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2015 - 11 November

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Plan Ahead for Year-End Orders

Last Shipping Day AHLEI customers who will need products in late December or early January are urged to plan ahead and place orders within the next few weeks, to avoid delays in receiving materials. The final day of shipping for 2015 will be Wednesday, December 23.   

AHLEI's offices will be closed for the winter holidays from noon on Thursday, December 24, to Monday, January 4, 2016.  Our fulfillment center will conduct its annual physical inventory and will not ship any orders the first week in January.  

We will begin to ship orders again on Monday, January 11, 2016. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience. 

For academic orders:  

Phone: 1.800.344.4381 or +1.517.372.8800 

Fax: 1.517.372.5141 

Email: academics@ahla.com

 

For industry orders:  

Phone: 1.800.349.0299 or +1.407.999.8100 

Fax: 1.407.236.7848 

Email: industrysales@ahla.com  

Online: www.ahlei.org/products

High School Spotlight

ACTE Prepares to Support Hospitality Education during CTE Month

CTE Logo Med The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the nation's largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers, is currently preparing for CTE Month©, the campaign we hold each February where we celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of innovative CTE programs throughout the country and strive to make educators, students, policymakers, employers, and other groups aware of the value of CTE. CTE encompasses many high-demand fields, including hospitality and lodging. There are many opportunities for AHLEI members who wish to get involved with CTE Month, whether they are seeking to educate others about career and technical education or to learn more themselves.  

During CTE Month, ACTE will hold events, publish web content, and use social media to inform the public of the value of CTE. Last year, ACTE's main event during CTE Month was a school visit to Montgomery College of Maryland. There, we worked with the college to highlight their strong hospitality program. AHLEI members that may be interested in hosting their own school visit should view our list of tips and presentation on this topic, and contact koshinskie@acteonline.org for more information.  

ACTE has also published content on the hotel and lodging industry specifically. Our Hospitality and Tourism Sector Sheet, published during CTE Month last year, details the strength of this industry, which employs 14 million people in the United States, generates $155 billion in revenue annually, and is on pace to add between 2.1 million and 3.3 million jobs by 2021. This document also emphasizes the stackable certificates, degrees, licenses, and industry-recognized certifications that AHLEI offers as excellent means of preparing secondary, postsecondary, and adult students for CTE careers.  

ACTE has many other resources both for those sponsoring activities during CTE Month and those who simply want to learn more about how career and technical education benefits our nation. These include our press release template, our fact sheets on the educational and economic benefits of CTE, and our tips for social media advocacy. Employers looking for resources specifically designed for business may appreciate our one pager on business and industry support for CTE or our articles in our Research Clearinghouse about business partnerships and community involvement. Businesses and nonprofits that may want to join AHLEI in becoming ACTE members can explore our corporate membership and affiliate membership as well.  

ACTE strongly supports AHLEI's mission of delivering quality hospitality education, training and professional certification that serves the needs of hospitality schools and industries worldwide. We know that these types of education will remain crucial in the future, and we will continue to work toward a world where students are able to pursue education that prepares them directly for careers through classroom instruction, work-based learning, and rigorous, respected credentials that employers nationwide prize and trust. Visit ACTE's CTE Month page to learn more about how you can get involved in CTE Month. We look forward to hearing from you!

New Products and Services

Revised Textbook Provides In-Depth Look at Changing Meetings and Conventions Market

Jim Abbey Med The meetings and conventions market segment has become increasingly important for hotel profitability, making it imperative for hospitality professionals to stay abreast of the trends that have dramatically changed the way in which hotels reach and market to meeting planners and service their meetings.  James R. Abbey, Ph.D., CHA, professor emeritus, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), has extensively updated and expanded the ninth edition of his textbook, Convention Management and Service, to provide up-to-date information to both students entering this exciting and rewarding field and to industry professionals, who can use this resource to develop strategies that take both the perspective of the hotel and the point-of-view of meeting professionals into consideration to build partnerships that result in memorable meetings and lasting business relationships. 

What changes to the industry have you discussed in the book?  

