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IN THIS ISSUE | January 2019
Governmental Affairs
Upcoming Events
Hospitality Headlines
Member News
Educational Foundation
Trump Chicago

March 12-13
IHLA Lobby Day

April 26
31st Annual Hospitality Gala
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

May 10
IHLAEF Scholarship
Awards Luncheon
McCormick Place

June 20
Spirit of Chicago at Navy Pier
July 18
Mystic Blue at Navy Pier
July 11
Arlington Park Racecourse
August 20
Harborside International 
Golf Center
September 17
Tuckaway Golf Club, Crete
October 23
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington



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.  

Mark Lauer 

Jerry Cataldo
Michelle McConnell, CHA
Doug Dean

Michael Jacobson
Mark Aleman          
Eric Bates
Jenna Beyers         
John Brooke, CHA   
Ed Brunt
Jerry Cataldo          
Raymond Ceresa    
*Mike Cohen          
Darin Dame, CHA   
Doug Dean            
Peter Demay          
*Patrick Donelly     
Konstantine Drosos
Mike Feigenbaum   
Andrew Finn           
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
Dale McFarland      
Karen McGuigan    
Mike McGuigan      
Ginny Morrison      
*Nabil Moubayed, CHA
Catherine Mrowiec 
Tim Obert               
*Tom Robertson    
Richard Romane    
Jay Rosenthal
Ted Selogie
Charlie Shirk          
Peter Simoncelli     
Todd Temperly      
Tommie L. Van       
*Ron Vlasic            
*John Wells 


Jim Buczek
Rich Cialabrini  
Jim Donivan
Rick Simon 
David Whitaker

*Past Chair
2019 is already off to a busy but productive start at IHLA. Several of us attended Governor J.B. Pritzker's inauguration earlier this month where we got to spend time with the Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, and Treasurer, as well as numerous state and Congressional legislators. Now that the celebrations have concluded, the work begins. Legislation related to hotels has already been introduced including multiple proposals to introduce employee panic buttons statewide. IHLA will continue to monitor these proposals and educate our lawmakers about efforts already underway by our members to enhance employee and guest safety. We are also engaged in the ongoing conversations surrounding minimum wage in Illinois. I have been working with our Government Affairs Committee on communicating the impact that this would have on hotels statewide and trying to negotiate with state lawmakers on a middle-ground solution. Over at the Office of Tourism, we are eagerly awaiting the announcement of a new Director while in the legislature, you may have noticed that the Tourism Committee was abolished this Session. However, we are working with several legislators to launch a new Tourism Caucus which is an informal group of industry supporters in the House and Senate who will pledge to focus on our top priorities.
In Chicago, we continue to make hotels' voice heard as City Council considers the Predictive Scheduling ordinance. On January 22nd, several IHLA members and I met with key Aldermen to stress how disastrous the current proposal would be for our industry.
I hope that you will be able to join us on February 19th, for our Under 30 & GM Connect Reception at the Trump International Hotel. Hotel General Managers and Under 30 members are invited to join our Board of Directors to hear an exclusive interview with Eric Danziger, CEO of Trump Hotels, and to enjoy networking with colleagues. Click HERE to register.
On March 12-13th, IHLA will hold our annual Lobby Day in Springfield, in partnership with the Illinois Council of CVBs and Illinois Restaurant Association. It's true that there is power in numbers. Our influence is magnified when IHLA's members join us to talk about key issues important to growing and protecting our industry. Click HERE to join us for our Lobby Day.
IHLA will once again co-host Hospitality Hires Chicago at The Palmer House Hilton on March 19th. This is the third year that IHLA is spearheading this hiring event in partnership with the Chicago Cook Workforce Board to help our hotels gear up for our busy summer season. Dozens of hotels have participated in this event previously, which typically attracts more than 500 trained and prepared candidates ready to be hired. Stay tuned for registration information coming soon. 
Thank you for your continued support and I hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.

IHLA Lobby Day
In Partnership with ICCVB & IRA
Tuesday, March 12 - Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | Springfield, IL 
Help us show the strength, breadth, and unity of the hospitality and tourism industry to Members of the 101st Illinois General Assembly and continue educating our elected officials on the importance of our industry. It is more important than ever that hoteliers engage with those who have the power to lead change. We are grateful for our members' commitment to advocating for policies that benefit our industry in the long-term.

IHLA Attends J.B. Pritzker Inauguration 

Heart of the House Tour with Senator Iris Martinez 
Thanks to Sandi Robinson and The Godfrey Hotel Chicago for hosting Senator Iris Y. Martinez, 20th District, on December 18th for a "Heart of the House" tour at their property. These tours are a great way to showcase a property and have members of Congress and the Illinois General Assembly meet employees and learn more about the important economic and social contributions of the hotel industry to our community and state.

