HR in Hospitality and Cornell University Combo a Hit with HR Pros

May 28, 2014

Las Vegas, May 28, 2014 - The HR in Hospitality Conference, the only human-resource conference specifically for hospitality professionals, hosted its 2014 annual event in Las Vegas, April 28 - 30, attracting more than 500 professionals from various hospitality sectors including hotels, restaurants, airlines, and more.

Offering 20 education and hospitality-law focused sessions, plus Cornell University professor-led events including the HR TipsNTrends panel and the 5th Annual Cornell University Executive Summit, which focused on several hot issues including minimum wage, arbitration, hiring women, professional development, employee turnover, engagement, ADA, NLRB and more.

"HR professionals in the hospitality industry face a unique set of challenges and opportunities," said David Sherwyn, academic director of CIHLER and the John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources at the School of Hotel Administration. "Through our collaboration with the Cornell ILR School and LRP Publications, we are able to bring together the professionals who handle these issues on a daily basis. We were delighted to be part of another great HR in Hospitality conference and look forward to the ninth annual event in 2015."

A few highly popular takeaways from this year's conference originated from the HR TipsNTrends panel moderated by J. Bruce Tracy, a professor at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. The panel focused on various areas, including ways for conducting criminal background checks that have a business justification, gathering an annual pay analysis and ensuring job titles are in line with compensation, removing the middleman from the reporting process involving discrimination claims, avoiding bullying by the EEOC, and much more.

HR TipsNTrends panelists included Debbie Brown, VP of HR at Four Season Hotels and Resorts, Carolyn Clark, SVP of HR at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, and JoAnne Kruse, CHRO, American Express Global Business Travel. During this highly interactive session, attendees heard that minimum wage is now a pressing topic in 10 states and will be passed by people unfamiliar with business.

Brown added that minimum wage is a "front-and-center" issue for her organization and that paying servers and housekeepers the same $15 wage is "ridiculous." Clark added that the real wage of tipped employees was actually double their base wage, based on findings from a recent survey at Fairmont. If minimum wage increases, Clark says these employees will earn more than front line supervisors.

The 5th Annual Cornell University Executive Summit gathered topic suggestions from attendees prior to the conference to ensure experts answered the most pressing questions on the minds of HR professionals. The Summit weighed in on benefits, compensation, engagement, HR structure, unionized environment, wellness, and more.

Between sessions, attendees explored the Expo. The high-energy, vendor-filled Expo Hall offered networking opportunities, including discussion lunches. Plus, the venue housed exhibitors including Aetna, Achievers, Hcareers, Rosetta Stone, and others offering a variety of innovative solutions and services.

The next HR in Hospitality Conference & Expo will take place March 16 – 18, 2015 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. More details will be released in the fall. From now until next March, the conference continues virtually on LinkedIn, where the National HR in Hospitality Conference LinkedIn group maintains active discussions. Additionally, the conference can be found on twitter by searching the hashtag #HRinHosp and following the @HRinHospitality twitter handle. For media inquiries, please contact Rennette Fortune at 561-622-6520, ext. 8674 or email