First and foremost, new technologies have greatly changed both sales and service functions. Today's meeting planning professionals are tech-savvy, and they expect hotel sales and service people to understand how to communicate with them and to be able to understand and even anticipate their technical needs, such as increased Wi-Fi in a convention hall. To reach and appeal to these professionals, hotels must offer websites that are optimized for their mobile devices and develop a presence on social media sites that are frequented by meeting planners. 

To address the impact of technology on both functions, the book is divided into two parts. Part I provides an overview of the industry and discusses the methods used to reach and market to meeting planners. It includes a discussion of automated sales systems and sophisticated marketing techniques, including digital advertising.  Part II provides an in-depth look at the various aspects of large group meetings and conventions, including registration, group room blocks, convention security, and the shipping, setting up, and dismantling of exhibits as well as the post-convention meeting. Again, the focus is on how new technologies are impacting these areas, with topics ranging from how customized group websites have replaced traditional registration methods to the use of wireless technology in exhibit halls for both communication and security. 

Another trend that has changed the face of meetings is changing demographics. Millennials make up the largest sector of meeting attendees today, and this group takes an entirely different view towards meetings than attendees of the past. They prefer shorter, more interactive meetings in comfortable settings that encourage communication between attendees, and they rarely travel without two or more mobile devices, and WiFi is expected to be available (free of charge) throughout the hotel. Their emphasis on healthy living has also led to changes in refreshment break and banquet food and beverage offerings - and even to the development of wellness hotels that cater to a health-conscious clientele. 

Since meeting planners need to appeal to attendees to build attendance at their events, they are increasingly looking to hotels to help them in executing memorable meetings and conventions.  Successful hotel sales and service personnel are placing an emphasis on the planner's perspective in order to create bonds and deliver on promises. Because these partnerships between hotels and planners are becoming increasingly common, this edition has been updated to reflect the increasing influence of planners on a hotel's sales and servicing strategies. 

How have you incorporated new technology as a learning tool in this textbook?  

In addition to the extensive, updated text regarding the ways in which new technologies are used in both the sales and servicing functions, the ninth edition of Convention Management and Service includes three features that enable readers to increase their knowledge by using the Internet.  "More Online" boxes , which are a new addition to this text, direct the reader to Internet sites featuring articles, white papers, or other educational resources that provide additional, in-depth information on topics presented in each chapter. New or updated Internet Exercises go a step beyond the "More Online" boxes, offering readers the opportunity to navigate specific websites in order to increase their knowledge and answer questions regarding chapter material. 

 "Worth Watching" boxes , which are also new to this edition, provide links to videos that have been carefully selected and placed to complement topics discussed in the text. Most videos are short (averaging three minutes), but each features either invaluable advice from industry professionals or tutorials on various topics. 

Why are videos a key component of this edition?  

Studies have shown that retention tops 65 percent when students are presented with communications that combine both voice and visual elements. In addition, experts believe that 79 percent of Internet content will consist of video by 2018. 

This text provides links to Internet sites that offer instructional videos to supplement students' knowledge.  One resource, Hilton Elevated Discussions (HED Talks at hedtalks.connectplusathiltonworldwide.com), for example, offers a number of videos by industry professionals speaking on such areas as "Building Connections," "Driving Results," "Creating Experiences," and "Doing it All Responsibly."  Since a number of resources are available in one place on sites such as this one, students are also likely to click on additional videos of interest to increase their knowledge and understanding. 

What are some of the other features of this book?  

Each chapter begins with an Industry Profile of a successful hospitality industry professional who shares his or her insights into areas relevant to each chapter. These opening profiles include a photograph, brief biography, and personal advice on how to succeed in each area of expertise. Profiles of both hospitality and meeting planning professionals have been included to provide a balanced view of the relationship between hotels and their meetings and conventions customers. 

As mentioned previously, it is important to understand a planner's perspective regarding different aspects of the sales and servicing process. Therefore, many chapters also include additional profiles and advice from meeting planning professionals. 

