Spring Conference Educational Sessions 


Working with a board: is Your Nonprofit Making the Right Moves to Stay on Track Legally?

Presented by Tish Mogan, PANO    April 3 @ 9:45 a.m.

Do your board of directors and staff have the knowledge they need to ensure appropriate legal oversight of your organization? Do you have the essential legal, regulatory and governance practices in place for review of mission and programs, policy oversight, board responsibilities, fundraising and more? This program will address the areas covered in the Standards for Excellence Ethics and Accountability Code and provide tools to promote that oversight. Join Tish Mogan from PANO to review doable methods to assess your legal compliance in all areas of nonprofit organization and governance.

Pricing in a Social World

Presented by Breffni Noone, Ph.D., PSU School of Hospitality Management    April 3 @ 11:15 a.m.

Consumers have more information than ever before at the point of purchase. In order to continue to build effective pricing and positioning strategies, hospitality managers need to know how consumers use this information with price to make a purchase decision.  In this session, Penn State School of Hospitality Management Associate Professor and revenue management expert Breffni Noone will present the results of some original research she conducted to help hospitality managers understand how consumers behave in today’s social world, and will provide tips for incorporating these results into pricing and positioning strategies.

Fun in the workplace and other strategies for managing employee turnover

Presented by Michael Tews, Ph.D., PSU School of Hospitality Management    April 3 @ 11:15 a.m.

Since the publication of The Service Profit Chain in 1997, it has become prevalent to focus on creating a great-place-to-work culture in order to enhance success in the service business. In this session, Penn State School of Hospitality Management Associate Professor and organizational behavior expert Michael Tews will expand on the subject by providing real strategies by using a positive workplace environment to reduce turnover.

Panel Discussion: The Odd Couple-Coexisting in a sharing economy

Intro Presentation: Mark Woodworth, CBRE;  Panelists: Cammy Houser, Airbnb; Dee Fegan, 30 Timber Road B&B; Moderated by Fritz Smith, Visit Philadelphia    April 3 @ 2 p.m.

The rise of the sharing economy has made an enormous impact on the tourism industry and the way people travel. There has been no more prominent face of this movement than Airbnb, the start-up company that has been changing the vacation landscape since 2008. How have things changed at Airbnb in the last nine years? How is this new platform coexisting with traditional travel options? How can PRLA members work alongside Airbnb to provide top-notch travel experiences to their customers? Join us for an informative panel session featuring Cammy Houser from Airbnb, Mark Woodworth from CBRE Hotels and Dee Fegan from 30 Timber Road Bed and Breakfast. Fritz Smith from Visit Philadelphia will moderate this discussion, which will include perspectives and statistical data from across the hospitality industry. 


Wage & Hour 101

Presented by Andrea Kirshenbaum, Post & Schell PC    April 3 @ 2 p.m.

The session will cover the full range of employee relations challenges that employers confront on a day-to-day basis as well as tips and recommendations on best practices to adhere to all federal, state and local employment laws. 


Sustainable food procurement & operational procedures

Presented by Jeff Clark, Conserve    April 3 @ 2 p.m.

Don't stumble blindly into sustainability. You didn’t open your restaurant a plan, and you didn't start serving without a menu. Jeff Clark, program director of the National Restaurant Association's Conserve, will discuss how to establish a plan, set goals, and map out the tactics to employ on your path to sustainability. 

Federal forecast

Presented by Matt Walker, NRA; Chris Burgoyne, AHLA    April 3 @ 3:30 p.m.

Things in D.C. are changing, and as the new administration gets more comfortable what federal legislative issues will rise to the surface?  Join Troy Flanagan from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and Matt Walker from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) as they predict what will move forward and what won’t in the new session—in addition to outlining some of their association’s federal priorities.


The (anticipated) effect of Trumpism on the economy

Presented by Mark Woodworth, CBRE Hotels    April 3 @ 3:30 p.m.

Of course, no one really knows what effect of the Trump presidency will have on the economy. Certainly (most of) the business community is optimistic, but the proof as they say, will be in the pudding. Will President Trump be able to keep the promises that would jump start business and will the effects be as “huge” as the President has promised. Mark Woodworth, as one of the leading authorities on the hotel business, has been accurately predicting lodging trends for decades. In this session, you’ll have the opportunity to hear Mark’s predictions on the future of the American economy considering there’s a “new sheriff in town.” In addition to his precise forecasting experience, Mark is a member of the highly-respected Conference of Business Economists.

Legislative Update with Melissa Bova

Presented by Melissa Bova, PRLA    April 3 @ 4:45 p.m.

Melissa Bova, vice president of government affairs, will provide a broad overview of PRLA’s legislative agenda including insight into the current climate of the legislature, an overview of PRLA’s state legislative priorities, local issues affecting the industry, and where your PAC contributions are being spent.  

Impact of the Trump Administration on travel and tourism

Panelists: Adam Sacks, Tourism Economics; Don Welsh, DMAI; Moderated by Craig Davis, Visit Pittsburgh    April 4 @ 9:45 a.m.

Shortly after taking office, President Trump’s administration issued an “immigrant travel ban” and a crackdown on illegal immigration was announced.  What effect will these and other actions of the new administration have on travel & tourism in the United States?  In this session, Tourism Economics President Adam Sacks will present predictions based on similar historical situations.  He will be joined by travel industry leaders Don Welsh and Craig Davis to discuss his findings and share insights as to the foreseeable future of travel & tourism. 


Create a frictionless journey to engage the mobile-first customer

Presented by Jeff Fromm, FutureCast    April 4  @ 11 a.m.

In this break out, Jeff Fromm will provide examples of how a mobile-first consumer seeks a friction-free customer experience and what destination brands can do to create better online experiences. This session will build on the dynamic keynote from the earlier in the day and provide a deeper dive into how today's online shopper is tomorrow's online buyer.