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More Than $725,000 in Scholarships Available Through AH&LEF
The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) will dispense more than $725,000 for the 2015 academic year through their scholarship programs.
AH&LEF offers a wide array of scholarship opportunities for hospitality management students and lodging employees. Scholarships are available for incoming freshmen through graduate students. Awards range from $500 to $6,000, and unlike student loans do not have to be paid back. Applicants are judged based on a combination of factors, including hospitality work experience, academic performance, extracurricular activities, financial need, and personal attributes. The deadline for all academic scholarships is May 1st. For more information on each scholarship and to access the application, click here.
In addition to academic scholarships, AH&LEF offers professional certification scholarships to lodging employees seeking certification or distance learning opportunities through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI). The deadline date for professional development scholarships is quarterly. For more information and to access the online application, click here.
In 2014, AH&LEF disbursed over $1 million to prepare promising college students for a career in hospitality, to attract and retain talented industry professionals, and to fund valuable research for lodging properties. Since the Foundation’s inception, approximately $19 million has been distributed through its scholarship, education, outreach, and research programs.
AH&LEF is the not-for-profit affiliate of AH&LA and is funded solely by charitable donations from progressive hospitality leaders and companies within the industry. All AH&LEF contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. For more information about donating, contact Michelle Poinelli, senior vice president of foundation programs, at (202) 289-3181 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ahlef.org.
IRF Unveils Vision2020
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) launched its Vision2020 initiative in early February 2015 and announced its 2015 Board of Trustees.
The IRF’s Vision2020 is a blueprint for the future, ensuring that the IRF will continue to lead the global incentive and recognition industry with actionable research and education by focusing on unification, universal tools, and university alliances.
"In 2010, the IRF charted a new course by broadening its research footprint and expanding educational efforts led by the appointment of Melissa Van Dyke as President," says Sandra Daniel, Chair of the IRF 2015 Board of Trustees. “Now with Vision2020, we are well-positioned to take our unique role in the recognition and rewards industry to the next level.”
According to Janet Traphagen, Vice Chair of the Board, "After conducting visionary sessions at our last Invitational, the Board of Trustees was able to design Vision2020. We believe focusing on the three pillars of this Vision will allow us to continue to evolve to meet the needs of our increasingly sophisticated industry."
The three pillars of IRF’s Vision2020 are:
The IRF will be expanding its current infrastructure, partnerships, and research network while employing a number of significant strategies to implement Vision2020. These include:
According to IRF Chair Sandra Daniel, “After conducting extensive due diligence, the Board of Trustees selected Coulter as our management company. Their established track record with prestigious clients and ability to deliver a comprehensive range of services made them the perfect choice to facilitate the IRF’s immediate needs and expansive growth goals.”
Daniel reports, “Over the past five years, we have grown IRF assets by more than 50 percent, research output has doubled and we have set participation records at our annual event. This was accomplished through strong leadership by the Board of Trustees and diligent work by the President, Melissa Van Dyke, and Research Officer Rodger Stotz. Some of the best thinking in our industry has brought us to this point and will keep us on this trajectory well into 2020.”
Traphagen adds, “Vision2020 is a natural progression to keep building momentum following a five-year period of notable growth and accomplishments for the IRF. Our unwavering focus is to continue to grow the IRF brand and recognition as the ‘go-to’ research authority for the incentive industry globally, with 22 studies in development this year alone.”
To accomplish its mission, IRF has assembled one of the strongest boards in its history.
They will join current Trustees: Brett Hatch, Global Sales Manager, Maui Jim Sunglasses; Bich-Lien Kaldhal, Group Sales Manager at United Airlines; Jim Kelley, VP of Industry Relations, PRG; Damon Riddle, Account Supervisor, BI Worldwide; Mike Ryan, SVP, Madison Performance Group; Scott Siewert, DVP, Sales USMotivation; Kari Vrba, SVP, Business Development at MotivAction; and Todd Zint, VP, Meetings and Event Strategy at NFP.
MPI Collaborates with DMAI to Provide Planning Tool for Meeting Planners
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has partnered with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) in an effort to help MPI members and non-members with sourcing locations for meetings and events. MPI recently incorporated the Destination Finder tool, powered by DMAI’s empowerMINT.com, into its website. Through the web portal, meeting professionals can quickly research and compare destinations as well as get connected to contacts at destination marketing organizations – also known as convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) – representing destinations, hotels and convention facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“MPI strives to help our members be more successful in their careers and to enhance the value that they provide to their customers,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “Destination Finder, powered by empowerMINT.com, is a great example of the type of value-added resource that MPI members have access to.”
empowerMINT.com’s Destination Finder offers extensive information on destinations and CVBs, including details on meeting facilities, CVB services, news, promotions and maps of hotels and venues. Meeting planners can also use the tool to submit questions directly to CVB sales professionals serving a particular market, and send specific meeting requests and RFPs to one or multiple destinations – all for free.
