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Hospitality Headlines
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Hospitality Gala
Hospitality Awards
Governmental Affairs
Educational Foundation
Hiring Initiatives

April 6
Swissotel Chicago

May 10 

May 15
Drumbar Chicago

May 15-16
Lobby Day Hosted By
May 19-22
McCormick Place

May 22
McCormick Place

June 21
Spirit of Chicago, Navy Pier

July 12  
for the Kids XII
Arlington Racecourse
Arlington Heights 

July 19
Under 30 Gateway 2nd Annual Networking Cruise
Mystic Blue, Navy Pier

August 21
30th Annual Super
Golf Classic
Harborside International Golf Center
September 11
Tuckaway Golf Club
September 12-13
Washington, D.C.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington
November 1
Hyatt Regency O'Hare







Are you 21-29 years old and employed at an IHLA member hotel? Then you need to connect with other young professionals of the Gateway! Membership is free! 
Sign up at:

Not a member of Illinois Women in Lodging yet? Membership is free  to any female employed by an IHLA member hotel.

Sign up at:

Not recognized as a StayGreen Hotel or TripAdvisor GreenLeader? Complete the online Questionnaire today. 


Learn more about the benefits of becoming StayGreen
AHLA Career Center
Powered by Hcareers


IHLA member properties can post their jobs on at a  20% discount , and those jobs will also be posted on .


With one million job seeker visits per month, Hcareers is the leading hospitality career resource for those seeking hospitality employment and those looking to hire top talent.


A portion of the revenue from Hcareers Illinois job posts goes directly to the IHLAEF Scholarship Program


The Chicago HEaT (Hospitality, Entertainment, & Tourism) Security Association's mission is to share communications, alerts, & training that affect the Hospitality, Entertainment, & Tourism Industry with the assistance of law enforcement partners, reducing the impact of incidents on our industry, maximizing safety, & minimizing crime in our community.  

Tom Robertson

Mark Lauer
Jerry Cataldo
Michelle McConnell, CHA

Marc Gordon
Mark Aleman 
Jermaine Anderson 
Eric Bates
Jenna Beyers 
John Brooke, CHA
Jerry Cataldo 
Raymond Ceresa 
*Mike Cohen 
Brian Cooney, CHA  
Paul Daly
Darin Dame, CHA
Doug Dean
*Patrick Donelly
Konstantine (Gus) Drosos
Mike Feigenbaum
Pierre-Louis Giacotto 
Stefan Gruvberger 
Kirsten Guill 
*Bob Habeeb, CHA
Chris Hansen 
Patrick Hatton
Dieter Heigl 
Stacy Hinrichs
Steve Horve 
Fred Jones
George Jordan 
Dave Kimsey 
Tony Klok 
*Dean Lane
France Langan
Mark Lauer
Damien McArdle 
Michelle McConnell, CHA 
Karen McGuigan
Mike McGuigan 
Ginny Morrison
*Nabil Moubayed, CHA
Catherine Mrowiec 
Tim Obert
Tom Robertson 
Richard Romane
Charlie Shirk
Peter Simoncelli 
*Lisa Timbo
Tommie L. Van
*Ron Vlasic 
*John Wells


Jim Buczek
Rich Cialabrini  
Jim Donivan
Rick Simon 
John Tomasiewicz

*Past Chairman
On March 15th, IHLA co-host ed with Choose Chicago, Chicago Loop Alliance, Illinois Restaurant Association, and The Magnificent Mile Association, our 2nd annual Hospitality Hires Chicago event at The Palmer House Hilton. IHLA once again took a lead role in spearheading this hiring event in partnership with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership to help our hotels gear up for our busy season after a long, slow winter. At last year's inaugural event, 52 companies participated in this event that attracted 574 trained and prepared candidates ready to be hired. This year's event was very successful with 58 participating companies, 767 conducted interviews, 46 job offers made, and 203 second interviews scheduled. All hotels that I spoke with said that the event was very valuable and they were glad that they had signed up to participate. Hopefully, this event will help our hotels hire the employee positions needed at this time of the year.
On March 19th, IHLA co-hosted with AHLA the "Opportunity Youth" event at Park Hyatt Chicago in partnership with Grads of Life and Hyatt Hotels Corporation. At the event, AHLA announced a commitment to provide $75,000 to a local Chicago community-based organization, LeadersUp, to train youth in the hospitality industry. I served as moderator of the event and speakers included Shelly Weir from AHLA, Erika Cospy from Grads of Life, Lisa Hampton from LeadersUp, Maketh Mabior from the Park Hyatt, and Audrey Williams-Lee from Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Hopefully, a large number of out of school and out of work youths will be trained in this project and fill many job openings in the hotel industry in the future.
On April 6th, IHLA will host our Annual Hospitality Gala at Swissotel Chicago. Please plan on joining us for this special 30th anniversary edition of this wonderful hotel industry event. Fantastic food, beverages, music, and decor will make this a memorable and fun evening for everyone who attends. Click HERE for more information and to register.
IHLA will host our annual Lobby Day on May 15-16 in Springfield. Over 50 IHLA members are expected to help IHLA lobby our state legislators on issues that are critical to our industry in Illinois. The Illinois Restaurant Association and the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitor Bureaus will be joining IHLA's Lobby Day once again to give our hospitality industry a much stronger voice as we meet with legislators representing all parts of the state. Several keynote speakers will address our group, and meetings with the top leaders of the General Assembly will be scheduled. Click HERE to join us for our Lobby Day.
Finally, IHLA will be hosting our 22nd Annual Hospitality Awards Luncheon on May 22nd during the National Restaurant Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. John Belden, Lori Healey, Mark Lauer, Jay Stieber, and Shevket Dardowski will be honored at the Luncheon. All tickets to the Luncheon include a free badge to the NRA Show that is good for all four days of the Show. Click HERE for more information and to register.
Best regards,

