an ongoing activity. There is no end point rather it is a continual work in progress. The best leaders understand that the very act of leading is anchored by one’s path to maturity and self-actualization. Dr. Rach will share genuine ideas and uncommon sense tinged with her special brand of humor as she provides ideas for improving your leadership abilities.

COST: $28 per person

Speaker Profile:Dr. Lalia Rach

Dr. Rach is a successful entrepreneur, educator, and leader. A proven innovator, she specializes in assisting managers in advancing their leadership strategies.  Her fresh ideas and uncommon sense on issues of strategy and leadership in the hospitality industry produce insightful thinking advancing the ability of emerging and established executives.

As a professional speaker and experienced moderator, her messages stand above the rest for their relatable honesty and timely nature presented in a practical and entertaining manner.

About Wisconsin Women in Lodging

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

Benefits: Access to the AH&LA WIL searchable directory, invitations to education events with inspirational women speakers, and networking & mentoring opportunities.

Membership: 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.

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The Wisconsin Chapter of HSMAI is launching soon! The kickoff meeting will be held at the Madison Concourse Hotel & Governor’s Club on Thursday, March 9 from 2-4pm.

The kick-off event will give participants the opportunity to mingle with fellow hotel Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management leaders, as well as industry suppliers and vendors. John Parke, founder and President of Leadership Synergies, will be the Keynote Speaker. He will share his expertise on the following topics:

  • Differences between professional education and training
  • How to put your best foot forward in your career and continued development
  • 2020 success discussion – a peek into the future of our industry

You will also get a glimpse into the brand new Wisconsin Chapter of HSMAI and meet the new Board of Directors. The Board is excited to grow this inaugural chapter and invite you to consider joining HSMAI and serving on a committee.

HSMAI Members and Non-Members are invited to join for Free!

Learn more on the Facebook Event Page.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI’s MEETAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region.  There are three regions: the  AmericasAsia Pacific, and Europe, and a chapter in the UAE.  Each region has geographic chapters and signature programs and services for association members.

Contact Jen Yakimicki Guimond, HSMAI Wisconsin President at jyakimicki@ncghotels.com or Katie Marron, HSMAI Wisconsin VP of Marketing at kmarron@ncghotels.com to be added to the HSMAI Wisconsin distribution list to be in the know of future 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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The Wisconsin hotel & Lodging Association invites you to participate in WH&LA Lobby Day 2011 on May 11, 2011. Learn about issues facing the lodging industry, hear from key state legislative leaders and meet with your legislators during the event. Activities will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Hilton Monona Terrace and will include lunch, concluding by 3:30 p.m. after meetings with legislators at the Capitol.

Fees: lodging, lodging executive, student, CVB and chamber members: $29
Associate members: $39
Non-member lodging: $49

Register online now! Registrations with payment must be received by May 4, 2011.
Click here to download a copy of the registration form.

Overnight lodging: A block of guest rooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Madison for a rate of $79 + tax per night. Rooms can be booked online here or through the hotel at 608/251-1189. To book a room at the Hilton Monona Terrace, contact the hotel at 608/255-5100.

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

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The WH&LA Board of Directors would like to invite lodging property owners and managers in the area to attend a special WH&LA Briefing Luncheon on Wednesday, September 15th from 11:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. at the Holiday Acres Resort in Rhinelander.  This is a great opportunity for you to meet our leaders, learn about what they are working on, and to participate with your opinions at committee meetings – in a location not too far from you!

In addition to joining our 2010 Chairman of the Board Kirk Drusch and other Board members for lunch, the following information will be shared:

  • Ira Hartman, president of the Northwoods Chapter of the WH&LA will give a brief overview of the current issues facing area properties, to increase Board awareness
  • The WH&LA will provide a brief overview of a few key legislative and other issues of concern to Wisconsin’s lodging industry, such as updates on the Statewide Smoking Ban and Room Tax action underway by the WH&LA
  • Lola Roeh, Chair of the Sustainable Tourism Funding Task Force, will provide an update on State Tourism funding cuts and what the future may hold.

In addition to the Briefing Luncheon, we will also have Committee meetings that WH&LA members are invited to sit in on. The following is a brief schedule for the day:
Wednesday, September 15th

  • 8:15  – 9:00 am              Education/Conference Committee
  • 9:15 – 10:15 am             Membership/Services Committee
  • 10:30 – 11:30 am           Communication Committee
  • 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.   WH&LA Briefing Luncheon  (Advance registration required)
  • 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.     Legislative/Tourism Committee
  • 3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.     WH&LA Room Tax Task Force
  • 6:00 p.m.                        Reception followed by Dinner at the Three Coins Restaurant at Holiday Acres Resort (Advance registration required)

You are welcome to join us for any portion listed that you are interested in… however we do kindly ask that you RSVP so that we can be sure to have enough hand-outs and seats for you and other attendees, and so that we can have your meal selection prepared. A fee is required for meal registrations to cover the costs of your meal plus all tax and gratuity, however there are no fees for members to attend Committee meetings. The deadline to RSVP is Monday, September 6 by 3:00 pm. Should you wish to receive a set of the meeting agendas, or have any questions, please contact Pamela at 262-782-2851 or office@wisconsinlodging.org.

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Sponsored by A&A Fire and Security, Inc

The Wisconsin Innkeepers Association Board of Directors would like to invite lodging property owners and managers in the Green Bay/ DePere area to attend a special Briefing Luncheon on Wednesday, September 27th from 12:30 – 1:45 pm at the F.K. Bemis Conference Center located on the St. Norbert College Campus in De Pere.

A representative of the Greater Green Bay Area Lodging Association will give a brief overview of the current issues facing local operators, and the WIA will provide a brief overview of a few key legislative and other issues of concern to Wisconsin’s lodging industry. Included among these issues are updates on the Statewide Smoking Ban, the upcoming Carbon Monoxide Detector requirements and State Tourism funding cuts. This is also our opportunity for WIA Board members from around the state to hear about local or state issues you find critical to your property.

In addition to the the Briefing Luncheon, we will have a number of committee meetings which WIA members are invited to sit in on. No preparation time is required for the committee meetings; we only ask that you bring your opinions, objectivity, and decision-making skills to the table.  The meeting schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, 1/27 –

  • 9:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.   Legislative/ Tourism Committee
  • 12:30 pm   Luncheon & Presentation
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.    Communications/ Marketing Committee immediately followed by Membership/ Services Committee
  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.     Education/ Conference Committee
  • 6:15 p.m.   Reception & Dinner at Titletown Brewing Co.

All WIA members are welcome to attend any of the committee meetings and events.  The registration form for the Luncheon Briefing (and other meetings/events) is available here or you may register online. The only fee is for the cost of your meals, with options provided both online and on the form.

A special thanks goes to our meetings sponsor: A&A Fire and Security, Inc.

Questions?  Please contact Andrew Bronson at 262-782-2851 or registration@wisconsinlodging.info.

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