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HR in Hospitality™ Attendees Stay Focused on
People, Performance to Build a Brighter Future

More than 450 human resource professionals and industry experts in the hotel, restaurant and foodservice industries participated in the third annual conference and expo produced by Human Resource Executive® and Cornell University; 2010 event is scheduled for Feb. 22 - 24 at Wynn Las Vegas 

HORSHAM, PA. — MARCH 24, 2009 — “The turbulent economy calls for HR executives and their senior leaders to make bold moves to ensure the long-term success of their organizations,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp., during his opening keynote address at the 3rd Annual National HR in Hospitality™ Conference, held last week at the Disney Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Fla. 

“Organizations must be adaptable, goal driven and designed for the future,” he said. "Gone are the days when companies can cling to the formulas that created their success. In troubled times, a business needs enduring values, the best talent, and the ability to zoom out and see past the chaos in front of it."

Approximately 450 human resource professionals in the hotel, restaurant and foodservice industries attended the conference, produced by Human Resource Executive® ConferencesTM in partnership with Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University ILR School and Human Resource Executive® magazine. 

“There was a lot of discussion surrounding the varying challenges HR executives will face during these tough times – from political rhetoric to social and economic trials,” said Harry Katz, Dean, Cornell University ILR School, Ithaca, N.Y. “Educational sessions were abuzz with discussions on ‘cultivating leadership,’ ‘rallying the organization,’ ‘hiring the right people,’ and ‘anticipating change.’ All said, it was uplifting to see so many people working together to find a solution for survival and make preparations for a stronger future.‘‘

Claude Werder, Vice President of Human Resource Executive® Conferences, said the event delivered specific strategies and insights on the most pressing problems facing human resources professionals in this tough economy. “We heard many comments from attendees that they left the conference with specific actions they could implement back home. That's the magic of this event: We have leading academics, attorneys and HR professionals who can connect with the realities that HR professionals in hospitality face every day,” he said.

Vail R. Brown, VP of global sales and marketing for Smith Travel Research/STR Global, which provides global hotel benchmarking, told attendees that there’s no time like the present to prepare for a recovery. "It's about operations. It's about revenue and expenses. It's about employees. It's about making sure that the level of customer service is still there so that when people begin to come back, that brand loyalty is still there," he said.

Kudos from attendees

“The diversity and quality of the conference agenda—from navigating current challenges, to leadership lessons from industry leaders, to leveraging operating results through HR programs and practices—proved relevant, inspiring and educational,” said David Makarsky, VP of Operations for B.F. Saul Company, Hotel Division. “The networking opportunities were plentiful. I forged new relationships with a number of industry peers and exhibitors in the Expo that will flourish with time. 

“With limited time and financial resources these days, we must carefully select professional development opportunities that will yield the greatest ROI for our business,” he added. “An industry-specific event like HR in Hospitality™ certainly proved a good investment for me. I would encourage owners, operators, academics and HR professionals alike to mark their calendars for next year’s event.”

The 4th Annual HR in Hospitality™ Conference will return to Wynn Las Vegas Resort and Casino, February 22-24, 2010. Registration and exhibit information will be available in August at
“The message I, and hundreds of HR professionals, came away with was this: It’s time that our industry leaders come together and set new standards for recruiting, retaining and developing the roles of employees,” Katz said. “Hiring the right people has never been more critical, because when the economy heals and travelers return, service must be at its highest point in history. We must plan today to keep those loyal employees we have and look for new incentives to recruit the best and brightest from among the hotel schools and those companies that may not have weathered the economic storm. 

“As Mr. Nassetta put it, 'It’s time that we find our rhythm',” he said.

About HR in Hospitality™

The National HR in Hospitality™ Conference & Expo 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: NY HR Week™, May 4-6, 2009; HR Technology® Conference & Exposition, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2009; and HR in Hospitality™, Feb. 22-24, 2010.  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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