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Monika Zuluaga

Vice President, Membership & Marketing

401-223-1120, ext. 116

Monika@rihospitality.org

Dale's Corner

This blog is written by Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO of RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) and RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF). Its purpose is to engage RIHA members with current issues and trends.

Ladder+of+Success+1.png We are an industry that rises to the occasion, no matter what the circumstance, and that is something I am very proud of. The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) is comprised of more than 650 members who have dedicated their lives to the hospitality industry, and represent a true cornerstone of our state’s economy.

A great percentage of the 65,000 workers who choose to make a career in hospitality come to us with little experience or training or with the need for a flexible schedule. We on-the-job train every employee who takes a job in this industry, and, we offer a true career path. Many of the folks in top industry positions, including myself, have had their first jobs in hospitality as a server, busboy, cook, hostess or front-desk clerk. With a lot of hard work, we have all been able to succeed and grow; the ladder of success in this business has many rungs.

We have a culture of mentoring that is more prevalent than in any other industry. Our saying is, ‘before you reach the next rung on that ladder, reach back and pull someone up behind you.’ To me, the most critical part of RIHA is our ability to offer a true opportunity for those folks who are willing to work and better their lives in the process.

To more fully embrace this concept, we have applied for a grant through Real Jobs RI, a demand-driven workforce and economic development initiative designed to ensure that state employers have the talent they need to grow. We are currently in the first stage of this application, working on a planning grant.

If successful, the grant will allow us to create the Rhode Island Food Management Partnership (RIFMP), which seeks to develop a leadership training program for mid-level employees, and also to educate employers on best practices in retention for hiring, training, and retaining the workforce. The initiative will focus on the “food cluster” economy—where restaurants, agriculture, aquaculture, food manufacturers, and regulatory policy come together. The Rhode Island food cluster industry has grown extensively over the last decade, contributing to the local economy.

Over the next decade, continued growth is expected within the food cluster industry in Rhode Island.  According to the National Restaurant Association, this year alone, the state’s restaurant industry job-growth rate is expected to increase 5.6%. Additionally, through support from the Rhode Island Foundation, the farm-to-table movement is being catalyzed. Currently, 1,200 farms generate more than $65 million in sales.

The RIFMP will be led by the Association in conjunction with the RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF). Additionally, several partners will support the planning process including Johnson & Wales University, Community College of Rhode Island, the Greater Rhode Island and Providence/Cranston Workforce Investment Boards, American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, Hope and Main, and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

The RIFMP will create the professional development program by adapting the highly-successful National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation ManageFirst Program™ to meet the needs of Rhode Island food cluster employers and employees. To adapt the ManageFirst Program™ to meet these needs, RIHEF will convene focus groups, conduct one-one-one interviews, and collect surveys from employees, employers, trade associations, and Workforce Investment Board Partners. All competencies targeted in the program will be validated by the Food Cluster partners.

One completed, RIHEF and RIHA will take the results of the planning grant and it is our hope to be invited to implement this valuable program.

I’ve often said that a rising tide will float all boats. If we expect our industry to continue to grow and be a leading economic driver within the state, we need to invest in training our employees to excel at their jobs, get promoted, and allow room for others to begin their career ladder. Hospitality is an industry of opportunity and I am proud to drive this initiative forward.  

 


