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Conference & Expo Addressing Urgent HR Issues

Managing talent and understanding new labor laws are just two of the in-demand session topics attracting HR directors, VPs of labor relations and hospitality law attorneys to the Human Resource Executive® magazine-produced and Cornell University-sponsored event March 17-19, 2009; Register by Feb. 20 to Save $250.00!

HORSHAM, PA. — FEBRUARY 17, 2009 — “We’ve all heard how talent matters, especially in hospitality, but I think a case can clearly be made for it mattering even more in challenging times such as these,” said David Shadovitz, editor and publisher of Human Resource Executive®. 

Next month, human resource leaders will be presented with an assortment of learning opportunities at the 3rd Annual National HR in Hospitality™ Conference (, to be held March 17-19, 2009, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. This HR-specific event will bring together human resource professionals in the hotel, restaurant and foodservice industries who are being challenged by company CEOs to navigate today’s tough economic environment and to position their organizations for growth as they emerge from the current downturn. Those looking to discover new and effective ways to engage their people and keep them focused on the business imperatives are sure to find the answers at this event.

“Few HR conferences match the expertise of the team behind the planning and execution of this year’s HR in Hospitality™ Conference,” Shadovitz said. “The speakers are the most knowledgeable in the field and will provide attendees with the tools necessary for succeeding in any business environment. They’ll be presenting on a wide range of business-critical topics — from talent management to employee engagement to emerging issues in labor law — providing those attending with new insights and ideas they can take back to their workplaces and apply.”

HR in Hospitality™ is produced by Human Resource Executive® Conferences and is developed and co-sponsored by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and the Cornell University ILR School. The American Hotel & Lodging Association is a platinum sponsor of HR in Hospitality™. Attendees can save $250.00 if registered by Feb. 20, 2009.

Some of the most popular sessions in each of the event’s five disciplines include:

  • HR Without Borders: Managing Talent Internationally (HR Hot Topics Track)
  • STAR Treatment: Personalizing Employee Recognition at Opryland (HR Best Practices Track)
  • Building Employee and Customer Loyalty at Joie de Vivre Hotels (HR in Hotels Track)
  • Service That Rocks! (HR in Restaurants Track)
  • New Rules for a New Reality: Emerging Issues in Labor Law (Labor Relations Track)
In the “HR Hot Topics” Track, Ellen Dubois du Bellay of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Jan Katz of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration will lead a session titled: HR Without Borders: Managing Talent Internationally.  This session is designed to help HR executives explore the benefits of national diversity in their workforce and draw out strategies to extend the value of that diversity. Attendees will come away with ideas of how to leverage their diverse workforce to greater corporate benefit.

“Hospitality is unusual in that almost every firm must deal with international employees — and for the large firms, they appear at all levels and in a wide variety of mixtures,” Katz said. “Unlike most multinational corporations where you find almost entirely French employees in France and Indonesian employees in Indonesia, the French hotel of a multinational hospitality company is likely to have managers from France, Switzerland, Lebanon, the United States, among other countries, as well as entry-level workers representing a host of immigrant groups. The international nature of the workforce is necessary to respond to the needs of guests, the developmental requirements of employees, national differences in functional expertise, and efficiency pressures. Understanding how to manage the different interests of this complex multinational workforce is critical to providing an excellent service with a reasonable cost structure.”

New for 2009, the “HR Best Practices” Track has generated tremendous interest. In particular, STAR Treatment: Personalizing Employee Recognition at Opryland, led by Theresa Dileo of Gaylord Hotels and Rick Garlick of Maritz Research, is top of mind for many registrants. This session looks at the Smiles, Teamwork, Attitude and Resources (STAR) program at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville as an example of how hospitality companies can be proactive in their HR Best Practices approach. 

