Overall, 2022 will be remembered as a year of lessons learned - some the hard way, and some a bit more easily attained. As an industry, we learned that divisiveness just does not move the needle. To get anything done for the good of the hospitality industry required consensus and collaboration. At the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA), our mantra was, "Recover, Rebuild, Rebound."
And, boy did we ever.
We launched the RI Hospitality Association Group 40l(k) Plan, established in partnership with Napier Financial, to make retirement benefits available for our industry's workers to help provide a roadmap to retirement; we held the 10th Annual Rhode Island ProStart® High School Culinary and Hotel Management Competition after a hiatus due to the pandemic; hosted successful events for our members; spearheaded a number of important legislative wins including the permanent allowance of "alcohol to-go," the passing of H-7970 which gives hotel management the ability to remove guests who verbally abuse hotel employees, and the extended moratorium on the enforcement of any municipal ordinance or zoning requirement which allows restaurants to continue outdoor dining through April l, 2023.
There is so much to be proud of. My RIHA staff who can be called on day or night, our dedicated board of directors and of course, our fantastic membership who understood the mission to not only show up, but to participate. You spoke and we listened.
All things in life are subject to change, and if 2022 taught us one lesson, it is that we cannot become set in our ways. We need to be constantly evolving to meet the new business climate. Those who refuse to adapt are failing, while those embracing new technologies, trends, and standards are thriving.
Here's to a brighter future and positioning our industry for success in 2023 and beyond.
Dale J. Venturini