Summit Background and Purpose

Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Mobile County Public School System Professional Development Center 1 Magnum Pass, Mobile, AL 36618 (off Schillinger Road N.)

Summit Background and Purpose

The purpose of the summit is to engage major stakeholders in a continuous conversation about our industry workforce challenges and demonstrate results from needs identified in the previous summit.  The 2018 Summit will provide participants with insight into the state of our industry’s employment and a progress report on accomplishments and innovative solutions implemented. As a direct outcome of the past summit, this year’s summit will focus on Southern Hospitality.

Summit Information

Registration Options

Individual Registration: Click Here
Group Registration: Call (251) 461-1902
Registration for Corporate Sponsors: Call (251) 461-1902

If you experience difficulty with registration, please email Dr. Evelyn Green at

Registration Fees
Early Bird Summit Registration - $145.00
On-site Registration - $175.00

Registration Dates
Early bird registration ends February 16, 2017 at 5:00 pm
On-site registration begins February 21, 2017 at 7:00am and ends at 10:00 am

Payment Method

Individual Registration: Credit card only.
Group Registration: Credit card, corporate check, or invoice. Call (251) 461-1902 to request invoice.

Cancellation Policy
No refunds.

Welcome Message from the Dean
College of Education and Professional Studies

On behalf of the College of Education and Professional Studies, welcome to the 2nd Annual Hospitality and Tourism Workforce Summit. With the establishment of the Hospitality and Tourism Workforce Innovation Alliance (HTWIA), we are excited to continue our collaboration with business and industry and our school district partners to further the mission of HTWIA while simultaneously growing the Hospitality and Tourism program. There are many opportunities ahead, and we are excited that you are joining with us on this journey. Thank you for linking with us at the Summit, and enjoy the time collaborating with colleagues for the betterment of our profession. We look forward to many great things in our future together!


Dr. Andi Kent

Andi M. Kent, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor

7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) District Office
Professional Development Center Lobby

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Cypress Room

All Summit attendees
(Breakfast prepared & served by Baker High School Hospitality & Culinary Signature Academy under the instruction of Mrs. Cora Evans.)

Magnolia Room 

Mayors and Invited Guests only.
(A brief presentation by Dr. Chip R. Bell on leading Southern Hospitality. Breakfast will be served.)

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
Cypress Room 

Presentation of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance
MCPSS JROTC, Baker High School & Montgomery High School under the direction of First Sergeant Watts and SFC Lee.)

Welcome to the Mobile County Public School System
Mrs. Martha L. Peek, Superintendent
Mr. Larry Mouton, Asst. Superintendent of Workforce Development

Welcome to the City of Mobile
The Honorable Sandy Stimpson, Mayor of Mobile, Alabama

8:45 a.m. – 9:10 a.m. 
Industry Employment

The Honorable Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of Labor, State of Alabama

Mr. Larry Gregory, Executive Director, Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association

9:10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
HTWIA Action Plan Update

Dr. Evelyn Kwan Green, Director, H&T Workforce Innovation Alliance, USA

F.L.I.G.H.T. (Future Leaders in Global Hospitality & Tourism) Program

Ms. Peggy Wilson, Director of Human Resources, Spectrum Resorts

Ms. Carissa Barrios, Front Office Supervisor, Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel

Y.E.S. to Hospitality: An Innovative Seasonal Workforce Solution

Ms. Anitra Henderson, Director, Civic Engagement, City of Mobile

The Honorable Robert Craft, Mayor of Gulf Shores, Alabama

Mr. Blake Phelps, Director, Economic Development, City of Gulf Shores

Current Resources & Opportunities for H&T Employers

Mr. Sydney Raine, President, Southwest Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment

Mr. Michael J Nelson, Apprenticeship & Training Representative, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship (TBC)

Dr. Abigail Baxter, Passage USA, University of South Alabama

USA HTM Industry Mentor Program

Ms. Rebecca Smith, Director, Human Resources, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, MGM International/Chair, Student Career Development & Placement Committee, HTM Advisory Board

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

A Peer Group & Future Leaders Exchange Luncheon
Cypress Room

Ms. Kristi July, MCPSS Signature Academy Coordinator, Workforce Development & MCPSS signature academies teachers

Summit participants will mix-and-mingle with industry peers, educators, HTM and MCPSS Signature Academies students to discuss best practices and strategies related to career pathing, mentoring and high school engagement opportunities, recruitment, talent development, and retention.

