Chairman's Message 2019

David DePetrillo

The RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF) develops, supports, and promotes career growth opportunities within the hospitality industry. With a brightening economic forecast, the demand for trained employees is higher than ever. At RIHEF, our focus is providing education to youth, unemployed adults and incumbent employees to meet this growing demand.

Providing learners with the necessary educational tools is more crucial than ever. Despite the various economic challenges Rhode Island has faced over the past several years, our state’s hospitality industry has continued to expand and provide much-needed job opportunities for our citizens. The Rhode Island hospitality industry ranks as one of the top five largest job-producing industries in the state year after year.

Fortunately, our industry is now recognized by the public sector as a major economic force in our state, worthy of increased investment in both workforce development and more aggressive promotion of our state to visitors. The RIHEF and the members of the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) are playing a pivotal role in making our leaders aware of the critical need to continue this investment to ensure the future growth of jobs and revenue to our state.

Our Hospitality Training Academy offers many industry recognized certification training programs including two high school career & technical education programs; ProStart® a culinary arts and management program and Hospitality & Tourism Management Program (HTMP). We also continue to provide training for thousands of existing industry personnel each year in courses including ServSafe® Food Safety certification/recertification, ServSafe® Alcohol server training, and most recently – the ManageFirst Program®, to name a few. These courses are not only a state requirement in many instances; they also provide the information backbone for veteran employees to advance along their career pathways.

We are fortunate to have a top-notch RIHEF Board of Directors, and dedicated professional staff who are all committed to the goal of providing the best programs possible to educate the current and future hospitality employees of Rhode Island.

David DePetrillo
Chairman of the Board
RI Hospitality Education Foundation