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Schedule Set for the American Hotel & Lodging Association Legislative Action Summit,
April 14-15, 2008 in Washington, D.C.;

Your Chance to Speak One-on-one with Members of Congress and Share your Opinions on
Important Issues, Including the Shortage of Seasonal Work Visas, ADA Regulations

Washington, D.C., March 26, 2008 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Legislative Action Summit (LAS) will feature several members of the United States Congress and top lodging industry CEOs.  Now in its 11th year, the conference will take place April 14-15, 2008, at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Attendees will be briefed on current industry issues by some of the most influential policy makers currently serving in Congress and the Administration, and will receive a preview of the fall elections for the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate.

The Legislative Action Summit (LAS) is your chance to speak one-on-one with members of Congress and share your opinions on many mportant issues, including:

  •  the shortage of seasonal work visas
  •  ADA regulations
  •  travel and tourism issues
  •  Green initiatives
On Tuesday, April 15, LAS attendees will be addressed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Representative Ric Keller (R-Fla.) on the upcoming legislative year. 

Later that morning, and for the first time in the history of the conference, LAS will feature a panel of top lodging CEOs providing their perspectives on current legislative trends and the impact the congressional agenda may have on the travel and tourism industry. 

Panelists include Robert Alter, executive chairman of Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc., Geoffrey A. Ballotti, president and CEO of Group RCI, Yvonne La Penotiere, chief branding officer of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, and Stevan Porter, president, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group.  The panel will be moderated by Kathleen Matthews, executive vice president, global communications and public affairs for Marriott International, Inc., and former award-winning anchor, reporter, and producer for WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the briefings by members of Congress and the CEO panel, conference attendees will participate in a closed-door briefing by senior Administration officials at the White House complex.  Additionally, AH&LA’s bipartisan political action committee, HotelPAC, will host a reception and dinner featuring congressional speakers including Representatives Dan Boren (D-Okla.) and James Clyburn (D-S.C.).  As with past conferences, grassroots lobbying will be the central component of LAS, as hoteliers present the industry’s position on key issues to the members of their House and Senate delegations and highlight the significant and positive impact lodging has on their congressional districts.

Schedule of Events

Monday, April 14, 2008

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m  Registration - Willard InterContinental, The Ballroom Lobby
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.  General Session - Willard InterContinental, The Ballroom

   1. Summit Welcome/ First Legislative Session
          * Joe McInerney, CHA, president & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association
          * Marlene Colucci, executive vice president for public policy, American Hotel & Lodging Association
          * Arne Christenson, senior vice president for federal government affairs, American Express
   2. H2B Visa Panel
          * Dan Musser, owner, Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel
          * Andria Ryan, attorney, Fisher & Philips LLP
   3. Labor Issues in the 110th Congress
          * Rhonda Bentz, vice president, DC Navigators
          * Brian Worth, vice president for government & public affairs, Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc.

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Break
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  AH&LA State Leadership Awards Luncheon
1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.  Announcements & Speaker
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.  White House Briefing
Executive Office Building - Briefing Room

Briefing for AH&LA members by senior White House officials. Space is limited; first come, first-served.

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  Welcome Reception - Willard InterContinental, The Crystal Room
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  HotelPAC Congressional Dinner - The Hotel George (must be pre-registered; separate charge applies) or Dinner on your own.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  Registration - Willard InterContinental, The Ballroom Lobby
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.  Breakfast - Willard InterContinental, The Ballroom Foyer
8:00 a.m. - 10: 45 a.m.  General Session - Willard InterContinental, The Ballroom

   1. Legislative Updates

      Confirmed Speakers
          * Senator Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC)
          * Representative Ric Keller (R-8th-FL)
          * Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)

   2. How to be an effective advocate - Tips from the experts

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.  LAS Attendees Shuttled to Capitol Hill
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.  CEO Panel Luncheon - Russell Senate Office Building, Caucus Room (SR-325), Senate side of the U.S. Capitol

Confirmed Panelists

    * Robert Alter, executive chairman, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc.
    * Geoffrey A. Ballotti, president and CEO, Group RCI
    * Yvonne La Penotiere, chief branding officer, Carlson Hotels Worldwide
    * Stevan Porter, president, The Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Congressional Appointments on Capitol Hill
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  Congressional Reception - Mansfield Room (S-207), Senate side of U.S. Capitol

For a complete schedule of events and to register for LAS, please visit AH&LA’s website, 

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.


Matt Rhodes


Also See: Limited Supply of H2-B Visas Force Resorts on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Scramble to Patch Together a Full Staff for the Summer / March 2008
Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel Opens 112th Season With First Ladies Suites / May 1998


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