"Best Practices" boxes , which are included throughout the text, provide actual examples of how the principles discussed in each chapter have been used by hospitality properties to sell to and service the meetings and conventions market segment. There are also additional boxes that provide an overview of a topic or more detailed information on a specific concept as well as numerous exhibits that feature graphs and charts, actual forms used by the industry to execute an event, and examples of advertising used to attract meeting professionals. 

A list of Learning Objectives and a Chapter Outline are also included at the beginning of each chapter.  This material introduces readers to the chapter's content and helps them to focus and organize their thoughts as they read. To further assist with retention, Key Terms used in the convention sales and service industry are highlighted within each chapter and defined at the end of the chapter.  End-of-chapter material also includes Study Questions to test students' knowledge and understanding of chapter concepts. 

The ninth edition of Convention Management and Service will be available for purchase from AHLEI in early December. For further information or to order copies, call 1.800.344.4381 or +1.407.999.8100 or e-mail academics@ahla.com.

New Editions Available for Spring 2016 Academic Term

00462TXT08ENGE-sm 00468TXT07ENGE-sm The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) has published new editions of the following textbooks, which will be available for the Winter/Spring 2016 academic term. Both were written by professors at The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University .

Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry, Seventh Edition (ISBN 978-0-86612-490-4), is written by Michael L. Kasavana, Ph.D. This textbook provides an overview of the information needs of lodging properties and food service establishments. Readers will learn the basics of purchasing, implementing, maintaining, and managing a variety of technology systems used in hospitality. This edition has been updated with new information on gesture interfacing, multicore processors, PCI DSS with regard to POS systems, and a new section on tablet POS systems. 

Hospitality Industry Managerial Accounting, Eighth Edition (ISBN 978-0-86612-497-3) is written by Raymond S. Schmidgall, Ph.D., CPA. This textbooks includes everything readers need to gain a clear understanding of managerial accounting in a hospitality setting. Readers will learn how to make effective choices based on the numbers that reflect daily operations, develop on-target budgets, control cash flow, and reach profit goals with the help of financial reports and other tools. This new edition reflects changes based on the 11 th Revised Edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry that went into effect in January 2015, as well as major changes made to tax laws since the previous edition. Information on pricing and balance sheets has been updated, and industry statistics reflect the most recent 2014 hospitality data. 

For more information about adopting these textbooks for an academic program, contact academics@ahla.com or call 800.344.4381 or +1.517.372.8800.  For industry customers, the books will be available for purchase on the AHLEI website in December.

Academic Spotlight

AH&LA Student Chapter at JWU-North Miami Uses AHLEI Certifications

AH&LA Student Chapter at JWU-North Miami Uses AHLEI Certifications The Hospitality School at Johnson & Wales University-North Miami (Florida) is one of 22 college hospitality programs with an American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) student chapter .  The chapter began in 2012, but hit its stride as a campus organization in fall 2014, according to chapter secretary Ashley Amador Rankine, a senior who is graduating at the end of November. 

Like many student hospitality groups, the 30-plus active members of the chapter use their hospitality skills by volunteering for campus and community events, such as the Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival, Veritage Miami Wine & Food Festival, and "Free & Fearless" 5K Against Human Trafficking. They also go on site visits to area hotels, such as the Eden Roc Miami Beach Hotel, the EDITION Miami Beach, and the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale. 

This AH&LA student chapter also provides its members with opportunities to go through industry-based trainings and certifications offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), in order to give students a competitive edge when they apply for internships and jobs.  Last December, the chapter held its first Guest Service Gold® training, giving students the opportunity to take the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) exam.  That was followed by online training with the TripAdvisor® Reputation Management for Front-Line Staff course, and Eye on Liability Hotel Safety and Responsibility Training. To date, more than 60 students have earned the CGSP® designation, while 50 have completed the reputation management training. 

"While I highlight my certification in interviews, employers have looked positively at that credential," said Rankine.  "It stands out."  She added that other members of the chapter have reported that their CGSP® designation has helped them land interviews and makes them stand out on the job.  One student who had a job as a front desk representative was given the opportunity to train other front desk agents, because he held that certification. 