News You Can Use

Chicagoland Hotel & Restaurant News 
Welcome New Hotel Member

440 S LaSalle St | Chicago, IL 60605
VP: Brandon McConnell

Welcome New Allied Members

Bridget McAdams | 708-513-6003
GAR Products creates modern, long-lasting commercial furniture for a variety of industries. You can find their craftsmanship on display in restaurants, hotels, bars, and offices around the country. While they produce a wide range of commercial furniture, the family-owned company specializes in producing indoor and outdoor seating, loungers, tables, table tops, bar stools, and bases.
Ron Shaw | 630-258-1377
Give your existing office furniture new life through the smart design, quality craftsmanship, and creative ingenuity of Rework. They are a full-service resource for all phases of the office furniture lifecycle. From procuring new office furniture to upgrading pre-owned furniture with structural and aesthetic improvements, the expert team at Rework is ready to help.

Brad Johnson | 312-505-3653
Search Quest Partners, LLC is a boutique search and recruiting firm specializing in placement in the hotel and hospitality industry. They have 20+ years of experience working in the hotel business, so they understand the business and consistently deliver quality candidates.

Congrats Hampton Inn Chicago North-Loyola Station!
Congrats Hampton Loyola on winning Hampton's 2017 Circle of Excellence Award! Hampton by Hilton, Hilton's global mid-priced hotel brand known for providing travelers with its signature Hamptonality service, recognizes top performing properties by presenting their annual Connie, Lighthouse, and Circle of Excellence awards. The brand awards are given to properties who excel in customer satisfaction and loyalty, and the top 10% receive the Circle of Excellence Award. Coined in 2004, "Hamptonality" is a term that the brand uses to define the proactive, friendly service that Hampton hotel team members offer guests daily, aligning with the product and amenities at the hotels. "Each member of the Hampton team is committed to anticipating and fulfilling guests' needs.

Featured Member

Spring into Summer Wellness with I-WIL
On March 20th, Illinois Women in Lodging kicked off spring with their first event of the year at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile in the gorgeous historic swimming pool arena. Despite the cold outside, the event was lively inside with delicious and healthy snacks, cocktails, chair massages, fitness and makeup tips, and plenty of mingling and networking. Not a bad way to celebrate the new season and Women's History Month!

Special thanks to: Anthony Gowder Designs (pool floating floral d├ęcor), Housekeeping Director Julie Brown and the InterContinental team, Macy's on State Street, PSAV, Relax & Rejuvenate (chair massages), Executive Chef Reed and his F&B team, Wansas Tequila, fitness expert Kay Yasin, and makeup expert Miray Youseph. Thank you raffle prize donors: InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile & I-Club, LondonHouse Chicago, Michael Jordan's Steak House, and Miray Youseph. Congrats to the raffle prize winners and Most Colorful Spring Attire winners: Meg Badali (The James Chicago) and Nidhi Sunderman (Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile)!

I-WIL is one of the strongest Women in Lodging Chapters in the country, and we look forward to future events and opportunities!

Annual Hospitality Gala, Celebrating 30 Years
Friday, April 6, 2018
Swissotel Chicago
The Hospitality Gala is IHLA's premier social event! Celebrate the achievements of our industry with an evening featuring exciting entertainment over spectacular food and libations. The affair begins with a lively reception and networking followed by dinner, sweet stations by Chicago's finest confectioneries, music and dancing, Grand Travel Raffle, and more. This year's event will be a totally rad throwback kicking off in 1989 and traveling through the decades into the future! 

