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IN THIS ISSUE | December 2018
Member News
Hospitality Headlines
Governmental Affairs
Under 30 Gateway
Educational Foundation

January 30
Hyatt Place Bloomington / Normal

February 4-6
The Palmer House Hilton
February 19 
Under 30 Gateway 9th Anniversary & GM Connect Reception
Trump Chicago

March 12-13
IHLA Lobby Day
May 10
IHLAEF Scholarship
Awards Luncheon
McCormick Place
July 11
Arlington Park Racecourse
August 20
Harborside International 
Golf Center




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! 
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AHLA Career Center
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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

Michael Jacobson
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
Jay Rosenthal
Charlie Shirk
Peter Simoncelli 
*Lisa Timbo
Tommie L. Van
*Ron Vlasic 
*John Wells


Jim Buczek
Rich Cialabrini  
Jim Donivan
Rick Simon 
John Tomasiewicz

*Past Chair
As 2018 comes to a close, I can't help but look back at the incredible year that IHLA has had, including a very busy December. Throughout the past few weeks, our members have met with State Rep. Christian Mitchell, who will soon become Deputy Governor, and leaders of both the House and Senate. We also held our first industry meeting with Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker to discuss how hotels can play an important role in economic development and job creation throughout the state.
We ended the year on a high note, last week, when the Illinois Travel Regulation Council passed a statewide increase in the lodging per-diem rate by $15. This has long been a priority of IHLA, with the rate not having been raised in 15 years. I am so appreciative of the numerous IHLA members who reached out to policymakers in advance of the vote and helped make this achievement a reality.
On December 14th, IHLA hosted our 30th Annual Membership & State Stars of the Industry Holiday Luncheon at the Swissotel Chicago. Not only did we install our 2019 Officers and Board of Directors, more importantly, we were able to come together to honor the best of the best from among our colleagues. Being part of our Stars program is one of the biggest honors of my role at IHLA, and I am proud to be part of our hospitality team in Illinois.
Finally, I want to thank outgoing IHLA Chair, Tom Robertson, for his vision and guidance in 2018. I'd also like to welcome 2019 IHLA Chair, Mark Lauer, as he takes over the leadership of our Association. Tom not only oversaw a CEO transition within the organization but helped guide our Association through intense political debates in Springfield and in cities across the state. I am thankful for his hard work, and I am excited to work alongside Mark in 2019 to take IHLA to new heights.
I hope that you and your family have a very happy holiday season. I'm looking forward to seeing you in 2019.
Congrats 2018 State Stars of the Industry Winners!

Hotelier of the Year: Lisa Timbo | JW Marriott Chicago 
Department-Division Head Employee of the Year: Ashley Hoppe | The Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus
Manager of the Year: Ashley Walter | DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington
Administrative Employee of the Year: Corey Taylor | Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Bell Staff Employee of the Year: Chris Lindo | The Drake, a Hilton Hotel
1st-Level Supervisor Employee of the Year: Alexis Chapman | Eastland Suites Hotel & Conference Center - Bloomington
F&B Employee of the Year - Front of House: Dominique Chandler | Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection
F&B Employee of the Year - Heart of House: Emmanuel Williams | Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
Guest Services Employee of the Year: Cecilia Jordan | Hampton Inn Peoria-East At The River Boat Crossing 
Housekeeping Employee of the Year: Maria Nataly Ceniceros | Residence Inn by Marriott Bloomington 
Maintenance Employee of the Year: Daniel Rodriguez | Eastland Suites Hotel & Conference Center - Bloomington 
Allied Member of the Year: Robert Bernstein | Laner Muchin, Ltd.
Community Service Award: Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection
Good EarthKeeping Award: Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North 

READ MORE ABOUT THE WINNERS:  Central Illinois | Suburban | Chicago


Special Thanks To:  

-Swissotel Chicago & their fantastic team 

-2018 Stars of the Industry State Judges & Planning Committee

-Committee Co-Chairs: Mike Feigenbaum & Michelle McConnell

-Judge Co-Chairs: Dan Naughton & Sue Wasylik

-Emcees Bob Sirott & Marianne Murciano

-PSAV, Fig Media, Amlings Interior Landscape 

-Breakthru Beverage of Illinois/Pinnacle Fine Wines, MillerCoors, PepsiCo

-All those who donated to our Cold Hands, Warm Hearts Drive 

-All hotel associates who nominated and supported our 2018 Stars of the Industry program and events