(Lunch prepared & served by Vigor High School & Murphy High School Hospitality & Culinary Signature Academies under the instruction of Mrs. Kala McCollum and Mrs. Stephanie Dillon.)

12:00 a.m. – 12:15 a.m.

Cypress Room

Dr. David Johnson, Provost and Sr. VP Academic Affairs, University of South Alabama

Dr. Andrea (Andi) Kent, Dean, College of Education & Professional Studies

Mr. David Clark, President, Visit Mobile and President, Dept. of Hospitality & Tourism Management Advisory Board

Culinary Signature Academies catering teams

Introduction of Keynote Speaker
Dr. Tony Waldrop, President, University of South Alabama

12:15 a.m. – 1:15 pm

Cypress Room

Southern Hospitality 2.0: A Renaissance of Innovative Service Excellence

Dr. Chip R. Bell, Customer Loyalty and Innovative Service expert and author of 8 national best-selling books on customer service. His latest book Kaleidoscope won the 2017 Best Book Award in the Business Book Category at the American Book Fest.(C)

(Students from MCPSS Signature Academies will join Summit participants for the Keynote Presentation.)

1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

MCPSS students will return to school after this session
Summit participants to sign up for Industry Mentor Program

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

#We ARE Southern Hospitality
Cypress Room

A panel discussion on how Southern Hospitality drives customer loyalty, debate if Southern Hospitality is sustainable and can it be replicated beyond the South as a value-unique competitive differentiator.


Dr. Robert Thompson, Interim Chair, Hospitality and Tourism Management, USA


Mr. Jeff Segan, VP of Hotel Operations, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, MS

Ms. Susan Miller, Director of Human Resources, Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, GA

Mr. Drew Fransen, EVP, Global Sales, Valor Hospitality, Atlanta, GA

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Southern Hospitality Leaders 2.0

Cypress Room

A panel discussion on what it takes to inspire and equip the next generation of hospitality leaders with the social grace and emotional intelligence of a Southern host.


Mr. Barry Bukstein, Concierge, Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel


Mr. Allen Merryman, Technical Supervisor, Career and Technical Education, MCPSS, Mobile, AL

Ms. Shemeika Brock, HR Manager, LuLu’s Landing, Inc., Gulf Shores, AL

Mr. Joseph Quilio, Director of Operations, Intercontinental, New Orleans, LA

Ms. Peggy Wilson, Director of Human Resources, Spectrum Resorts, Fort Morgan/Orange Beach, AL

2:30 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.
SO, WHAT’S NEXT? Exchange Briefings

Facilitators from Luncheon Breakout Groups

2:55 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

VP. Lynne Chronister, Research & Economic Development, USA

Sponsorship PDF 

Sponsorship Levels

Platinum $10,000
Keynote Sponsor

8 Complimentary Summit registrations

Prominently displayed exclusive sponsor signage

Opportunity to provide promotional items for swag bags

Large logo on all event print and electronic media including backdrop

Verbal Acknowledgement at the event


Gold $5000

5 Complimentary Summit registrations

Opportunity to provide promotional items for swag bags

Medium sized logo on all event print and electronic media including backdrop

Verbal Acknowledgement at the event


Silver $3000

3 Complimentary Summit registrations

Opportunity to provide promotional items for swag bags

Small logo and link on all event print and electronic media including backdrop

Bronze $1000

1 Complimentary Summit registration

Opportunity to provide promotional items for swag bags

Small logo and link on all event print and electronic media including backdrop

Friends of HTWIA $500

Acknowledgement on program guide

Opportunity to provide promotional items for swag bags


Platinum Sponsor

Wind Creek Hospitality Logo


Gold Sponsor

The Hangout Hospitality Group


Silver Sponsors

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Logo

Visit Mobile

PCH Hotels and Resorts Logo


Bronze Sponsors

The Honorable Mike Dow

 Sweet Home Alabama


Regions Bank


Friends of HTWIA

Spectrum Resorts Logo


Merchant Foods Logo