2019 Annual Conference and Gala - Thank you for #JoiningtheCaravan!
November 25-26, 2019
November 25th and 26th OHLA held its 2019 Annual Conference & Gala at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio. OHLA invited hoteliers, Allied Members, industry partners, speakers, students, and educators to #jointhecaravan to the Northwest Ohio property and enjoy a 24-Hour Experience which included education, receptions, & our coveted Ohio Stars of the Industry Gala. There was truly something for everyone with over 30 industry experts, 20 educational opportunities, 50+ vendors, and topics ranging from Tea Service to marijuana legalization. Over 375 industry professionals got to “Experience the Magic” of the best OHLA speaker lineup yet with the Founder of Eleventh Candle Company, Amber Runyon, “Ex-Disney Guy” John Formica, and the comedic & nerdy stylings of Beth Ziesenis, Your Nerdy Best Friend.
One of OHLA’s initiatives has always been to aid the fight against Human Trafficking so it was only fitting that we have Anti-Human Trafficking Champion, Amber Runyon of Eleventh Candle Company speak to attendees about her personal experiences as a hospice nurse turned social entrepreneur. Amber shared how she turned her desire to help bring hope to women into a business whose purpose is to redeem, restore, empower and equip those vulnerable to human trafficking.
Our Keynote & closing session speaker John Formica, The "Ex-Disney Guy," shared with us what it would be like if “Disney Ran Your Business” and how to “Dream, Dare, Believe & Do” through the eyes of Walt Disney himself. A truly dynamic speaker he made his way up and down the aisles of tables, gave out prizes, and kept the audience engaged throughout both of his highly reviewed presentations. He left the audience with the tools to create a Disney-like experience of customer service in their own property. Just like Walt he really did “plus everything by 1”!
Keeping the energy flowing into day two Beth Ziesenis, Your Nerdy Best Friend took the stage at our Luncheon sponsored by Spectrum and gave us a look into “A Day in the Life of a Nerdy Hotel & Lodging Professional”. Attendees learned how a professional nerd solves a security crisis before 10 a.m., to make more of a lunch hour with an extra set of virtual hands, to save money on software before the staff meeting, and to bring the team together online before the day is done. Beth kept the atmosphere light and humorous while giving the audience ideas about how they can use technology to make their day easier.
The pinnacle of every year's event is our Annual Ohio Stars of the Industry Awards Gala in which we honor those who really do help “Chart the Course” into the future of lodging and go the extra mile to help their properties, colleagues, & guests. This year was no different with a total of 19 awards given to well-deserving individuals. Nominations from peer, industry professionals and partners ensure that the high level of service and quality from our industry and its people are noticed.
Congratulations to our 2019 Ohio Stars of the Industry Award Winners!
Ohio Textile Service Ohio Housekeeper of the Year
★ Sonya Spikes, DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland Downtown Lakeside
SEL Ohio Textile Service Ohio Housekeeper of the Year
★ Regina Westerbeck, Homewood Suites by Hilton Cincinnati - Mason
PeopleReady Ohio Server of the Year
★ Vickie Baber, Hyatt Regency Columbus
SEL PeopleReady Ohio Attendant/Host of the Year
★ Sandra Gallegos, Hilton Garden Inn Columbus Polaris
Ohio Front Desk Associate of the Year
★ Kwasi Afreh, Hotel LeVeque, Autograph Collection
SEL Ohio Front Desk Associate of the Year
★ Kelly Thompson, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cincinnati - Blue Ash
BMS CAT Ohio Supervisor/Manager of the Year
★ Tina Howell, Marriott at the University of Dayton
SEL Ohio “Jack of All Trades”
★ Charday Orr, Courtyard by Marriott Springfield Downtown
Ohio Engineer of the Year
★ David Argento, Hyatt Regency Columbus
SEL Ohio Engineer of the Year
★ Reginald Cavor, Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown
Anonymous Insights Ohio Service Superstar of the Year
★ Carl Dowdell, DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland Downtown Lakeside
OHLA Volunteer of the Year
★ Steve Van Sickle, Sauder Heritage Inn & Campground
Allied Member of the Year
★ Towne Park
HSMAI Signature Worldwide Sales Leader of the Year
★ Brad Russell, Canopy by Hilton Columbus Downtown Short North
Plunkett’s Pest Control Unique Lodging of Ohio Property of the Year, Under 20 Rooms
★ Chateau Lake Logan
Plunkett’s Pest Control Unique Lodging of Ohio Property of the Year, Over 20 Rooms
★ Mills Park Hotel
SEL TravelHost Ohio General Manager of the Year
★ Judy Miller, Red Roof Plus Columbus Dublin
TravelHost Ohio General Manager of the Year
★ Lisa Garner, Marriott & Residence Inn Columbus University Area
CareWorks Ohio Managed Care Hospitality Leadership Team of the Year
★ Courtyard by Marriott Youngstown Canfield
Monday, November 23, 2020
|12:00 PM||Registration Opens|
|3:00 PM||Take off with Tech|
|6:00 PM||Cocktail Hour in Exhibitor Experience|
|7:00 PM||Ohio Stars of the Industry Gala Dinner|
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
|7:30 AM||Registration Opens|
|9:15 AM||Exhibitor Experience Break & Attendee Brunch|
|9:45 AM||Student Session Roundtable|
|10:40 AM||Exhibitor Experience Break|
|12:00 PM||Exhibitor Experience Break|
|12:20 PM||Luncheon - "A Day in the Life of a Nerdy Hotel & Lodging Professional"|
|12:30 PM||Silent Auction Closes|
|2:10 PM||General Session: Dream, Dare, Believe, & Do!|
|3:00 PM||Auction Payout at Registration|
2020 Annual Conference & Gala Sessions
Exhibitor Toolbox -
Anything and everything you would need to know about exhibiting at the 2020 OHLA Annual Conference all in one place!