For more info, visit

Welcome New Hotel & Allied Members
Home2 Suites by Hilton Chicago River North
110 W Huron St 
Chicago, IL 60654
Hotel Julian
168 N Michigan Ave 
Chicago, IL 60601

Conn Maciel Carey is a boutique law firm focused on Labor & Employment, workplace safety/OSHA, and litigation. They have deep experience serving the hospitality industry from employment discrimination claims, to labor organizing, pension withdrawals and public accommodation ADA litigation.

Featured Members

IMR provides expert communications services for the travel, hospitality, & lifestyle industries. Based in Chicago, with clients in 12 states nationwide, IMR's approach to PR relies on specialized strategies that creatively marry what they love about traditional efforts & what they know about digital media & its unyielding power to reach your audience. The result? Smart, modern, customized campaigns that drive the bottom line.

News You Can Use
Editorials from Our President & CEO 
Chicagoland Hotel, Restaurant, & Tourism News 
IHLA Meets with Governor Elect JB Pritzker

IHLA Supports Holiday Toiletry Drive
We were grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a local holiday toiletry drive supporting several great community organizations (L incoln Park Community Services, Deborah's Place, The Friendship Center, and Ravenswood Community Services) with Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton, State Representative Ann M. Williams, and Alderman Michele Smith. We were able to fill two U-Hauls thanks to our hotel members who donated: Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, Fairmont Chicago Millennium ParkLoews Chicago HotelSheraton Grand Chicago, The Blackstone, The Palmer House Hilton, The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, and Virgin Hotels Chicago.

L to Rt:  Rep. Ann Williams, Alderman Michele Smith, Senate President John Cullerton, Rep Ann Williams, Michael Jacobson
Local Tax on Short-Term Rental Occupancy Passes in Twin Cities
The Bloomington City Council and The Normal City Council each unanimously passed a 6% local tax on short-term rental occupancy. Each ordinance will be effective April 1, 2019. These accomplishments are a direct result of the hard work and political advocacy of IHLA Board Members Ray Ceresa and Michelle McConnell and the entire Bloomington/Normal hotel community. It is estimated that there are 110 short-term rentals or Airbnb's in the Twin Cities. The tax could raise a combined $70,000 to $100,000 in new revenue for Bloomington and Normal. We are hopeful that a percentage of this new revenue will be dedicated to promoting tourism and attracting more visitors to the Twin Cities. In their testimony, both Michelle and Ray indicated that the hotel community will continue to press for additional rules and regulations and guest safety issues that are currently enforced for the hotel industry but not the short-term rental industry.
I.H.M.P.A.C. Chicago/Cook County Dedicated Fund Golf Fundraiser
All at the 19th HOLE! Due to unforeseen developments, the Golf Fundraiser originally scheduled for September 11th was held on November 13th at Hyatt Regency Chicago. The golf event started and ended at the 19th Hole - food and refreshments and prizes for all!  Over 100 guests were in attendance, and the event raised over $90,000 to be used by I.H.M.P.A.C. exclusively for candidates and/or elected officials in Chicago and Cook County. A very special thank you to everyone who continues to support this great event, including Patrick Donelly and the Hyatt team for their leadership role in promoting and hosting this event.

U 30 Off the Clock Happy Hour
The Under 30 Gateway gathered together for a sold out "Off the Clock Happy Hour" on November 27th at Hotel Zachary. Members enjoyed a tour of the hotel, charcuterie boards, and festive drinks all while networking with other young industry leaders.

Save the Date:

U30 Live at Five
January 30, 2019
Hyatt Place Bloomington / Normal

U30 9th Anniversary & GM Connect Reception
February 19, 2019
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago


Annual Holiday Online Auction
IHLAEF's Annual Holiday Online Auction ended on December 3rd and raised a total of $24,159 towards our Scholarship Program! Big thanks to all who donated, bid and spread the word. Click HERE for a list of our generous package donors.

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

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