Chapter treasurer Adonis Peña, also a senior, said that being part of the AH&LA student chapter also provides students with valuable career skills, such as planning and executing events and being involved in the community.  Students practice leadership and presentation skills-for instance, Pena and Rankine now conduct the chapter's Guest Service Gold® training, while faculty advisor Dr. Samer Hassan proctors the certification exam. 

Recently, 17 members of the Johnson & Wales North Miami student chapter attended HX: The Hotel Experience in New York City, where they attended educational sessions and meetings, including a workshop for the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA). They were excited to return to campus and share what they learned with others. 

"We try to offer students many opportunities to do things that interest them, so we can help them achieve their goals," said Peña. "We show them the benefits of joining AH&LA-how it can help them now and once they get into the industry." 

"We want to show students what they can gain from being part of an AH&LA student chapter," said Rankine. "We want the organization to continue to grow, and offering professional certifications like CGSP® and CHIA are good ways to do that. We hope our graduates will be able to use those when they leave school and begin their careers."

Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry

The Need for Standardization of Distribution Channel Metrics

Kapila Anand MedCindy at the Hub Med The 11 th revised edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) was published in the spring of 2014, with an implementation date of January 1, 2015.  The responsibility for revising the USALI lies with the Financial Management Committee (FMC) of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). 

Throughout the implementation process, the FMC has received several questions from the worldwide lodging industry.  To answer these questions, the FMC has created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the USALI resource portal page of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute's (AHLEI) website ( www.ahlei.org/usali ). 

In an effort to assist hotel owners and operators with their implementation, the FMC is presenting a series of monthly articles that address some of the most frequently asked questions.  Some of the topics to be discussed include the expanded labor cost reporting, gross versus net revenue reporting, service charges, the change from cover to customer counts, mixed-ownership facilities, and pre-opening expenses. 

For this month we discuss the efforts underway to standardize industry definitions for channels and costs.  The article was prepared by FMC committee co-chairs Cindy Braak and Kapila Anand. 

* * * * * * * * * * * 

The Need for Standardization of Distribution Channel Metrics  

By Cindy Braak and Kapila Anand  

The Financial Management Committee (FMC) of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is focused on providing guidance on the financial and reporting impact of trending issues impacting the industry. As an example, the FMC has the responsibility to update the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) and is periodically evaluating other trends and evolving metrics to determine if the financial implications warrant further study and comment. 

The FMC is also guided by the premise that consistent application and standardization of financial practices facilitates industry benchmarking and the ability to manage portfolio operations. "What Gets Measured Gets Done" is a famous quote attributed to Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Edwards Deming, Lord Kelvin and others. This was apparent when industry professionals expressed a need to include more detail and definitions on the components of Rooms Revenue, in order to better align with industry practices and evolving trends. After close consideration by the FMC, those clarifications were included in the latest edition of the USALI and we believe the changes have prompted more consistency in the application of the USALI and related operating ratios. This required working closely with experts on revenue management from HSMAI, TravelClick, Kalibri Labs, experts from various lodging companies and their owners. A consequence of those conversations was also a strong desire, prompted in part by rising channel costs, to analyze Rooms Revenue by channel, as well as related costs by channel. 

Benchmarking can often start by looking outside one's own industry. Shafiq Khan, Senior Vice President of Channel Strategy & Distribution at Marriott International, came to the company from US Airways, where he pioneered a series of groundbreaking initiatives which fundamentally restructured airline distribution. Shafiq is quite passionate when asked about distribution costs, "Many years ago, when US airlines found their distribution costs out of control, among the first things they did was to standardize the measurement of distribution costs within the industry so that apples-to-apples comparisons could be made. This allowed each airline to see how well it was doing versus the industry average, category leaders and laggards, and establish goals and benchmarks for itself. Those that did well shared their success with Wall Street. Over time, this focus on comparative cost metrics enabled the entire US airline industry to significantly improve their cost situation." 

