Business & Finance

MFHA Hosts First New Orleans Career Enhancement Symposium

"Face the Challenges: Building a Future"

NEW ORLEANS, LA, August 24, 2006. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), a non-profit organization promoting the economic benefits of diversity in the industry, will host a mini-conference in New Orleans October 4 - 5, 2006. Held at The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, the first New Orleans Straight Talk Career Enhancement Symposium will offer workshops and information sessions aimed at maximizing the potential of mid-level managers. Welcome ceremonies will be led by Leah Chase, co-owner and renowned chef at New Orleans' famous "Dooky Chase" restaurant, and Gerry Fernandez, President and Founder of MFHA. The curriculum of this 2-day event will offer practical communication tools and guides on the art of cultivating multicultural talent and the initiating and leveraging of employee affinity groups. The symposium will also provide essential professional development and educational information through a variety of speakers, panelists and interactive discussions.

"The foodservice and hospitality industry in New Orleans continues to face a variety of challenges as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Just one of those challenges is the rapidly changing composition of the New Orleans workforce following the storm. Thus, it is now more important than ever that multicultural workplace training be implemented not only to bridge communication with the Hispanic community but to also encourage and develop African Americans and other minorities to grow from hourly employees to industry and civic leaders," stated Gerry Fernandez, MFHA founder and president.

The October seminar is a "must attend" for mid-level managers and directors of color, non-minority executives working in diversity-rich settings and other professionals interested in creating a diverse workplace through the development of minorities. Attendance at the Symposium is on a first-come, first-serve basis and is limited to 300 persons. The cost to register is $250 per person and can be done by visiting www.mfha.net. Registration is open now. For more information on the Straight Talk Career Enhancement Symposium in New Orleans including a complete agenda, visit www.mfha.net.

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Demand is Trending Up
Corporations and businesses are once again renewing their investments in people, strategic planning, and training and development. As a result, all indicators point to 2016 being a robust year for the hotel group meetings business. Group demand is strong and rates, especially during peak periods, are trending up. Still, hotels must continue to evolve to meet the changing expectations of group meeting planners and their clients. There are several trends and factors that are driving decision-making which planners have identified as being essential to the process. Though geographic location and room rates continue to be the most important factors when selecting a host property, food and beverage choices are becoming increasingly influential. Planners understand the value of first-class culinary options as these are often used to facilitate networking experiences. Another critical factor is the availability of sufficient bandwidth for high-speed wired and wireless connectivity to the internet. In addition, in an effort to eliminate unsightly and unwieldy power cords, planners are requesting the installation of mobile-device charging stations. These portable charging stations (which do not require devices to be plugged in) can be conveniently placed in common areas or directly in meeting rooms. Finally, there is a greater emphasis on teambuilding activities that are intended to challenge groups, and bring them closer together. Some hotels are offering scenic walking trails, GPS-aided scavenger hunts, kayaking into secluded coves or rollerblading on oceanfront boardwalks, among many other recreational activities. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.