From the Director

David Sherwyn

As the rain finally stops (maybe) here in Ithaca, we want to reach out to all our members and newsletter followers to update you on CIHLER and thank you for your continued support. As most folks know, this year our Center took over the 13th Annual HR in Hospitality Conference from LRP Publications. CIHLER had been in charge of the content since the Conference began, but last year LRP owner and CIHLER Board member, Ken Kahn, graciously gave us the entire conference with, to quote a phrase, all the rights and responsibilities. Thank you Ken! With the incredible generosity and tireless of work of our patron, John Ceriale, and the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, our conference featured 550 registered attendees, 71 speakers, and 40 exhibitors. We had an amazing time working with Industry leaders and creating a forum for the exchange of ideas that dominate our field and our industry! The conference could not have been a success (or even possible) without the tireless work of Hotel School Professor Bruce Tracey and our Program Manager Erica Heim. I don’t think Erica slept from January through April. The conference and the Center are jointly operated by Cornell’s Hotel and ILR Schools. It’s a good thing that we are now a Center because we could have never run the conference without the amazing work of ILR professors Harry Katz and Rick Hurd, who is CIHLER’s associated director. Thanks Bruce, Erica, Harry and Rick! Of course, now that the congratulations are over, we need to look forward and are already well into the planning stages of next year’s conference April 27-30th at the Loew’s Miami Beach!

As we move forward, we are excited that our ILR colleagues are working on creating our new Employee Representative Board. We hope to have a strong mix of union leaders, plaintiffs’ employment lawyers and other employee side representatives by the end of the year. If you are interested in learning more about this Board, please contact Rick Hurd ( Our Management Board continues to grow and we now have 39 members who provide intellect, guidance, thought leadership, and, of course, funding. We are thankful for their continued support and look forward to continued growth. If you are interested in this Board, please contact me (

As the summer approaches, we have a full slate of activities. This summer we will be holding Roundtables in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Washington D.C. In the fall we have Roundtables scheduled in Ithaca, Miami, and NYC. The NYC Roundtable will be dedicated to arbitration of employment disputes and will have leading scholars on both sides of the issue debating this important issue.

Speaking of important issues, the changing labor and employment environment continues to dominate industry concerns. From last year’s strikes, to joint employer issues, expanding discrimination laws, changes in overtime laws, tipping regulations, immigration, the tight labor market, technology, Me Too, predictive scheduling, and other state and local laws… industry leaders are navigating the employment environment and employee representatives are ensuring that employees are being treated fairly in the ever changing landscape. As the changes occur, we at CIHLER are working with all stakeholders to modernize and improve the industry’s employment relations landscape. We look forward to continuing our role in these interesting times.