- The Ontario Restaurant and Hotel Motel Association (ORHMA), announced that it will be integrating two well-known and important industry groups into the Association to preserve and enhance the value they provide for education, leadership and support of students who are pursuing careers into the foodservice and lodging industries, as well as recognition of those that work and lead within it.
The Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI) has an esteemed history providing the hospitality industry with immeasurable support over it’s forty-plus years including working with the education sector on curriculum development and driving recognition of key contributors to the success and evolution of the industry. With the passing of Charles Grieco who was responsible for overseeing the organization, ORHMA was offered the honour of taking on the responsibility of becoming the custodian of this valued organization.
The Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP) has operated through a number of local branches for more than 100 years, providing a valuable link between foodservice students, educational institutions, and industry employers. CAFP created and administrated a first of its-kind professional designation, driving recognition of the professionalism of the foodservice industry, and has provided passionate leadership as well as having provided students in educational programs with significant financial support through grant programs. With CAFP disbanding nationally, ORHMA was approached to take on the leadership and support of this organization’s functions throughout Ontario.
Following an extensive period of consultation and reflection with stakeholders both past and present, corporate leaders, government, and members of ORHMA’s Board of Directors, ORHMA’s board confirmed the acceptance of stewardship for the future of both the OHI and integration of the Toronto CAFP into both ORHMA and OHI. The OHI will be renamed the
Ontario Hospitality Institute
reflecting alignment with both the lodging and foodservice segments. CAFP will be transferring a portion of its remaining funds to OHI to kickstart student support initiatives and financial awards.
Jason Cheskes, ORHMA Board Director and past Vice-President of the CAFP Toronto branch who helped work on these organizations’ integration, remarked at a meeting of both groups, “ORHMA is the perfect fit to continue the excellent work of OHI and continue to lead and develop recognition opportunities for those in the industry ,and ORHMA will be able to support the evolution of CAFP’s role in Ontario to one of greater reach, scope and impact on the development of our future leaders and serve to promote career development into both foodservice and lodging. Both organizations bring ORHMA established groups of dedicated professionals to help make that happen.”
“ORHMA’s decision to take on this responsibility is based on our commitment to continue the traditions and contributions of both organizations and to steer the growth and success of the roles they have served in the hospitality industry, into the future”, says Tony Elenis, President & CEO of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association. ORHMA will be establishing an OHI advisory group and will be looking to past OHI & CAFP leaders and other industry stakeholders to assist and to support the newly integrated organizations to help drive future success.
ORHMA is currently working to finalize the date of their first OHI event under ORHMA stewardship this fall. The event will be focused on celebrating and highlighting the contributions of the OHI and outline the path for
Ontario Hospitality Institute
into the future. Included will be the launch of two very special student financial grants in the names of prominent OHI leaders partially made possible through the legacy funds CAFP is providing.
Workforce development in consultation with the industry was the primarily reason for setting up these organizations and today it is not only relevant, but it is the most critical issue facing hospitality. We are committed in positioning OHI in the forefront of workforce development through initiatives that support recruitment and recognition while building a stronger hospitality profession, as this wonderful industry so much deserves.