A key objective of the USALI is to provide hotel operators with standard methods for reporting results, which enables benchmarking. In addition to guidance around Financial Statements, USALI also provides guidance around Financial Ratios and Operating Metrics. One example is RevPAR, which is arguably one of the most common ratios used in the industry and defined in USALI. Benchmarking RevPAR has become standard practice. Standardizing the components of RevPAR is critical to ensuring meaningful comparisons. Following this logic, it seems appropriate for the FMC to focus its efforts on this emerging area of channel metrics. Craig Mason, Senior Vice President, Asset Management for Host Hotels & Resorts confirmed the need for this focus, "With the heightened attention on rapidly growing customer acquisition and retention costs, there is an urgent need to create standards to evaluate these costs in order to make informed decisions on sales and marketing strategies." 

In 2012, Cindy Estis Green from Kalibri Labs and her colleague, Mark Lomanno, compiled a study entitled, " Distribution Channel Analysis: a Guide for Hotels " (available on AH&LA's website). This study will be updated and released in Q1 2016 as part of a research initiative sponsored by the AH&LA Consumer Innovation Forum. Describing one of the underlying tenets of the endeavor, Estis Green explains, "Finding a hotel's optimal channel mix and managing to that target is an imperative in a world where hotels incur customer acquisition costs of 15%-25% of guest paid revenue. Understanding the nature of demand in each market and identifying the most cost effective mix given each hotel's competitive position is critical intelligence to drive both revenue expectations and set accurate targets for sales, marketing and third party commission costs." 

The FMC believes it is important to work with other industry professionals and the authors of this study to standardize industry definitions for channels and costs. It will take time but we believe the industry will benefit from his focus. 

Cindy Braak is a Senior Vice President and Finance Business Partner at Marriott International, supporting all of Marriott's revenue generating platforms/programs. She is currently co-chair of AH&LA's Financial Management Committee (FMC) . Kapila Anand is the segment leader for Travel, Leisure and Hospitality at the accounting, tax and advisory firm, KPMG and is a co-chair of the FMC. KPMG provides Audit, Tax, Advisory services and industry insights.  

This article represents the views of the authors only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG LLP or Marriott International Inc.  

To purchase a copy of the 11 th edition of the USALI, and access the nearly 100 questions and answers on the FAQ, or submit your own question for the FMC, please visit www.ahlei.org/usali .

Guest Column

The Art of Leadership: 6 Pillars of Sustainable Success

Renee Cavallari The Art of Leadership: 6 Pillars of Sustainable Success  

Over thousands of hours of research and experience working with businesses to improve performance, Aspire identified 6 Pillars of Alignment, which are your key to long-term profitability. All leaders have the opportunity to create and sustain the alignment that supports top-performing organizations, and this AHLEI exclusive series shows you how. Today we're covering Pillars 5 & 6: Participation and Responsibility/Accountability. (If you missed them, be sure to check out the first three articles, which introduced Pillars 1, 2, 3 & 4: ConnectionClean Communication, Compassion, and Higher Purpose.)  

Make the Work More like Play  

What is it that is so appealing about video games, that people will sit and play them for literally hours on end without even noticing the time pass? Talk with any game designer and the first thing they tell you is that the best games engage the people who play them. To win requires intense focus. Games are extremely fast-paced and become increasingly difficult as they advance, so people feel a sense of accomplishment in learning new skills-even when they learn by failing. 

Games don't just challenge players; they make the challenges meaningful. The decisions a player makes at each step directly impact how the game unfolds, so players feel responsible for their actions. The environment itself is engaging; it creates a world that absorbs your senses. More importantly, great games provide a clear objective beyond winning-a higher purpose-that engages people to want to participate in the first place. And while the goal of a game is unchanging, the best games never dictate how a player achieves it. Instead, they show you the destination, and let you choose the best path to get there. 

Pillar 5: Participation  

Ultimately, video games teach us that the real secret to inspiring fanatical engagement on your team is simple:  you have to make it FUN and ultimately, personally meaningful to play. That's why Pillar 5 is Participation and to bring it to life, leaders should take a page out of the game developer's handbook. Participation is a natural by-product of engagement. The more engaged people are, the more enthusiastic they become about contributing. 

"The more engaged people are, the more enthusiastic they become about contributing."  

