2016 - 06 June


International Spotlight

HEAD Summit in China Brings Together Hospitality Professionals and Educators

HEAD Summit Ribbon Cutting The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute's global partners in China, along with academic and corporate sponsors, presented the first Hospitality Education and Development (HEAD) Summit in China May 29-31 in Kunming, YunNan Province, China. The event drew more than 200 participants from Asia, Europe, and North America, with representatives from 60 academic institutions and dozens of hotel brands, including Marriott, IHG, Shangri-La, Wanda, and the Zhongwei Hotels Group, a conference sponsor whose Green Lake Hotel property hosted the conference. 

Other sponsors included Super Star Digital Group, Yuexiu Institute of Hospitality Administration , and IDeaS.  

Ed Kastli, AHLEI's vice president, international sales, said that the conference is the culmination of three years of planning.  The idea for a national conference-AHLEI's first outside the United States-picked up speed in the spring of 2014, when AHLEI presented a series of regional conference in China. Based on their success, AHLEI and the partners in greater China took steps to begin organizing a national conference. 

"Hosting a large-scale conference is a way to be recognized and respected as an industry leader in China," Kastli explained. "China is AHLEI's number-one international market and has been growing tremendously in the past three years. This conference was a way for us to give something back to the hospitality industry in China." 

After several attempts and delays, the date for the conference was finally set. Kastli gave kudos to AHLEI's provincial partners for their role in funding and coordinating the conference, and in particular, to Leon Shi, CHE, AHLEI's country manager of Operations for Greater China, who was the conference chair. 

"Leon is truly the founder of the conference," said Kastli.  "He dreamed of it and worked for it for three years. He organized the panels, the speakers, the events-it was an extraordinary undertaking." 

Kastli noted that most conferences in China are focused on tourism and investment rather than strictly hospitality. Also, academic and industry conferences are usually separate. The HEAD Summit created a venue where academic deans and professors could interact with hotel general managers, human resource directors and other industry leaders. 

"AHLEI was probably the only entity in China with the ability to make this happen," said Kastli. 

In his comments at the conference's gala dinner, he stated: "China is experiencing phenomenal hotel property development and this exceptional growth needs to be supported by a strong hospitality education and training platform, and this is why we are here today. At this conference, we have the opportunity to put our heads together in order to shape and design the future of hospitality education and training in China and beyond, in order to start making a difference at the service level, and to surpass and go beyond the national and international guest expectations." 

The summit covered a broad range of topics through keynote presentations, breakout sessions, and panel discussions, built around a general theme of education and talent development for China's hospitality industry. Some of the sessions included: 

  • The direction of hospitality educational innovation in China
  • Developing a well-designed multi-win internship program
  • How to integrate academic research into the reality of the hospitality industry
  • How human resource managers can overcome the challenges of tightening training budgets
  • Applying advanced technology in hospitality education and training
  • Trends of hotel revenue management in the era of big data
  • How to cultivate entrepreneurship into the new hospitality generation
  • How a hotel management school can become unique

 Attendees also heard information about two new reports: the China Hospitality Students Career Development Report and the China Hospitality Industry Performance Report 2015-2016. The summit also included a Hospitality Education and Training Fair, and a gala dinner at which several awards were presented, including AHLEI's Lamp of Knowledge for Outstanding International Educator, awarded to Dr. Bai Changhong of Nankai University.   Photos from the conference are available on AHLEI's Facebook page. 

Based on the success of this first conference, there are plans to make it an annual event in China. 

AHLEI Honors Dr. Bai Changhong as Outstanding International Educator

Dr Bai Lamp of Knowledge The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) presented Dr. Bai Changhong, Dean of the College of Tourism and Service Management at Nankai University, Tianjin, China, with the 2016 Lamp of Knowledge Award for Outstanding International Educator. The Lamp of Knowledge is given to individuals who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to advancing the quality of professionalism and education in the hospitality industry. 

Dr. Bai was presented with his award by Ed Kastli, MBA, CMHS, CGSP, AHLEI's vice president, international sales, on May 30, during a gala dinner at the HEAD Summit in Kunming. 

Under Dr. Bai's initiative, Nankai University creatively partnered with Marriott International and AHLEI to bring about the Nankai Young Hotelier Development Initiative Program, also known as "MAP" (Marriott Apprentice Program). Students in the program are expected to undergo a five-year comprehensive hotel education program that consists of 18 months of learning on campus, 38 months of combined online learning and internship at Marriott hotels in two phases, as well as a final evaluation featuring progressive performance appraisal of the internships. 

