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Vice President, Membership & Marketing
401-223-1120, ext. 116
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.
“We are made of star-stuff. Our bodies are made of star-stuff. There are pieces of star within us all.”Monika
– 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 forward to the RI Hospitality Association’s Annual Meeting and ‘Stars of the Industry’ awards event. It’s a gathering of the best and brightest in our industry and is a truly good-time, good- fun, good-company event! This year, we again convened at Twin River Casino, and as usual, they made the place shine spectacularly.
This is our 28th year of hosting this event and we broke an attendance record. More than 900 people attended this celebration and we were sold out! Close to 100 awards were bestowed upon folks from every facet of our industry and our winners hailed from organizations representing hotels, restaurants, tourism, politics and allied businesses.
We were fortunate to have the Rhode Island Senate President, Senator Dominick Ruggerio and Rhode Island Speaker of the House, Representative Nicholas Mattiello with us, as well as several state house leaders and other dignitaries. It’s such a wonderful tribute to our industry when we see our state’s leaders recognize the impact that the hospitality industry has on Rhode Island’s economy.
Many of the awards pay tribute to employees; others feature vendor, tourism entities, emerging leaders and lifetime achievers. They are our servers, cooks, dish washers, department managers, general managers, valets, event managers and elected officials who do their best every day for the public that they serve. This year, we even awarded the President & CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association with the President’s Award. As our industry continues to flourish, grow and garner regional and national attention as a tourism driver, it’s wonderful that our sister organizations in bordering states work together to continue to drive business for the entire region. There is no ‘I’ or ‘me’ in our business, it’s all about the team.