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Member News
GM Breakfast
Educational Foundation

May 3
IHLAEF Webinar
Donation Management Made Easy with AIRS

May 10 
IHLAEF Scholarship Application Deadline

May 17-18
AH&LA Legislative Action Summit (LAS)
Washington, D.C.
May 21-24
National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show
McCormick Place

May 24
21st Annual Hospitality Awards Luncheon
McCormick Place

June 23
Spirit of Chicago
Navy Pier

June 24  
for the Kids X
Arlington Racecourse
Arlington Heights

August 16 
28th Annual Super
Golf Classic
Harborside International
Golf Center

September 13 
Chicago Hotel PAC
Golf Event
Tuckaway Golf Club





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!  

To sign up, visit:

Stay Connected in IL:
IL-Women in Lodging


Not a member of I-WIL yet? Membership is  free 
to any female employed by an IHLA member hotel.

To sign up, visit:



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


Learn more about the benefits of becoming StayGreen.

For questions about the StayGreen Program, contact: Karrie Teel.
AHLEI Certified Guest Service Professional Designation (CGSP) Personalized Training


Nabil Moubayed

Dean Lane 
Tom Robertson 
Mark Lauer

Marc Gordon

Jenna Beyers
John Brooke, CHA
Mike Cassidy
Jerry Cataldo
*Mike Cohen    
Brian Cooney, CHA
Kim Corrigan
Paul Daly
Darin Dame, CHA
Doug Dean
*Patrick Donelly
Mike Feigenbaum
Pierre-Louis Giacotto
Stefan Gruvberger
Kirsten Guill
*Bob Habeeb, CHA
Dan Hance
Chris Hansen
Rick Harmon
Patrick Hatton
Stacy Hinrichs
Greg Horeth
Steve Horve
Mark Huntley 
Michelle Irvin, CHA, CFBE 
David Jacobs
Fred Jones
Jerry Keyes
Tony Klok
Dean Lane
Mark Lauer
Damien McArdle
Dale McFarland
Michael McGilligan
Karen McGuigan
Ginny Morrison
Nabil Moubayed, CHA
Dan Naughton
Atul Patel, CPA, CHA
David Prentiss, CHA
Jeff Pritts
Tom Robertson
Jay Rosenthal
Peter Simoncelli
*Lisa Timbo
Tommie L. Van
Raymond Vermolen
*Ron Vlasic
Scott Warren
*John Wells
Jim Buczek
Rich Cialabrini   
Jim Donivan
Rick Simon 
John Tomasiewicz

*Dick Betty 
*Ed Copeland 
*Joan Geary 
*Jim Gould 
Arnie Karr 
Mike Levy 
*John Osmanski 
*Rex Parker 
*Gene Rupnik 
Andy Schwebel, CHA 
David Sowell 

*Past Chairman

Chicago Office


Marc Gordon               

President & CEO


Jennifer Chase            

Managing Director, Events


Susannah Flanner       

Director of Membership/ Strategic Partnerships


David Miller                 

Director of IT


Reggie Owens             

Office Manager


Ray Ranola                  

Accounting Manager


Karrie Teel                  

Director of Education & Communications


Springfield Office


Scott Dahl                   

Regional Director of Membership


Brenda Jo Jacob

Director of 

Governmental Affairs


April was another successful month highlighted by IHLA hosting our 28th Annual Hospitality Gala on April 15th at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago. Thanks to Gary Irps, Yavis Soto, Chef Gaborit, and the entire Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel team for doing a wonderful job in hosting this great event. Over 350 hotel industry guests enjoyed terrific food, beverages, and music. Special thanks to Expedia +VIP Access and Palace Resorts for donating the fantastic raffle prize. Thank you to all of our members who attended and supported the event with guest rooms, online auction donations, and program book ads. We look forward to celebrating the success of the hotel industry in Illinois next year at our 29th  Annual Gala.

IHLA hosted our General Managers Breakfast Meeting on April 5th at the Omni Chicago Hotel. Thanks to Hans Ritten for hosting the event. Chicago Alderman Rod Sawyer, Chairman of the City Council Black Caucus, spoke to our hotel GM's about the new Chicago Police Superintendent, the Airbnb Amended Ordinance, and other issues of interest from the Chicago City Council. Alderman Sawyer is very supportive of the hospitality industry in Chicago and understands how important our industry is to the City and the State.

On May 17-18th, AH&LA will host its annual Legislative Action Summit (LAS) in Washington, D.C . This year, AH&LA is joining forces with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AHHOA) to demonstrate a strong voice for the lodging industry on Capitol Hill. Please join IHLA's large contingency of members in hearing several keynote speakers and then educating our two Illinois Senators and several members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation on key issues affecting our industry at the federal level. Click HERE for more information and to register. Thanks to all of our IHLA members who will be joining us and representing Illinois at this national political event during a critical election year. 

