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


Educational Sessions

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Keynote Speaker
Sponsored by:




Fully Staffed: Finding & Keeping Employees in the Hardest Market Ever

How to create the kind of culture in your organization that attracts better talent and inspires them to work harder, perform better, and stay longer.

The biggest threat facing today’s business owners and managers is not how they can get new customers and improve sales, but rather how they can find, develop, and keep qualified employees in one of the hardest markets.


Employee engagement expert Eric Chester has interviewed thousands of owners, managers, and leaders of small companies and franchises in order to uncover the best practices for attracting, developing—and yes, even retaining—amazing employees at all levels. Discover how savvy employers have made bold moves, implemented guerrilla-recruiting tactics, and transformed the way the hiring and retention game is played. 


As an acclaimed workforce researcher, thought-leader, and employee engagement expert, as well as an author of five leadership books on management and employability, Eric Chester is a hall-of-fame speaker and has delivered more than 3000 paid keynote speeches on three continents.




Tips, Training Solutions, & Turnkey Initiatives

Wendy Popkin, Executive Director, Oregon Hospitality Foundation


Carrie Alexander, Program Manager, American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation


Dr., Ed Walden., Ph.D., Director, Professional Advancement National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation


Keynote Panel Sponsored by:


Learn about programs and tools from partners the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation, and how the Oregon Hospitality Foundation is leveraging them to help support our industry’s recruitment, retention, and advancement workforce challenges in Oregon.


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Keynote Presentation Sponsored by:




The State of Tourism & Hospitality in Oregon and Opportunities to Engage

Jason Brandt, ORLA President & CEO

Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO

A candid conversation about the state of tourism in Oregon and opportunities for hospitality partners to stay engaged and make a difference.


Breakout Sessions

Choose Where to Go Deeper

Sunday, September 19 • 1:40-2:40 p.m.

Restaurant Advocacy:
Federal Activity & Emerging State Issues

Mike Whatley, VP of State and Local Affairs, National Restaurant Association


Join the Vice President of State & Local Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association for an update on federal activity relating to the restaurant industry, and hear about efforts and policies addressing emerging state and federal issues.


Sunday, September 19 • 1:40-2:40 p.m.
Pandemic Disruptions – How to Plan Future Forward

Todd Montgomery, Executive in Residence / Sr. Instructor, Robin and Curt Baney Endowed Professor College of Business, Business & Hospitality Oregon State University

The pandemic has changed long-standing business practices and forced companies to recreate their business model, in some cases overnight, to survive. In this breakout, we look at emerging solutions to a changing customer base and labor force with a focus on innovations in service re-engineering, job task automation, and data-driven hiring.


Sunday, September 19 • 2:50-3:50 p.m.
Lodging Advocacy: Critical Issues Impacting the Industry

Jason M. Riederer, Senior Director, State and Local Government Affairs, American Hotel & Lodging Association

Join the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) for an update on trending lodging issues, industry efforts, and policy at the federal, state, and local level.


Sunday, September 19 • 2:50-3:50 p.m.
5 Mistakes the Hospitality Industry Needs to Stop Making with Their Social Media

Shannon Hinderberger, Shannon Lee Strategy

It's no secret that 2020 was not friendly to the hospitality industry. Being short-staffed and smaller budgets, your marketing budget took a hit. Shannon will talk about the mistakes to avoid when you're lacking funds to market and the easy steps your hotel or restaurant can take to stand out.


Sunday, September 19 • 4:00-5:00 p.m.
ORLA Advocacy: State & Local Issues, Legislative Wins & Challenges

Greg Astley, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association

Tom Perrick, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association

Bill Perry, Balance Point Strategies

Join ORLA's Government Affairs team for a high-level summary of the most relevant state and local legislation impacting the hospitality industry. From original lockdown through eventual re-opening, the GA team has been heavily involved in conversations with the Governor, state legislative leaders, mayors and everyone in between. Hear more on what occurred in Washington DC, Salem and City Halls statewide. We'll also preview the 2022 short legislative session and handicap the 2022 election cycle.


Sunday, September 19 • 4:00-5:00 p.m.
How the Hospitality Industry Can Help Address Climate Change

Arica Sears, Oregon Coast Visitors Association

Patty Martin, Climate Scientist

Learn more about our climate action plan and where the hospitality sector fits into the climate picture. What has the biggest potential for change and adaptation? Hear how consumers can support these types of initiatives, and how we plan to reduce emissions and support the compatibility of this plan with businesses.


Monday, September 20 • 11:00-12:00 p.m.
Workforce Challenges 2.0: How Your Organization Can Leverage Resources

Wendy Popkin, Oregon Hospitality Foundation

Carrie Alexander, Program Manager, American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation
Dr. Ed Walden., Ph.D. I  Director, Professional Advancement, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Learn how to leverage the resources highlighted in the morning keynote session on Workforce Challenges. This session will discuss case studies and engage with attendees in a Q&A session.


Monday, September 20 • 11:00-12:00 p.m.
Kind & Effective Leadership

Justin Freeman, Owner & CEO, Bagel Sphere

Our teams, customers and industry partners are all in need of kind and effective leaders. This session will show how kindness to self and coworkers alike can mutually reinforce one another to drive meaningful, positive transformation in the workplace. Rather than just a “feel good” session, we train with a bias towards action, giving tangible, real-world steps that attendees can implement to promote the cultural change they want to see in their restaurant and lodging operations.


Monday, September 20 • 1:40-2:40 p.m.
US and Oregon Hotel Industry Overview

Jenay Wilson Sales Executive – Western Region, STR

Hear an overview of US and Oregon hotel data and take a look into STR’s Pipeline and Forecasted data. We will also take a quick look at our new product, Forward STAR.


Monday, September 20 • 1:40-2:40 p.m.
Alcohol Delivery with DoorDash: Empowering Local Merchants to Boost Sales through Alcohol Delivery While Ensuring Safe, Responsible Delivery

Anna Powell, Manager of Government Relations Northwest, DoorDash

Learn how to take your deliveries to the next level with DoorDash's ability to add alcohol to each order. Ensure compliance and safe and responsible delivery while boosting sales and meeting customer demand.


Monday, September 20 • 1:40-2:40 p.m.
Strategies for Hiring & Retaining Great Employees

Eric Chester, Author and Speaker

In this follow up session, Eric takes a deeper dive into strategies and methodologies that will inspire operators to change the way they recruit, hire, and lead their employees. He’ll integrate best practice examples from recruiters, HR professionals, and other knowledgeable industry leaders on how to develop a strong workforce from the inside out.