"Recognition programs are difficult to do right,” Garlick said. “Well-meaning persons in charge of implementing these programs offer rewards/incentives that they find personally meaningful — whether others react the same way is questionable. What is motivating to one person is not going to be universally motivating, no matter how well intended. Of course, individualizing recognition seems difficult to do.  We plan to present a strategy for how this has been successfully implemented within a very well-known hotel." 

Jane Howard of Joie De Vivre Hospitality and Jan McDougal of Market Metrix will lead Building Employee and Customer Loyalty at Joie de Vivre Hotels, part of the “HR in Hotels” Track. Here, Howard and McDougal will discuss the impressive employee retention at Joie de Vivre hotels and how to use employee feedback to most effectively impact business results — from improved guest loyalty to reduced employee turnover.

“During these challenging economic times, it's more important than ever to be able to justify the value of investing in people and culture,” Howard said. “If you can use employee and guest survey data with financial metrics to quantify just how much your culture is worth to your bottom line, you will be a more persuasive advocate for why a continued investment in people is absolutely necessary.”

In Service That Rocks!, Jim Knight of Hard Rock International tops the “HR in Restaurants” Track to discuss how people practices impact the company’s ability to deliver quality guest service. Knight will unveil powerful ways to engage and build loyal internal and external customers.

Finally, in the “Labor Relations” track, Jay Krupin of Epstein Becker & Green will lead the in-demand session, New Rules for a New Reality: Emerging Issues in Labor Law.  With America’s economic position in the world eroding and its workers feeling squeezed, government is looking seriously at a lengthy and potentially game-changing list of labor law changes. In this “due-diligence” session, Krupin will discuss how life may quickly change for HR professionals.

"With a new President and an economy in distress, changes in labor and employment law are guaranteed to occur,” Krupin said. “Businesses must stay ahead of the curve to know what’s coming and how to prepare."

The HR in Hospitality™ Expo Hall is open for two days and will feature leading vendors of HR products and services. The Expo is designed to further assist attendees through exposure to products and services related to: Benefits Administration, Compensation Systems & Services, Employee Assistance Programs, HR Consulting, HR Outsourcing, Insurance, Payroll Software & Services, Recruitment, Retirement & 401(K) Services, Safety & Security Services, Training, Wealth Benefits & Group Life, Disability & Workers’ Compensation and more.

“Kudos to Human Resources Executive® Conferences for putting together yet another year of thought provoking and in-demand educational sessions and a line-up of outstanding exhibitors,” Shadovitz said. “This is why the national HR in Hospitality™ Conference has become the must-attend event for HR professionals in the field.”

For registration details, including Early Bird savings and the conference’s full agenda, visit For exhibitor and sponsorship information, visit or contact Fred Kurst, trade show manager for Southeast, Southwest, West, and Europe, at (703) 393-8304; or Nancy Sommar, trade show manager for Northeast, Midwest, and Canada, at (215) 784-0910, ext. 6231. 

About HR in Hospitality™
HR in Hospitality™ is developed and produced by Human Resource Executive® ConferencesTM, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and Cornell University ILR School. HR in Hospitality™ is the premier event specifically for professionals in human resource management, employment law and labor relations in the hospitality industry. In addition to the conference, the HR in Hospitality™ Expo Hall is open for two days and is designed to further assist attendees through exposure to products and services related to benefits, HRO, legal, payroll, screening and assessment, training, and recruiting.

About HRE ConferencesTM
Thousands of HR professionals network, research workforce solutions and make buying decisions at the three annual Human Resource Executive® events: HR in Hospitality™, March 17-19, 2009; NY HR Week™, May 4-6, 2009; and the HR Technology® Conference & Exposition, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2009.  More information about these conferences can be accessed at

Note to editors: HR in Hospitality™ is produced by HRE ConferencesTM, a division of LRP Conferences, LLC. Trademarks and registered trademarks referenced herein remain the property of their respective owners. A limited number of complimentary press passes are available for HR in Hospitality™. To request a press pass, please contact PRPRO.


Barb Worcester
Tel: (440) 930-5770


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