List of Articles
No. Subject Author Date
» As You Climb the Ladder of Success, Turn Around and Pull Someone Up file Managing GroupMonika Oct 13, 2015
We are an industry that rises to the occasion, no matter what the circumstance, and that is something I am very proud of. The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) is comprised of more than 650 members who have dedicated their lives to the ho...  
18 The War on Hospitality Ends in a Draw Managing GroupMonika Aug 06, 2015
The legislative season is finally over, and while we can’t claim that we’ve won the war, we can say that we’ve won some key battles for the time being.  Our industry faces an ongoing attack from out-of-state, organized labor forces. The...  
17 Hospitality, an Industry of Opportunity file Managing GroupMonika Jun 10, 2015
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association   As our legislative season winds down, we remain optimistic that bills put before the house and senate by organized, outside labor influences will not pass. As I’ve detailed...  
16 The Persistent, Organized Attack on the Hospitality Industry Managing GroupMonika May 20, 2015
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association Last month, I detailed a bill in front of the RI legislature that seeks to completely eliminate the tipped wage. This bill, along with several others aimed against hospitality, h...  
15 And, the Winner Is… file Managing GroupMonika Dec 18, 2014
As we ring in the New Year, we will also be swearing in our newest elected officials. Hopefully, the new and familiar faces that will represent us on a local, state and federal level will work in concert, and in the best interests of our i...  
14 Eat, Play and Stay Local for the Holidays file Managing GroupMonika Nov 03, 2014
As all of you who read my columns already know, I am a huge proponent of buying locally; that goes for food items as well as goods and services.  As we start to look toward the holiday season and put on our gift-giving thinking caps (or sn...  
13 Today, Everyone’s a Critic file Managing GroupMonika Oct 14, 2014
In this day and age of social media usurping traditional media, bloggers having better name recognition than nightly TV anchors and everyday customers becoming critics, it has never been more important to pay close attention to your brand ...  
12 Where are all the Employees? file Managing GroupMonika Sep 13, 2014
The hospitality industry is one of the top job producers in Rhode Island. We employ more than 63,000 people who are looking to make a career in our industry or perhaps to pay their way through school while gaining valuable experience. And...  
11 It Doesn’t Affect Me (Yet) So Why Should I Help Fight It? file Managing GroupMonika Jul 03, 2014
Dale Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association This year is ramping up to be one of the tough ones, one of those years that can absolutely exhaust you and run you into the ground. I’m not talking about the result of runnin...  
10 In the World of Online Booking, Where do the Taxes Travel? file Managing GroupMonika Apr 07, 2014
        We all love to travel. And, the majority of Americans book their travel through an online website. Often, it’s not the website of a hotel, airline or rental car company. Instead, many consumers visit online travel companies (...  
9 New England’s Weather Armageddon file Managing GroupMonika Feb 05, 2014
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association Our region is often heralded as one of the most beautiful and desirable areas in the nation. Our picturesque coastlines, soaring mountains, legendary lakes, pristine beaches...  
8 New Year, New Threats file Managing GroupMonika Jan 02, 2014
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association   Happy New Year, colleagues, friends and family! As we ring in 2014 and make our personal resolutions, pledges, and affirmations, let’s also resolve to get our houses in o...  
7 Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars file Managing GroupMonika Dec 01, 2013
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association As another year comes to a close, I am fortunate to once again end on a high note with one of the best nights in the hospitality industry, our annual meeting and awards event, “...  
6 The Business of Holidays file Managing GroupMonika Nov 01, 2013
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association As soon as the summer ends and the first morning chill hits, it feels like we are all on a speeding train headed directly for the holidays! Every year retailers are beginning th...  
5 TAXES, TIPS AND TROUBLE ON THE HORIZON Managing GroupMonika Jul 17, 2013
Posted on July 3, 2013 in Association TalkBy Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO Rhode Island Hospitality Association Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association It seems that every week that goes by, I receive more and more...  
4 RSVP – The Four Most Powerful Letters in Hospitality [4] file Managing GroupMonika Jun 21, 2013
  Dale J. VenturiniPresident/CEO, RI Hospitality Association<?xml:namespace prefix = o />   If you’re like me, you are constantly getting bombarded with invitations to various events from political fundraisers, to industry nights, to good-...  
3 April, 2013: Buyer Beware file Managing GroupMonika Apr 10, 2013
How many times have you opened a letter that looks ‘official’ to discover that you owe a nominal sum of money to some ubiquitous state agency? It could be $50.00, $100.00, or even $150.00. It’s never quite enough for a busy owner or operator...  
2 March, 2013: Allergen Awareness file Managing GroupMonika Apr 10, 2013
In the food service industry, allergies are no laughing matter. It’s a serious issue that can have harmful and potentially life-threatening implications for our guests. Peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, seafood, eggs, milk, wheat, and soy are j...  
1 January, 2013: Stars Shine Bright Every Day [5] file Managing GroupMonika Apr 10, 2013
The annual RI Hospitality Association and RI Hospitality Education Foundation “Stars of the Industry” gala is the perfect evening to cap off the year. It is truly one of my favorite events. We recognized more than 70 hospitality professiona...