Under 30 & GM Connect Reception
February 19, 2019
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
Hit the ground running in 2019 with the Illinois Chapter of Under 30 and enjoy an evening of networking and fun. Event features include exclusive guest speaker  Eric Danziger, Trump Hotels CEO , power networking with local industry leaders, drinks and hors d'oeuvres and raffle prizes! 

31st Annual Hospitality Gala
April 26, 2019
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
Join us for a night of networking and entertainment like you've never experienced before! Celebrate the achievements of our industry with an evening featuring exciting entertainment over spectacular food and libations and sweet stations provided by area culinary schools.

News You Can Use
Hotel News Resource: DOSM Checklist for 2019

Editorials from Our President & CEO 
Chicagoland Hotel, Restaurant, & Tourism News 
Welcome New Hotel Members

Best Western Plus Bloomington East Hotel
604 ┬Ż IAA Dr
Bloomington, IL 61701
225 W Frontage Rd
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
8145 Jolliff Bridge Rd
Centralia, IL 62801
3231 Norman Ave
Joliet, IL 60431
55 E Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60611
123 E Cermak Rd |  Chicago, IL 60616
123 E Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616
6520 S Cicero Ave
Bedford Park, IL 60638

5200 Pearl St
Rosemont, IL 60018

Welcome New Allied Members
Maritza Meihls | 317-796-9650
HotHH focuses on labor management and careers in the hospitality industry. Their goal is to provide their employees with the tools and support to be successful and build talent and teams to serve their clients, staff and guests. They work to enhance the hotel experience through superior customer service, improved communication, personal development and continuous improvement.
Karen Nichols | 864-313-5313
iResponze® partners with hotels and restaurants to strengthen and expand their online brand presence. They do this by responding to guest reviews on their behalf, and by cultivating and engaging their social communities in conversation. This partnership allows staff to focus on what they do best - deliver exceptional guest experiences.

Marjan M Designs
Marjan Majd | 773-343-0223
A Floral and Reception Company. Marjan M Designs services include: Weekly floral arrangements, indoor/outdoor plants, weekly plants maintenance, and floral decor for corporate & social events including galas and weddings.

Member Spotlights

Meet Our 2019 IHLA Chair, Mark Lauer 
Mark Lauer believes in being intellectually curious and driven by team wins and not individual success. Mark has made mentoring and guiding future leaders of the hospitality industry a priority, reinforcing the idea that good leadership requires self-knowledge, awareness, and individual leadership style. He has said: "You are judged by the team you build". With this in mind, we know Mark as a great leader with the ability to motivate and inspire in any situation. Since the beginning of his career in 1980, he has brought passion for the industry that is evident by the long list of organizations which he has lent his time and expertise to throughout his career. In his current position, he oversees all of the finance, sales, and marketing operations at his property. Throughout his career, which began at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in 1980, he has held several leadership roles including Director of Marketing and Hotel Manager at Waldorf Astoria New York and as General Manager at the New York Hilton Midtown. Mark studied at Loyola University and later became a board member for the Avenue of the Americas Association, Historic Hotels of America, Hotel Association of New York City, Nebraska Hotel/Motel Association, and Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
Congrats IHLA Board Member Gus Drosos on his Move to Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport
Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport , owned by the City of Chicago and managed by  Hilton Management Services , announces the appointment of Konstantine (Gus) Drosos as general manager. In his new role, Drosos will be responsible for leading renovations and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the only Chicago O'Hare hotel on airport grounds with its 800 rooms and 37,000 square feet of meeting and event space.  A 22-year hospitality veteran, Drosos most recently served as general manager of Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile where he oversaw a full renovation and was awarded Hilton Hotel of the Year in 2016.  "We are thrilled to welcome Gus to the team at Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport," said Tom Loughlin, area vice president, Hilton. "Gus's management skills, his proven track record of driving strong business results, and his experience leading a hotel through a remodel make him the perfect leader." Read more HERE

Congrats Hyatt Regency O'Hare Chicago Room Attendant, Maria Delgado
As a 2017 #IHLAStarsoftheIndustry State Winner, Maria was nominated as a finalist for the North Star Award, the most prestigious award presented at AHLA's Stars of the Industry ceremony and given to a non-management level associate who makes a significant difference day in and day out in the hospitality business. Maria was celebrated at AHLEF's inaugural "Night of a Thousand Stars" gala in LA. Go to the 3-minute mark of this  VIDEO to watch Maria in action and hear her passion for her position and the gratitude from her colleagues. 

Featured Members


2019 Scholarship Applications
HLAEF 2019 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 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, 2019.   
Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association

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