Chairman's Message 2024

David DePetrillo

The RI Hospitality Education Foundation plays a key role in supporting our state's growing tourism and hospitality industry. Our programs have helped thousands of young people gain skills that changed their lives by opening new career paths. Our Foundation has two key goals -- to grow the future generation of hospitality professionals and to lead the hospitality workforce by providing industry standards of professionalism and certification.

Thanks to the guidance of a committed Board of Directors and a dedicated, hardworking staff, we've had another great year at the Education Foundation.


  • We hosted another successful ProStart® High School Culinary Arts and Business Management Competition. Two top teams represented the State of Rhode Island at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, DC. Our annual competitions have earned our deserving students hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships.
  • Our Hospitality Career Conference with 125 student attendees was so successful that we are moving to a new venue in 2024 that will greatly expand our capacity.
  • We trained nearly a thousand employees.
  • With transportation a critical issue for many workers, we've expanded our partnership with RIPTA and RIDLT to provide FREE bus passes to hundreds of hospitality workers.
  • We launched a "Digital Helpdesk" that includes resources for employee recruitment, retention, and workforce policies.
  • We awarded thousands of dollars to hospitality workers who were facing financial hardship through our Employee Relief Fund.

We're proud of these great accomplishments in this past year, and our Board and staff look forward to providing the best educational and training programs for our present and future hospitality employees.

Thank you.

David DePetrillo
Chairman of the Board
RI Hospitality Education Foundation