It is no longer simply business as usual for hotel owners and operators. There are disruptive forces at all levels of business, from labor challenges and rising HR costs to rapidly evolving technology, changing guest expectations and new distribution demands. This year’s Washington Lodging Convention will arm you with the latest intel and fresh strategies for weathering the challenges that are coming your way. Here’s a preview of the speakers who will take on the disruptions in the economic, consumer and market climates: 

Gary Hernbroth, Training for Winners

A sought-after speaker, trainer and performance coach, Gary Hernbroth spent 18 years in the hospitality industry before launching a career helping teams re-tool for success in disruptive times. He knows the ins and outs of hotel operations and sales, and hoteliers value the straight-talking, real-world approach he brings to his trainings. He’s helped an A list of hospitality clients master difficult market challenges, and he’ll help you rethink what you do to motivate team members to deliver results.


Steve Lerch, PhD, Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council

As executive director and chief economist at the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, Steve Lerch’s job is to look into the future and predict what economic activity in Washington state will look like over the next five years. He and his team need to get it right, as the forecasts they develop are used to build the state’s budgets. At the Convention, he’ll update you on where the U.S. and Washington economies are heading and what they may have in store for Washington’s hospitality businesses.

Glenn Haussman, Hotel Management magazine and Rouse Media

As an editor-at-large at Hotel Management magazine, lodging trends expert, featured keynote speaker, and consummate traveler, Glenn Haussman lives and breathes hospitality. He’s been closely observing how the traditional rules of hospitality are morphing in response to radical changes in the hospitality ecosystem, yet despite all of the potential pitfalls, Glenn sees this as an era of unprecedented opportunity. At the convention, Glenn will debunk commonly held lodging industry myths and provide a clear path through marketplace changes that can lead to future success. 

Irvin W. Sandman, Sandman Savrann PLLC

Irv Sandman, attorney at law, returns to the Convention to lead the ever-popular Owners Forum, a discussion with industry leaders about the challenges, opportunities, and strategies impacting hotel portfolios. He’ll be joined by Yogi Hutsen (president & CEO of Coastal Hotel Group), Shaiza Damji (principal and managing director of 360° Hotel Group), Murray Dow, II (president and CEO of The Dow Hotel Company), and Jeff McKee (co-founder and managing director of Premier Capital Associates). Irv is a recognized authority on hotel law and the hotel industry, the editor-in-chief of the Washington State Hospitality Law Manual, Third Edition, and a co-founder of the Northwest Hotel Investment Forum.

Greg Duff, Garvey Schubert Barer

Greg Duff is chair of Garvey Schubert Barer’s hospitality, tourism and travel group, and his legal practice is directed at the variety of operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality and travel industry clients. He also serves as counsel and legal advisor to AH&LA and HSMAI and is frequent speaker on national distribution issues. His presentation at this year’s Convention will deepen your understanding of distribution to help you position yourself to better weather the changing world of distribution. 

Catharine Morisset and Davis Bae, Fisher Phillips

Fisher Phillips employment law attorneys Catharine Morisset and Davis Bae will deliver a timely presentation on what you need to have in place when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrives at your door. You’ll learn what you need to do to mitigate the potential fallout from an ICE investigation, including legal fees, lost productivity, steep fines, and the possible expansion into other workplace compliance issues. Catharine is a partner in the firm's Seattle office and represents employers in state and federal courts, on appeal, and also before the EEOC and similar state agencies in all aspects of workplace law. Davis Bae is a regional managing partner and focuses his practice on providing effective immigration solutions for companies in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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