2017 OHLA Annual Conference & Gala
OHLA Hosts Largest Gathering of Hoteliers and Honors Stars of the Industry
This year, OHLA hosted one of its best and largest annual conferences to date over two days with nearly 500 attendees. Industry experts, hoteliers, partner companies, students and guest speakers gathered for a redesigned conference experience which included more sessions to choose from including lodging industry outlook, food and beverage trends, active shooter situations, customer experience, and more!
Attendees heard detailed analysis of the state and national lodging market, with clear indications of what to expect and plan for in 2018. Eric Belfrage of CBRE and David Sangree of Hotel & Leisure Advisors pointed to the continued strength of our market and continued hotel development, and comparisons of relative strengths and weaknesses of regions of the state. Multiple tracks focused on operations and unique programming such as how to better serve guests with disabilities or other significant challenges, customer service, increasing revenue, the future of small independent lodging, and new construction technologies. Workforce was a key theme, with multiple sessions on turnover, managing change, and finding the best talent. Best-selling author John Grubbs delivered a climactic address on leading our tribes and building real leadership and commitment among employees.
Special guests and important policymakers and officials were in attendance, including Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine, State Auditor Dave Yost, Development Services Director David Goodman, State Rep. Alicia Reece, and State Rep. and candidate for State Auditor Keith Faber.
The Stars Awards Dinner and Gala was truly a night to remember. Guests first gathered in the North Atrium of the Greater Columbus Convention Center for a reception and opportunity to take the world's largest selfie, which was displayed to conference guests on a 14-foot digital head made of 850,000 LED lights, the newest art installation in the remodeled convention center.
The reception was followed by our Annual Gala and Stars of the Industry Awards, kicked off by Award-winning BMI songwriter and Spin Doctors front-man Chris Barron. Barron performed the group’s mega hits “Little Miss Can't Be Wrong” and “Two Princes” before the awards program began.
Each year, the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, in partnership with local lodging councils around the state, presents the Stars of the Industry Awards in recognition of the outstanding and exemplary efforts of talented and dedicated hospitality professionals in the state. Nominations are accepted for individuals who go above and beyond in the performance of their duties and exceed an organization’s ordinary expectations.
Categories awarded at the 2017 Annual Conference and Gala included Ohio Server of the Year, Ohio Housekeeper of the Year, Ohio Front Desk Associate of the Year, Ohio Supervisor/Manager of the Year, Ohio Service Rockstar of the Year, Ohio General Manager of the Year, Unique Lodging of Ohio Property of the Year, and Hospitality Leadership Team of the Year.
Hospitality Leadership Team of the Year was awarded to:
The Hilton Columbus Downtown
Ohio Server of the Year was awarded to:
Cathy Thomas of Columbus Airport Marriott
Ohio Housekeeper of the Year was awarded to:
Ryne Sanford of the Hilton Columbus Downtown
Ohio Front Desk Associate of the Year was awarded to:
Lee Dratch of Columbus Airport Marriott
Ohio Supervisor/Manager of the Year was awarded to:
Ty Sindledecker of the Hilton Columbus Downtown
Ohio Service Rockstar of the Year was awarded to:
Norsius Nortila of Millennium Hotel Cincinnati
Ohio General Manager of the Year awarded to:
Carrie Richards of the Hilton Columbus at Easton
Unique Lodging of Ohio Property of the Year was awarded to:
The Welsh Hills Inn
Unique Lodging of Ohio Property of the Year Runner-Up was awarded to:
1830 Hallauer House Bed & Breakfast
Congratulations to all of our winners! We look forward to what all of your teams will accomplish in 2018!