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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
38 That’s a Legislative Wrap! newfile Managing GroupMonika Aug 16, 2018
After a marathon session of debates and a flurry of votes, Rhode Island’s General Assembly has adjourned for the summer. With hundreds of bills in the mix, the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) spent countless hours carefully monitoring each...  
37 Summer in New England: Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard file Managing GroupMonika Jul 05, 2018
When many of us think about summer vacations, we think about jumping on a plane and traveling to a far-off destination. However, for those of us who are fortunate enough to live in New England, there’s no need to venture too far to enjoy som...  
36 Our Next Generation of Culinary Stars: Cooking and Planning Their Hearts Out file Managing GroupMonika Jun 11, 2018
Recently, Providence, RI hosted the National ProStart® Invitational (NPSI), the country’s premier secondary-school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. We had some wonderful judges visit from all over the nation as...  
35 Swimming Down “STREAM” Managing GroupMonika May 15, 2018
Education is truly the foundation of success no matter what career path you choose. Some learning is done in traditional classrooms, and more practical experience is gained in the thick of it in a restaurant or hotel kitchen, lodging establi...  
34 The #MeToo Movement is More than a Hashtag file Managing GroupMonika Mar 02, 2018
While the #MeToo movement has become synonymous with the entertainment industry, its reach is far deeper than the bright lights and golden statues of Hollywood. From politics, to business, to manufacturing, to hospitality, the potential for ...  
33 “We are made of star-stuff. Our bodies are made of star-stuff. There are pieces of star within us all.” file Managing GroupMonika Jan 02, 2018
“We are made of star-stuff. Our bodies are made of star-stuff. There are pieces of star within us all.” – Carl Sagan There is no greater honor for me each year then to be part of our industry’s largest celebration! Each November, I look forw...  
32 Paid Sick Leave Passes RI Legislature file Managing GroupMonika Oct 10, 2017
In September, both the Rhode Island House and Senate passed legislation that will require companies to give employees paid sick leave. Although the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) is generally opposed to mandates that impact the employer-e...  
31 When did ‘Entry Level’ become Negative? file Managing GroupMonika Sep 19, 2017
If there is one theme that has dominated the political landscape in Rhode Island for the last decade, it is without a doubt jobs and the economy. Though we have seen a rise in the local economy since the recession, talk of job creation still...  
30 Taking the High Road – the Road Less Traveled file Managing GroupMonika Jul 24, 2017
Normal 0 false false false EN-US KO AR-SA Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association It is increasingly difficult to take the high road in today’s poli...  
29 Paid Sick Leave – it’s Nothing to Sneeze at Managing GroupRIHA May 08, 2017
In Rhode Island and across the nation, we’ve seen a host of legislation introduced by out-of-state special interest groups that have squarely targeted the hospitality industry. From eliminating the federal tipped wage, to raising minimum wag...  
28 Buying Local for the Holidays Managing GroupMonika Nov 15, 2016
The holiday season is fast approaching…from a retail perspective, it seems to come earlier and earlier each year. While I was shopping for Halloween candy this year, I was sidestepping Christmas trees, holiday decorations and specialty choco...  
27 The Cost of ‘Chip’ Cards and Protecting Against Fraud Managing GroupMonika Oct 04, 2016
By Dale Venturini, President and CEO, R.I Hospitality Association  Many of us currently have an EMV credit or debit card – also known as a ‘chip’ card. These safer versions of the traditional magnetic-strip cards were designed to prot...  
26 Gluten is Not Free in Restaurants file Managing GroupMonika Sep 01, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association We all know people who struggle with food allergies. From peanut butter, to shellfish, to strawberries, to dairy, the idea of dining out when one has a food allergy can be an ...  
25 Managing a Better Future file Managing GroupMonika Jun 30, 2016
The hospitality industry is a continuously growing segment of the U.S. economic picture. This year alone, the restaurant industry is expected to realize $783 billion in sales and employ 14.4 million in good-paying jobs, according to the N...  
24 Partnerships – They’re Not Always the Obvious Choice file Managing GroupMonika Jun 06, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association I’ve written extensively about the need to collaborate with organizations that share the same business interests. Whether a business partner’s mission is within your organizat...  
23 How Important is a Proactive Crisis Plan? Your Business Could Depend on it. Managing GroupMonika May 05, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association   With the spate of negative media headlines surrounding restaurants that have experienced foodborne or human-contact illness, it is critically important that every eatin...  
22 Where Have the Teens Gone? file Managing GroupMonika Apr 04, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association It used to be that almost every teenager had a job in the hospitality industry. With flexible hours and class-friendly scheduling, our industry was the perfect landing spot for h...  
21 The Real Cost of Foodborne Illness file Managing GroupMonika Feb 02, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association Our food supply system, while infinitely safer and better regulated than most other parts of the world, still has its challenges. We’ve all seen the headlines and recalls from E....  
20 “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” file Managing GroupMonika Dec 30, 2015
“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” – Les Brown Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association  As we close out another year and ring in 2016, I have been fortunate to once again cele...  
» 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...