“The robust database enables me to specify properties to receive my request for proposal and I receive timely responses from both the CVBs associated with the program and hotels contacted on my behalf,” said Terrie Rickard, co-founder of Voices of Advocacy. “I have found that I can rely on this tool for reaching new, as well as familiar destinations for all my program needs. empowerMINT.com saves me time, saves me from making several phone calls, and produces great results.”
empowerMINT.com’s latest features include professionally curated news feeds from each destination incorporated directly into their profile page. The feeds keep meeting planners informed about recent renovations, new hotel or facilities development and other offerings specifically relevant to meeting planning.
“Destination sales professionals have had a long history of working with planners to find the right fit for any size meeting. The sales professionals’ unique position as a free resource with unparalleled local expertise, is a tremendous asset for any planner,” said Michael Gehrisch, President and CEO of DMAI. “The newly launched Destination Finder on MPI’s website is just one way of making that expertise widely available and integral to the success of meeting professionals worldwide.”
For more information and to use Destination Finder, visit www.mpiweb.org/destination-finder.
MPI Foundation Chairman's Challenge 5K Run/Walk
To promote the importance of professional development, healthy lifestyles, strong chapters, and a robust meetings industry, MPI Foundation Chairman, Gus Vonderheide, is asking every MPI Chapter to host, or participate in a non-cause related 5K run or walk on a Saturday in March* 2015. And, also asks every member [of each chapter] to participate in their local chapter 5K run/walk event and independently raise at least $250USD for the MPI Foundation Education Endowment.
Raise $100,000USD for the MPI Foundation Education Endowment together as a community. We encourage every chapter to get involved in this global initiative.
To participate, you need to contact your local chapter to find out the details of your chapters’ 5k and get registered. Here are the chapters that are currently participating:
You must register through your local chapter. More chapters will be added to the site as they get involved, so check back often to see if your chapter is participating. If not, let them know that they should be!
For more information on the event, visit the Chairman's Challenge website.
AH&LA, Broad Patent Reform Coalition Praises Goodlatte's Introduction of Innovation Act
The process of ridding America’s thousands of employers and millions of consumers of destructive patent trolls took a critical step forward Friday, February 5, 2015, with the introduction of the bipartisan Innovation Act, patent reform legislation authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The American Hotel and Lodging Association is a leading member of the broad-based patent reform coalition, United for Patent Reform, which praised Rep. Goodlatte for introducing the bill.
“Each year, the predatory behavior of patent troll lawsuits cost the U.S. economy $80 billion in lost revenue and productivity, when instead those dollars could be directed towards creating jobs and investment in communities. Many consumers and businesses in the lodging industry have been unfairly victimized by predatory ‘patent trolls,’ which hold patents simply for the purposes of extorting money from companies. We are grateful for Rep. Goodlatte’s thoughtful leadership in crafting legislation to stop this harmful behavior, and we look forward to working with him as well as supporters of patent reform in the Senate as the process moves forward,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
“Patent trolls are a scourge on every sector of the American economy and all types of American businesses,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, and a leader of the United for Patent Reform coalition. “Patent trolls produce no goods or services; all they do is extort money from good, productive businesses that do. They kill jobs, increase consumer prices, cause startups to shut down, and reduce capital investment. Patent trolls contribute literally nothing.”
The United for Patent Reform coalition also expressed gratitude to the bipartisan group of original co-sponsors joining Chairman Goodlatte in introducing the Innovation Act, including Representatives Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Tom Marino (R-Penn.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Randy Forbes (R-VA), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), George Holding (R-NC), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR).
“The sponsors of this legislation have shown true leadership by advancing very real solutions to the costly problems that inhibit businesses large and small across many industries that want to grow their businesses, not fight frivolous lawsuits brought by patent trolls,” Shay said. “Trolls have far too long held American businesses hostage and robbed our economy of billions of dollars that would otherwise be invested in jobs, innovation, consumer savings and shareholder value. The Innovation Act is a strong first step in changing that.”
Michigan Society of Government Meeting Professionals to Celebrate 25 Years in 2015
The Michigan Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (MiSGMP) is proud to announce it will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2015.
The Michigan chapter of this National organization is dedicated to improving the knowledge and expertise of individuals in the planning and management of government meetings through education, training, industry relationships and mutual support. Members will be celebrating the anniversary at monthly meetings held throughout the year in Lansing and other destinations throughout the state. MiSGMP currently has over 140 registered members.
“This year is going to mean a lot to those who understand the value of the relationships and educational opportunities provided by MiSGMP,” said Michelle Milligan, MiSGMP President. “This 25thAnniversary landmark provides an opportunity to look back at where we’ve been and evaluate the future. We’re looking forward to many more years of service to our members.”
For more information about the MiSGMP or their anniversary contact Michelle Milligan at (313) 833-2830 or go online to www.misgmp.org.