IHLA will host our 21st Annual Hospitality Awards Luncheon on May 24th during the National Restaurant Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. Jim Abrahamson, Steve Horve, Dean Lane, Dr. Misty Johanson, and Everett Rand 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.

The application deadline for IHLA's Educational Foundation 2016/17 academic scholarships is May 10th. IHLAEF plans to award at least $42,000 in scholarships to deserving hospitality students from Illinois for the upcoming school year. Then on June 24th, we will host our annual Pony Up for the Kids Fundraiser at Arlington Park Racecourse to raise money for our Scholarship Program. Click HERE for more information and to register.

Thanks to all of our members for their continued support.


Recent Articles of Interest

Hotel Management:  Losing the wage war
Lodging Magazine:  The Gray Hotel Opening June 2016

Connect with us on Social Media!

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Welcome New Hotel Member
1200 Burr Ridge Parkway
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
General Manager: Patty Connolly

Welcome New Allied Members

Christina Gelata | 312-550-1191
Gourmet handmade chocolates, locally made in Chicago. Prepackaged boxed chocolates, custom logos, amenity pieces for hotels. Bulk items available as well. Gourmet popcorn for gift shops and guest amenities.
Jon Stults | 403-509-1010
GuestTek™ is a global leader in broadband technology and interactive solutions for the hospitality industry. Since 1996, they have partnered with hotels to maximize their property's offerings-enhance branding, drive additional revenue, and deliver world class guest experiences.
Vanessa Wheeler | 773-880-9053
The Smilebooth is a fresh, new rendition of the classic, old school photo booth that encourages a hot mess of fun and spontaneity. A dummy-proof way to get professional photos from your event - no photographer needed! A mini photography studio that inspires creative, silly and fabulous-looking photo and video. Smilebooth is an exciting addition to any event!
Jill Cully | 847-452-5703
TSA Solutions is the worldwide leader in hotel upselling solutions. TSA helps nearly 1,000 hotel partners in 70 countries achieve measurable and sustainable increases in incremental revenue and RevPAR - capturing more than $200 million USD in annual incremental revenue, with an average ADR increase of 2%. With no upfront investment cost for the majority of its programs, TSA's technology, training, and performance management tools also supports hotels' efforts to increase guest satisfaction and boost personnel retention. TSA is also building intuitive new technology applications to drive business for hoteliers, as it helps them adapt to rapidly changing marketplace conditions. TSA continues to evolve its solutions to support hoteliers in capturing even more incremental revenue, with programs in reservations, sales, and restaurant/bar. 

DuPage CVB  "Megatrends Defining Travel in 2016"

Guest Speaker: Greg Oates, Senior Editor, Skift
Thursday, May 5, 2016
3pm Presentation | 4pm Networking Reception
Benedictine University, Goodwin Hall
Sponsored by the DuPage CVB in celebration of Travel & Tourism Week  

Join the DuPage County CVB on May 5th as Greg Oates from Skift discusses big shifts with Destination Marketing in meetings today. This presentation contains timely and essential information for all destination stakeholders, with a focus on the collaboration and innovation necessary for the advancement of our tourism product.  

Topics Include: 
-Network integration across sectors
-Value proposition among competitive sets
-Brand communication and client engagement

A Night on the French Riviera 
On April 15th, over 350 friends and leaders of the hospitality industry filled the Atlantic Ballroom at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago to celebrate at IHLA's 28th Annual Hospitality Gala - A Night on the French Riviera. Our premier social event offered guests an evening of delicious food and cocktails, music and dancing to Fig Media, an endless dessert spread, and more! A highlight of the night was the Grand Travel Raffle by Expedia +VIP Access, an amazing 4-night all-inclusive 4.5 Star Getaway to Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort in Cancun.
Big thanks to all those who attended and supported the event including:
  • Gary Irps, Yavis Soto, Chef Gaborit, & the entire Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago team
  • Encore Event Technologies: Tony Oliva & his team
  • Expedia +VIP Access & Palace Resorts
  • Floral/Room Décor: Amlings Interior Landscape & Bukiety Floral
  • Sweet Station Sponsors: Ai-Illinois Institute of Art Culinary, Chicago Classic Candy, Garrett Popcorn Shops, Robert Morris University Professional Arts/Culinary, Sprinkles, Royal Cup Coffee, Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute
  • Beverages: MillerCoors, Chicago Beverage Systems, Southern Wine & Spirits, The Wine Group/10 Span Vineyards
  • Fabric Décor: Fabric Images
  • Smilebooth
  • Guest room, auction package, & Wine Pull Raffle donors
  • Gala Committee Members & Co-Chairs: Raymond Vermolen, Deanna Luzzo, Tom Robertson


