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 Registration is open now. For more information on the Straight Talk Career Enhancement Symposium in New Orleans including a complete agenda, visit

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Architecture and Design: Unique, Timeless and Memorable Design
With hotel refurbishments typically taking place every eight to ten years for the soft elements, and every fifteen to twenty years for public spaces and bathrooms, owners and investors rely on architects and designers to get things right. Their solutions must satisfy a targeted demographic, be aesthetically timeless and durable, and fulfill the marketís desire for unique and memorable design. From re-thinking guestroom configurations to constructing dramatic public spaces, an effort is being made to recast hotels as the highlight of any business trip or vacation. In that regard, many architects have chosen to make a striking first impression, with an emphasis on the hotel lobby. These areas are being designed as multi-use spaces to accommodate casual or formal talks, individual or group work, and zones for social activity. Creative space segmentation is required, along with furniture that provides comfort and functionality. More extravagant entrance features also include indoor waterfalls, large chandeliers and multi-media stations. The bathroom is also an area of interest for designers in recognition of guest desires to experience luxury beyond their everyday lives. Spa-like features such as en-suite bedrooms, waterfall showers, over-sized bathtubs, his & hers sinks, giant towels, plush robes, and deluxe beauty items provide the promise of indulgent luxury. Additionally, hotel restaurants can no longer afford to be mere providers of three meals a day and a buffet. Signature restaurants are being designed to offer a genuine "wow" factor to both guests and external patrons alike. Along with sustainability concerns and an increased emphasis on local sourcing, these are some of the subjects in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be explored in the June issue of the Hotel Business Review.