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From inspirational keynotes to industry-relevant breakout sessions, you'll gain insight on hospitality issues, new strategies and solutions, and learn best practices.

Educational Programming

Learn new things to inspire your work in the 2022 general and breakout sessions.

Sunday, September 11


General Session - 12:20pm
NRA Restaurant Advocacy: State of the Restaurant Industry 

Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO, National Restaurant Association 

Workforce challenges coupled with rising inflation and supply chain constraints mean operators are doing more with less every day. Korsmo will address how the National Restaurant Association is strengthening partnerships with state restaurant associations to help all members be successful.

This presentation is sponsored by NW Natural

General Session - 12:55pm

AHLA Lodging Advocacy: Federal & Industry Update 

Matt Carrier, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) 

Hear insights from American Hotel & Lodging Association CEO, Chip Rogers, on legislative activity in Congress, industry travel trends, and projected travel demand and recovery. 


Breakout Session - 1:45pm

Mission Possible: It Takes an Industry 

Moderator: Eric Aebi, Program Chair, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Chemeketa Community College

Panelists: Lisa Itel, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Travel Oregon 

Kim Parker-Llerenas, Executive Director, Willamette Workforce Partnership 

Terry Goldman, VP of Operations, Mereté Hotel Management 

Summer Highfill, MAT, Business Instructor CTE, Oregon Charter Academy

We know the future of the hospitality industry depends on key factors including (and maybe most importantly) a healthy workforce pool. The Oregon Hospitality Foundation (OHF), in partnership with Travel Oregon, are knee deep in hospitality workforce development efforts, coordinating with destination management organizations (DMOs) and industry members to increase engagement with schools and employment agencies statewide. Hear from a panel of professionals representing these entities and learn how you can support this effort to collectively build and enhance career pathways for our future workforce. 

This breakout session is sponsored by Fournier Group


Breakout Session - 1:45pm

Respectful Workplace: Mitigating Risk of Harassment Discrimination and Supporting a Culture of Respect and Belonging 

Cindy Free, CEO & Sr. Consultant, HR Annie Consulting

Linda Addy, Sr. Consultant, HR Annie Consulting  

From social justice movements to social media callouts, workplace conversations have evolved, and employers have an important opportunity to engage in those critical conversations through listening, learning, and training. Employers, managers, and staff all have a responsibility to contribute to a Respectful Workplace and how we can get there together. In this session, HR Annie will dig into how employers can implement training and tools to go beyond a simple policy, to create a culture where everyone feels safe and comfortable to do their best work. 

This breakout session is sponsored by WorkSource Oregon Lane, Work Share Oregon & Onward Eugene


Breakout Session - 3:15pm

Deep Dive on Federal Advocacy and Hotel Industry Research

Matt Carrier, Vice President, Innovation Policy & Research, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)

Join Matt Carrier from AHLA’s Federal Advocacy team to learn more about hotel industry issues on Capitol Hill, the political outlook for the 2022 mid-term elections, and updates on research around the economic impact of hotels around the country.

This breakout session is sponsored by Here is Oregon

Breakout Session - 3:15pm

Public Policy Opportunities and Challenges in a Post-Pandemic World

Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President Public Affairs, National Restaurant Association (NRA)

Hear more about federal activity impacting the restaurant industry, as well as updates and initiatives from the National Restaurant Association.

This breakout session is sponsored by Deacon Construction


Monday, September 12


General Session - 8:30am

Building Exceptional Company Cultures

Panel: Keith Thomajan, Dutch Bros.

Liz Dahlager, Mereté Hotel Management Group

Patrick Nofield, Escape Lodging Company

Moderator: Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, ORLA

Given the hospitality industry’s role as the largest base of employers for essential skill development, having a company culture that fosters employee retention is critical to addressing workforce challenges. We talk with a panel of industry operators–representing both the restaurant and lodging sectors–about what it takes to cultivate an exceptional culture that attracts and retains a strong workforce.

Breakout Session - 10:20am

ORLA Advocacy: State & Local Issues, Legislative Session, and Elections

Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association 
Bill Perry, Balance Point Strategies  

Join ORLA’s Government Affairs team for a high-level discussion of the most relevant state and local legislation impacting the hospitality industry. With at least 24 newly elected Oregon legislators, ORLA has a big job to do educating them on how their decisions impact restaurant and lodging operations and how critical our industry is to Oregon’s economy. We’ll also preview Oregon’s 2023 Legislative Session and handicap the 2022 general election.

This breakout session is sponsored by Jordan Ramis PC

Breakout Session - 10:20am

The Economic Outlook for Late 2022 and Beyond 

John Tapogna, Senior Policy Advisor, ECONorthwest 

Oregon's leisure and hospitality sector was at the center of the pandemic downturn and isn't expected to return to pre-recession levels of employment until 2026 or later. Businesses that survived the extraordinary disruption are in a fierce competition for labor that's likely to continue into next year. And now as the Federal Reserve attempts to slow down inflation, economists see a risk of another recession on the horizon. This session will look back at where we've been and provide some guesses on what's ahead.

This breakout session is sponsored by SAIF Corporation

Breakout Session - 11:25am

Hospitality Performance Overview: Total US, State of Oregon Market and Submarkets

Chase Oeser, Regional Sales Manager with STR  

STR’s Chase Oeser will provide an overview of the current State of the Hospitality Market compared to not only 2021, but also how the industry is performing versus 2019. In this session, we will take you through the hospitality industry’s national performance and forecast for the state of Oregon, as well as the markets and submarkets within the state. We will also have an opportunity to measure the recovery by comparing 2022, 2021, and 2019 which achieved the highest overall performance across all KPI’s on record. 

This breakout session is sponsored by Garth T. Rouse & Associates 

Breakout Session - 11:25am

Customer Entitlement & the Impact on Labor

Todd Montgomery, Director, OSU Sustainable Tourism Lab, Business & Hospitality, Oregon State University  

Customer Entitlement is the belief by a customer that he or she is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. A recent study by Oregon State University showed 70% of hospitality workers surveyed want to leave the industry as a result of a customer entitlement event. Todd dives into the research and analysis of how this is just a piece of the labor shortage puzzle in how we attract and retain staff.

This breakout session is sponsored by My Accounting Team 

Keynote Speaker General Session - 12:30pm
How to Stay Inspired When You are So Darn Tired!

Christine Cashen  

It can feel challenging to stay right side up when the world feels upside down. These past few years have been stressful, but it is time to take back your power. Take control of what you have the power to change. Shift your perspective, get energized, and lead by example. You don't want to miss this presentation. Join Christine for hot tips and strategies to achieve the best in your personal and professional life. You'll leave feeling charged up, motivated and excited to get back out there and work your magic.

Audience takeaways:

• Method to Compose and Dispose to handle worry
• Identify Energy Gainers/Drainers and what to do about them
• How to get your “mojo” back
• Tools to leverage levity

People across the globe are raving about Christine Cashen and her refreshing take on everyday life. For 20 years Christine has shared her expertise on conflict resolution, stress management, and cultivating a happier more productive workplace. She will help you to ignite your team with action‑driven life hacks. Christine has also authored The Good Stuff: Quips & Tips on Life, Love, Work, and Happiness and It’s Your Business: Good Stuff for Your Personal, Professional, and Funny Business.

This Keynote Speaker is sponsored by Travel Oregon

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