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Educational Programming

Learn new things to inspire your work in these 2023 educational sessions.


GENERAL SESSION | Keynote Speaker

Monday, Oct 2 • 12:30-1:30 pm | Grand Ballroom

Building and Sustaining a Healthy Organization

Nate Nielsen, Principal Consultant, The Table Group

Healthy organizations enjoy higher levels of productivity, morale, and retention of most valued employees. Organizational health connects equally with strategy and culture, and as such, is one thing the team leader cannot delegate to anyone else. As the fastest and most practical personality assessment for identifying an individual’s natural gifts at work, The Six Types of Working Genius model is revolutionizing the way we think about work and providing a whole new framework for tapping into one another’s “Genius.” Nate will illustrate what it takes to make an organization healthy and how The Six Types of Working Genius, as part of The Table Group’s organizational health methodology, helps build and sustain a strong organization. Nate brings a sincere desire to help leaders succeed, organizations thrive, and people find fulfillment in their work. His years of expertise in leading organizations and teams along with his passion to help others achieve more, led to his partnership with the Table Group.



BREAKOUT SESSION | Sunday, Oct 1 • 2:25-3:25 pm | Galaxy

Forecasting for the Future: Trends for Business Travel & Discretionary Spending
Bob Whelan, Senior Economist, ECONorthwest


Nobody can predict the future. But we also know the economy–as distorted as it is from the COVID crisis–will ultimately settle back to something resembling normal. Sure, some of it will be because of things the government does and the Federal Reserve Bank, but most of it will happen because of inherent human and cultural behaviors taking over. The question is, “What will that look like?” And human and cultural behaviors can be predictable.


BREAKOUT SESSION | Sunday, Oct 1 • 2:25-3:25 pm | Cosmos

Human Trafficking Prevention: From the Lens of a Child Survivor
Cheryl Csiky, Executive Director, In Our Backyard
Michael Gallagher, Bridging the Gap

Hear directly from Cheryl Csiky, a former child sex trafficking victim who transformed adversity into positive and thriving leadership. Retired Officer Mike Gallagher – Portland Police Bureau Sex Trafficking, spent the last 11 years working in the Sex Trafficking Unit. Hospitality businesses and teams will be equipped to prevent this crime from happening in their places of business and community. Cheryl and Mike's boots-on-the-ground experience will not only share facts that present a vivid picture of how prevalent this crime is in our state but also what indicators to look for with training, and resources available. In Our Backyard's programs have recovered multiple victim-survivors across the U.S., creating a pathway to freedom for those in need.


BREAKOUT SESSION | Sunday, Oct 1 • 3:35-4:35 pm | Galaxy

The Anatomy of a Deal
Chris Garratt, Managing Director, METIS


Maximizing value to attract investors and buyers, planning for transitions, and preparing a business for sale are all key steps building up to a successful deal. In this case study, learn how hospitality businesses are bought and sold.


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BREAKOUT SESSION | Sunday, Oct 1 • 3:35-4:35 pm | Cosmos

ORLA Advocacy: State & Local Issues Impacting Hospitality
Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, ORLA
Jason Brandt, President & CEO, ORLA

Makenzie Marineau, Government Affairs Coordinator, ORLA

Join ORLA’s Government Affairs team for a high-level discussion of the most relevant state and local legislation impacting the hospitality industry. Coming out of a legislative session that was impacted by walkouts and a record number of newly elected legislators, ORLA continues its efforts to educate our elected leaders on how their decisions impact restaurant and lodging operations and how critical our industry is to Oregon’s economy.


BREAKOUT SESSION | Monday, Oct 2 • 11:00-12:00 pm | Galaxy

Taking Stock and Looking Ahead:
Understanding Oregon Voters as we Head Toward 2024

John Horvick, Senior VP, DHM research


DHM Research has talked to tens of thousands of Oregon voters in surveys and focus groups the last several years, through Covid, contentious elections, rapid cultural change, and economic upheaval. This session will highlight what we’ve heard from voters, including their concerns and priorities, and what they are expecting from their elected leaders heading into a major election year.



BREAKOUT SESSION | Monday, Oct 2 • 11:00-12:00 pm | Cosmos

Insights & Impact: Unpacking Oregon Tourism Data
Javier Parada Torres, Research Specialist, Travel Oregon

This session aims to shed light on data insights that hold relevance to restaurant owners and lodging operators. We will delve into crucial aspects of tourism data that impact day-to-day operations and strategic decision-making within the industry. Additionally, we will provide a concise overview of the strategic vision guiding Travel Oregon and its implications. Furthermore, we will explore the data produced by Travel Oregon, including visitor profile, employment figures, and the economic impact of tourism. Attendees will gain valuable information on how they can access and utilize this data to enhance their own businesses. We will also address typical questions raised by ORLA members, which include allocation and utilization of Transient Lodging Tax funds and how those dollars are being used to drive tourism growth in Oregon.



BREAKOUT SESSION | Monday, Oct 2 • 1:40-2:40 pm | Galaxy

US & Oregon Hospitality Market Overview

Deanna Gibson, STR


Overview of the current State of the Hospitality Market compared to 2022, how the industry is performing versus 2020. 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.



BREAKOUT SESSION | Monday, Oct 2 • 1:40-2:40 pm | Cosmos

Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: Identify and Master the Critical Behaviors Needed to Create Team Cohesion

Nate Nielsen, Principal Consultant, The Table Group

Like it or not, all teams are potentially dysfunctional. This is inevitable because they are made up of fallible, imperfect human beings. Fortunately, the causes of dysfunction are both identifiable and curable with intentional discipline. Striving to create a functional, cohesive team is one of the few remaining competitive advantages available to any organization looking for a powerful point of differentiation and a healthy culture. 

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BREAKOUT SESSION | Monday, Oct 2 • 2:50-3:50 pm | Galaxy

Addressing Cybersecurity: Tips, Tricks & Resources
Leslie Kainoa, Cybersecurity Advisor, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

An increasing reliance in e-commerce has lead an increased exposure to the cyber criminals.  There are ways to defend yourself against these threats.  Learn about current trends in cybersecurity best practices.  Use this knowledge to better protect yourself, business, and customers from cyber threats.


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BREAKOUT SESSION | Monday, Oct 2 • 2:50-3:50 pm | Cosmos

Workforce Development + Cultivating Team Culture
Ken Henson, Refettorio Consulting (moderator)

Courtney Smith, Oregon Hospitality Foundation 

Jaime Eder, Visit Bend / Visit Central Oregon

Daniel Scotton, Equus Workforce Solutions 

This session will be in a roundtable format for attendees to rotate among several conversation topics moderated by industry professionals in the workforce development space. Topics include partnering in the private and public sector for workforce development, high school CTE programs and creating a path for K-12 engagement, post-secondary hospitality programs, Worksource boards and access to training dollars, and employer responsibility (and strategies) for creating workforce culture. 


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