23rd Annual Hospitality Awards Luncheon
In Conjunction with the National Restaurant Association, Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show
Tuesday, May 22, 2018  

Honoring the Recipient of the IHLA J. Patrick Leahy Lifetime Achievement Award
John Belden, President & CEO, Davidson Hotels & Resorts
And the Recipients of the Ambassador of Hospitality Awards
Shevket Dardovski, Vice President, SP+
Lori Healey, CEO, Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority (MPEA/McPier)
Mark Lauer, General Manager, Sheraton Grand Chicago
Jay Stieber, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

Dan Brady Fundraiser & Election Party 

On March 9th, IHLA Officer, Michelle McConnell, attended a fundraiser supported by I.H.M.P.A.C. for Representative Dan Brady (105th District). Additionally, on  March 20th, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Bloomington-Airport hosted an election party for Rep. Brady, and the many attendees celebrated as he won the primary election. Local community leaders pictured above from left to right:  Mark Tremper, Melissa Isenburg, April Matthis, Chris & Michelle McConnell, Suzi Nafziger, Gabe Goldsmith, Greg Cook. 

Recent Governmental Affairs Updates

2018 Lobby Day Hosted By IHLA, ICCVB, & IRA
Tuesday, May 15 - Wednesday May 16, 2018
Springfield, IL 
IHLA is once again partnering with the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (ICCVB) and the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) on 2018 LOBBY DAY. Help us show the strength, breadth, and unity of the hospitality and tourism industry to Members of the 100th Illinois General Assembly and continue educating our elected officials on the importance of our industry. 


2018 Scholarship Applications 
IHLAEF 2018 Scholarship Applications are now available on our website at . Please encourage eligible family, friends, and colleagues to apply. 
Why Apply for an IHLAEF Scholarship?
  • Scholarship awards are excellent for enhancing resumes, and an IHLAEF Scholarship shows you have earned recognition from the industry.
  • IHLAEF Scholarship recipients are better positioned to network, gain visibility, and advance in the hospitality industry. Recipients receive complimentary tickets to IHLA's Under 30 Gateway events and Annual Hospitality Awards Luncheon with admission to the NRA Show.
  • Our scholarships are renewable, providing an opportunity to receive a minimum of $7,000 over four years.  
  • Unlike a loan, scholarship money never needs to be paid back
The deadline to apply is May 10, 2018.   

Pony Up for the Kids XII
Thursday July 12, 2018 | 12:30pm - 5:30pm
Arlington International Racecourse | Beverly D. Suite

Exacta? Trifecta? Superfecta? You Betcha!  Get ready for an exciting day at the races in the classy yet comfortable Beverly D. Suite of Arlington Racecourse. Guests will mingle in the private room and covered walkout terrace with stunning bird's eye views of the track, indulge in the delicious fare and premium cocktails, and enjoy the benefit of a horseracing professional on hand to offer winning selections and betting strategies. All event proceeds benefit the IHLAEF Scholarship Program
Thank You Event Sponsor

Hospitality Hires Chicago
On March 15th, IHLA partnered with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Choose Chicago, Chicago Loop Alliance, Illinois Restaurant Association, and The Magnificent Mile Association to host the 2nd Annual Hospitality Hires Chicago (HHC) event at The Palmer House Hilton.  Hundreds of pre-screened job seekers were connected with 58 employers in the restaurant, hospitality, hotel, and tourism industries.  The event  was a major success with 767 conducted interviews, 46 job offers made, and 203 second interviews scheduled.  We are proud to work with the Partnership to offer quality employment opportunities to diverse candidates from various communities in Chicago. Special thanks to all of our participating members and to Dean Lane and the Palmer House team for once again hosting this beneficial event.


AHLA Opportunity Youth Grant
On March 19th, AHLA , AHLEF , and IHLA hosted a press event at Park Hyatt Chicago in partnership with Grads of Life , and Hyatt Hotels Corporation to announce a commitment to provide $75,000 to a local Chicago community-based organization, LeadersUp , to train youth in the hospitality industry. Our President & CEO, Marc Gordon, emceed the event which featured speeches from AHLA Senior Vice President of Career Development, Shelly Weir, Grads of Life Director, Erika Cospy, LeadersUp's Lisa Hampton, Park Hyatt Chicago Stewarding Manager, Maketh Mabior, and Hyatt Hotels Corporation VP of Corporate HR & Global Philanthropy, Audrey Williams-Lee. Maketh's personal story of coming to the U.S. from Kenya and working his way up from a dishwasher to manager highlighted why this initiative is so important. IHLA is proud to be a part of this partnership benefiting both Opportunity Youth in Chicago as well as our hotel members in need of quality employees looking for long term hospitality careers.

Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
P: 312-346-3135 | F: 312-346-6036

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