Students who successfully complete the MAP program receive graduation certificates from Nankai University as well as internationally-recognized certificates from AHLEI. They also receive supervisory job offers from Marriott International. Outstanding graduates of the MAP program will seamlessly be connected to the Global Voyage Program, Marriott's proprietary "future leader incubator" targeting elite university graduates worldwide.  

"The meaning of this project is more than certificates," explained Leon Shi, CHE, AHLEI's country manager of operations for China, who nominated Dr. Bai.  "It seamlessly links vocational education, higher academic education, quality employers, leading educational resources, and online and offline teaching." 

In addition to his roles as dean and professor at Nankai University, Dr. Bai is also Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee on the Professional Teaching of Tourism Management in Tertiary Education, and the Secretary-General of the China National Master of Tourism Administration Education Supervisory Committee.

Industry Spotlight

DePaul University Awards Joseph McInerney, CHA, Honorary Doctorate

Graduation Joseph McInerney The DePaul University Driehaus College of Business presented an honorary degree to hospitality industry leader Joseph McInerney, CHA, the founding chairman of the college's School of Hospitality Leadership Advisory Council during commencement exercises on Sunday, June 12.   (photo: McInerney with Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul University)  

McInerney, president and CEO of McInerney Hospitality International, has been an ambassador for DePaul's School of Hospitality Leadership from the very beginning. He joined university and industry leaders in announcing school's launch at a hospitality industry conference in 2008 and serves as the founding chairman of the hospitality school's advisory council. His dedication to the school endures through the creation of the Joseph A. McInerney Family Endowed Scholarship, which assists hospitality students in need with tuition. Born and raised in Chicago,

McInerney began his 50-year hospitality career at the Sheraton Chicago, eventually moving up the ranks to become president of the Sheraton organization's franchise division. He was recruited to serve as president and CEO of Hawthorne Suites and then became president and CEO of Travelodge, before being named chairman of Forte Hotels in 1995. After leaving Forte Hotels, he gained international experience through consulting work evaluating hotels in Moscow and later joined the Pacific Asia Travel Association.  

He led the American Hotel & Lodging Association for 12 years and currently serves as a consultant to the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). As head of AH&LA, he focused on strengthening the industry through professional certification, funding key research and supporting hospitality school education around the world.  

In presenting McInerney with his honorary degree, Ray Whittington, dean of DePaul's Driehaus College of Business, stated:  

Joseph A. McInerney, under your half- century of entrepreneurial leadership, you have strengthened the hospitality industry by shaping its standards and its business models as well as by fostering quality hospitality education. Through your commitment and support of DePaul University and the School for Hospitality Leadership, you are preparing our students to become well-trained professionals who are ready to manage, lead and serve. By creating the Joseph A. McInerney Family Endowed Scholarship, you developed a way for your legacy of exemplary hospitality to live on through future generations of students. Drawing upon your Catholic roots and your Vincentian spirit to serve others, you have furthered an industry that provides its customers sustenance, comfort, safety and a home away from home. For these reasons and more, DePaul University is privileged to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.  

McInerney's wife, Ruth; son, Joe; and daughter, Susan joined him at the commencement ceremony. 

Workforce Spotlight

Michigan Works! Southwest PATH (Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope.) Services Finds Guest Service Gold Making Connections® to be a Successful Training Option for Customers

Michigan Works PathMichigan Works! Southwest provides services for individuals who are referred to the PATH (Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope) program in Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph Counties. When an individual becomes a part of PATH, the agency's goal is to provide them with quality case management that focuses on assisting each customer with the tools to overcome everyday obstacles in their lives that too often interfere with their being able to obtain and maintain meaningful employment. 

PATH Employment Specialists work with each individual to identify and overcome obstacles such as housing barriers, quality and dependable childcare, transportation assistance, obtaining interview and/or work clothing, securing Social Security cards, and obtaining state identification cards or driver's licenses. 

In addition to the more basic essentials mentioned above, PATH also provides a variety of educational and training opportunities, both externally and in-house. The Guest Service Gold® Making Connections training from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) is promoted and taught in-house on a monthly basis in the Michigan Works! Southwest service area. Clients have the opportunity to earn the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) designation at the completion of the training. 