Engagement starts with a compelling and personally prideful purpose... an objective that makes people want to play. The environment where people play must be carefully designed and create a sensory experience, providing opportunities to learn through playing within a given set of parameters. Participation isn't about forcing everyone to do their assigned tasks; it's about inspiring everyone to want to play. Leaders must create environments that define the parameters of each goal, make it fun to achieve, and then give their people the freedom to achieve it in their own way. 

Learning is at the Heart of Engagement  

As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." There's no telling someone how to achieve a goal if they don't want to, and true learning takes more than a teacher-it takes someone who can inspire and support the careful thought, study, practice and creativity of another person, and combine them into action. It takes a coach. Great coaches inspire people to play at their potential. To reach. They connect a player's passion with their deliverables and impact. 

"Great coaches inspire people to play at their potential.  To reach…They connect a player's passion with their deliverables and impact."   

Even if it was back in high school, the lessons we learn from great coaches often last longer than anything we are taught in the classroom. Why is that? It's because while teachers often tell students what to learn, great coaches show people what to do with new information in order to improve their individual skillsets, deepen their contributions to the team, and ultimately help everyone work together to achieve a desired goal. They connect a player's passion with their practice, and inspire them to play full out. By doing so, great coaches foster responsibility in each player on the team so they are inspired to be 100% accountable for their individual contributions.   

Pillar 6: 100% Responsibility. Accountability.  

Pillar 6 is 100% Responsibility which ignites accountability. They are together because they are related. Responsibility actually holds us accountable for our actions, impact and perspective. Without it, people don't own their work, fail to meet their obligations, and tend to blame others when things go wrong. As Tony Geary, the bestselling author and coach to many U.S. presidents says, "Leadership is a results contest." For you to deliver on your responsibilities, you must align each person on your team to deliver on their responsibilities and results.  

A Foolproof Formula for Growing Accountability  

Growing accountability in others can be one of the toughest tasks for a leader-and one of the most important. Accountability means the person tasked with a job is responsible for its execution and delivery-not the leader. Growing accountability in others frees leaders to focus on where to go next, rather than double-checking their team's work, backtracking to fix errors, or just doing the work themselves.  

Lucky for you, over the last 20 years Aspire has perfected a simple formula to drive accountability in people quickly and efficiently, no matter the job or the person you need to do it. The Aspire Accountability Model uses targeted questions to help a person identify, explore, and understand the expectations around a task so they are better able to meet them. Understanding what is expected fosters agility so people can adapt to changing circumstances and still meet their goals. 

The Accountability Model
ASK"What will you do?"
ASK"By when will you do it?"
ASK"How will I know?"
ACKNOWLEDGECelebrate progress

 

In four simple steps, the Aspire Accountability Model will help you quickly work with team members to clarify what each of their individual goals and expectations are, a realistic timeline to achieve them, a feedback channel to close the loop, and a reminder to acknowledge each of their contributions, which will create pride in their achievement and keep everyone engaged as you move forward. Use this model, and watch your people take charge of their individual success so you can build for the future. 

Give Your Organization CPR  

Implementation of the 6 Pillars is intentional and fosters stronger relationships and healthier environments. Beyond business, the Pillars are a roadmap for success in life, a key to unlocking the true potential in you and those around you. When you see a gap in your environment that diminishes your potential - that of your business or of its people - check in on these 6 Pillars and choose to close the gap. If you continually invest in expanding the potential of your people and support this work with a strong culture and positive environment, your business will consistently grow, evolve and thrive.  

Remember: the 6 Pillars are three 'Cs' ( Connection , Clean Communication & Compassion ), two 'Ps' ( Higher Purpose & Participation), and one 'R' (Responsibility/Accountability). That's CPR for business...and life. 

This is the fourth and final installment of "The Art of Leadership: 6 Pillar to Sustainable Success."  

Want to learn more about how to integrate the 6 Pillars in your workplace? Register for "The Art of Leadership," AHLEI's new series of leadership development programming made in partnership with Aspire and designed to strengthen hospitality leadership and deliver the tools industry leaders need to enhance their leadership effectiveness through alignment, focus, and understanding of Aspire's proven processes for learning and development.

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