Chairman's Message 2022

William Kitsilis

2022 is shaping up to be a year of rebuilding and strengthening our industry. We’ve just turned the page on one of the most difficult times in recent history and I know all of you are leery of what’s ahead and are tired from the long fight we’ve all collectively been through. Despite that, all signs are pointing towards normalcy in our businesses and lives.

As I think through my goals as incoming chairman, at the very top of my list is expanding our membership to include segments of our industry that have not previously been involved. We are so fortunate to live in a melting pot of different backgrounds, cultures and ideals – quite frankly, it’s what makes hospitality so great!

Our industry includes a huge segment of owners and entrepreneurs who are immigrants or first-generation Americans who are doing their best to fulfill the American dream. I want all of you to know that there is a place at the table for you with the RI Hospitality Association. As the son of Greek immigrant pizza shop owners, I understand the unique challenges you face as you pursue your American dream.

Some of the challenges we all face right now include hiring workers. I’m excited to announce that we are making a new 401K program available to all of our members to institute in their own businesses. We all know how difficult it is to not only attract but also retain staff right now. It’s important that our business model shifts to adapt to what the workforce deems valuable. This new 401K plan will help bridge that gap and supplement the positives we currently offer like flexible hours, on-the-job training and good pay.

As we near the end of year two of the pandemic, I want to thank each of you for your steadfast commitment to our industry and to RIHA. We are fortunate to have some of the best, most talented and motivated folks in the industry within our board of directors and membership and we would not be where we are today without you.

As you talk to colleagues, encourage them to learn more about RIHA and the numerous offerings we provide from advocacy, to workforce development, to education. RIHA is uniquely positioned to continue to lead Rhode Island’s hospitality industry into this next chapter - stronger, more united and more successful.

Bill Kitsilis
Chairman of the Board
Angelo’s Palace Pizza and Antonio’s Pizza by the Slice