The Guest Service Gold® workshop is used as one component of a three day "stand-alone" customer service training package which also includes nationally-recognized certifications in both alcohol safety and intervention strategies and food safety and service. The Guest Service Gold® Making Connections curriculum is also incorporated into an extended six-week customer service and hospitality training that focuses on quality customer service as well as gaining an understanding of the business side of any customer service operation, such as working with food and beverage vendors, human resources and effective hiring, maintenance service providers, meeting OSHA standards, and much more.  

"Of all the workshops and certifications that I teach at Michigan Works! Southwest, Guest Service Gold® Making Connections is one of my favorites," said Scott Y. Moyer, GCDF, CBSP, training coordinator with Michigan Works! Southwest PATH Services. "Often times the clients we serve have limited skill sets, short-term employment histories, educational barriers and socio-economic challenges. Seldom do we have clients already working in the hospitality industry so this information is fresh and new to them, thus providing them with something of meaning to add to their résumé. When they successfully complete the Guest Service Gold® Making Connections workshop, you can literally see the pride in their smiles and faces. It is that result that makes offering this training to our clients on a monthly basis throughout the four counties we serve so enjoyable." 

Since October 2015, Michigan Works! Southwest's in-house training has presented Guest Service Gold® workshops to 43 individuals in their four-county service area with a certification success rate of 93 percent. Several individuals have gone on to use the skills learned in the Guest Service Gold workshop in their current jobs. 

Tashawna Green stated, "I really am happy I got the certificate and took the Guest Service Gold class because it taught me more skills and boosted my confidence." Vicki Rhodes, another individual who recently completed the training stated, "The training is totally worth it. It will help me above the rest of the applicants who may be applying for a job without this certificate."   

"Michigan Works! Southwest PATH Services is proud to be able to offer AHLEI trainings as one option which our customers can learn and prosper from," said Moyer. "We plan to continue to offer these trainings to the citizens in the cities and towns we serve each and every month."

Academic Spotlight

AHLEI Offers Certification Opportunities, Panel Discussion at I-CHRIE Conference in Dallas

ICHRIE Conference Logo Post-secondary educators coming to Dallas, Texas for the I-CHRIE conference in July will have opportunities to take workshops and exam sessions for the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE®) and the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) and to learn what professional certifications hospitality employers are looking for and how students can earn them. 

A CHE® workshop will be held July 18-19 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Conference Center, prior to the I-CHRIE conference. The certification is aimed at hospitality management instructors at colleges and universities and focuses on teaching methods, learning styles, and engaging students in the classroom. Registration deadline for this workshop is June 18, and the cost to enroll in the workshop is $600. Visit www.ahlei.org/che for complete details, including qualifications and enrollment application

A CHIA Train-the-Trainer workshop for college instructors will be offered July 19, prior to the I-CHRIE conference. The session provides a detailed outline of the training content, a list of learning objectives, and a sample exam, as well as application exercises, tips from other educators already teaching the CHIA content, and additional resources that professors can use to present the certification material. 

CHIA is a hotel-related certification for university students graduating from hospitality and tourism programs. This recognition provides evidence of a thorough knowledge of the foundational metrics and definitions that are used by the hotel industry. Recipients have proven that they can "do the math" and interpret the results. They have demonstrated an ability to analyze various types of hotel industry data and to make strategic inferences based upon that analysis. Since 2012, more than 2,000 students have earned the CHIA, and nearly 600 professors from 300 universities have attended a CHIA Train-the-Trainer session. For more information or to register for the CHIA session, please contact sharecenter@str.com .  

AHLEI is also participating in a certification-related panel presentation on Thursday, July 21 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.  The session, titled, "Industry Certifications vs. Traditional Degrees: What Resonates with the Employer in Today's Job Market?" will feature the following speakers: 

  • Bruce Weinberg, Vice President, Operations, Best Western International
  • John Niser, President, Hotel Schools of Distinction
  • Shelly Weir, Vice President, Domestic Sales, AHLEI

The discussion will focus on the following: 

The field of credentials is widening with new players offering attractive professionally driven certificates, diplomas, and MOOCs that are in many cases stackable for the student to obtain.  At the same time, the Department of Education has made it clear that expectations are growing for colleges and universities to integrate industry certification into the classroom.  In fact, the current administration seeks to lead the world in the percentage of Americans with postsecondary degrees and/or industry recognized certificates by 2020. These alternative credentials are gaining enough credibility with industry to pose the question: what resonates with employers?  Do they find value in these industry certifications or does the value still lie with traditional degrees? During this 90-minute panel, representatives from academia will join Best Western International and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to discuss this rapidly growing field and its impact on the hospitality industry.