On April 5th, General Manager, Hans Ritten, hosted IHLA's bi-monthly Chicagoland Council of Hotel General Managers Breakfast Meeting at the Omni Chicago Hotel. Thank you to the Omni team and meeting sponsors, Cintas and EcoDirect Laundry & Cleaners. Attendees enjoyed a delicious breakfast spread while networking and listening to featured speaker: 6th Ward Alderman and City Council Black Caucus Chairman, Roderick T. Sawyer. Alderman Sawyer discussed the new Chicago Police Superintendent, the Airbnb Amended Ordinance, and other issues of interest from the Chicago City Council. Later in the program, Aileen Robinson, Interim Domestic Violence Operations Coordinator for the Chicago Police Department Domestic Violence Program, presented Robert Hann, Vice President - Marketing for GO Airport Express, with a plaque for going above and beyond and continually donating transportation for families of Victims of Domestic Violence who attend the annual I-WIL/CPD Halloween Party.
Next General Manager's Breakfast Meeting:  
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
8:00am Breakfast & Networking | 8:30am Program Begins

Interested in sponsoring a bi-monthly GM Breakfast Meeting?
Contact Susannah Flanner for more information 
Recent StayGreen Spotlight Articles

IHLA Partnership with TripAdvisor GreenLeaders
IHLA has partnered with TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, offering an opportunity for IHLA member hotels to earn dual recognition and additional marketing exposure for their green efforts. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 315 million unique monthly visitors. 
To become a recognized StayGreen Hotel, IHLA members must meet the minimum GreenLeaders program requirements and score a 30% or above on the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Survey. Properties that score a 40% or above are recognized as StayGreen Elite. Achieving these scores will also qualify a property as a TripAdvisor GreenLeader. 

Complete the online survey  HERE

Hotels that qualify as StayGreen & TripAdvisor GreenLeaders receive:
  • StayGreen and TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Certificates of Recognition and GreenLeaders window stickers to display at hotel
  • Listing on and
  • Acknowledgement in IHLA e-newsletter and social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Use of StayGreen (or StayGreen Elite) logo and GreenLeaders badge on hotel website and marketing materials 
  • Downloadable TripAdvisors widget for use on hotel website
  • GreenLeaders badge in TripAdvisor search results and on TripAdvisor listing page (When travelers click the GreenLeaders badge, they will see the list of all green practices that the property currently has in place.)
  • Appearance in exclusive TripAdvisor search results: When travelers click the "Green" filter button for accommodations in a specific area, only GreenLeaders properties show up.
  • Special recognition in TripAdvisor reviews: Travelers can add "Green Features" comments to their review, giving hotels more public recognition for their environmentally-friendly efforts.
  • Competitive Advantage: More exposure to and business from meeting planners and leisure travelers who prioritize eco-conscious hotels
  • Opportunity to work with a Kendall College student intern who will assist with sustainability projects and other hotel duties as needed 

IHLAEF Pony Up for the Kids X

Friday, June 24, 2016 | 2:00pm - 7:00pm
Post Time: 3:15pm | Chef's Table: 2:30 - 4:30pm
Arlington International Racecourse | Beverly D. Suite
2200 W. Euclid Avenue | Arlington Heights
All event proceeds benefit the IHLAEF Scholarship Program.
Win, Place, & Show Your Support: 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. Perfect for your executive team or client outing and a great setting to network with Chicagoland's finest in the hospitality industry!  

Thank You Event Sponsors 

Chicago HEat

What is  Chicago HEaT?
Chicago HEaT or the Chicago Hospitality, Entertainment, & Tourism Security Association, was founded by a core group of industry security personnel with the assistance of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and our federal partners to maximize safety and minimize crime in our community. It is a public/private business sector partnership for the State of Illinois, Northern Indiana, and South-Eastern Wisconsin security investigators, law enforcement personnel, and prosecutors. The Association's mission is to share communications, alerts, training, and bulletins that affect the Hospitality, Entertainment, and Tourism Industry with the assistance of our partners in law enforcement, reducing the impact of incidents on our industry.

Upcoming Educational Webinar 

FREE Member Webinar
Donation Management Made Easy with AIRS 
Presented By FrontStream
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 | 11:00am - 12:00pm CST

2016 Scholarship Applications
The 2016 Scholarship Applications are available to download on our website HERE. 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.
  • 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

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

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