UNDER 30 GATEWAY
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IHLA 2018 OFFICERS
Michelle McConnell, CHA
PRESIDENT & CEO
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John Brooke, CHA
Brian Cooney, CHA
Darin Dame, CHA
Konstantine (Gus) Drosos
*Bob Habeeb, CHA
Michelle McConnell, CHA
*Nabil Moubayed, CHA
Tommie L. Van
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
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
| Welcome New Hotel & Allied Members
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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 Park, Loews Chicago Hotel, Sheraton 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.