Working together to #savehospitality.
This summer marked three years in my role as CEO of Hospitality Minnesota and President of the Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation. I often describe my work as integrating two organizations that combine aspects of turn arounds and start-ups while in the midst of a pandemic. The onset of the pandemic was one scenario we couldn’t imagine as we negotiated a merger that would bring the hospitality industry together under a single association with a more unified voice.
The merger was official two weeks following the first COVID-closure, when it was doubtful our resort, campground, outfitter and tourism-based members would be able to open the season. Our plans to build an integrated organization took a back seat to our efforts to fight for your ability to open and the financial relief we knew your businesses would need to weather the uncertainty ahead.
Starting at the first sign of trouble in February 2020 until today, we’ve worked strenuously to make certain the extreme impact on your businesses and our industry, has been front and center with elected officials and the media at the local, state and federal levels. With all we visibly accomplished there are many actions not visible because we were able to keep them from happening.
While the road to recovery will be long, we’ve accomplished a great deal, and it’s useful to take a moment to reflect on all that has occurred to help the hospitality industry successfully navigate the crisis and move forward. Your membership investment has made this possible and it is crucial to build a strong organization that works for you.
Even through the most difficult days, we stayed future-focused. Through the Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation, we’re building hospitality’s future. With 100 Minnesota high schools teaching the ProStart and the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program, and by continuing to award student scholarships, we’re working to strengthen the workforce pipeline by promoting hospitality as a great career path.
Members are at the heart of everything we do, and our efforts are driven by your experiences and priorities. As you have felt the impact of the pandemic, so has your association. To ensure our survival, we curtailed expenses immediately. With your support of this organization, you are demonstrating that what we do, together, matters to the future of your business and the hospitality industry in Minnesota.
Working together to advance the common interests during the most challenging period in recent history has served to strengthen our firm belief in our shared future and our resolve to ensure it. We are committed to building an association that fosters relationships that help our businesses grow and thrive. All hospitality industry members have a role to play, and you strengthen our collective impact by being a member and encouraging your peers to do so.
We appreciate your support and look forward to working with you in the year ahead.
I encourage you click on the links below to review all that has been accomplished by your association since the start of the pandemic. I hope you'll be proud of all we've accomplished together.
Liz Rammer | President and CEO
So, where do we go from here?
The pandemic revealed an unexpected vulnerability AND amplified the dynamics of this industry that make it what it is. We have met this crisis with incredible resiliency, innovation, tenacity, and commitment. Minnesota’s hospitality industry has dug deep to find new ways to serve and welcome guests, and the same can be said of your association’s staff and board.
Many of our post-merger plans were slowed down or put on hold while we worked to provide support and guidance to member businesses. Even so, the confusion caused by the constant changes in the public health landscape and its impact on your businesses could not diminish one thing we about which we are absolutely clear – we are stronger together.
We’ll build on that. Navigating the vagaries of the pandemic and rebuilding businesses will remain a priority for the foreseeable future, and we'll be moving forward to develop new programs and services to strengthen the value of your membership.
We are grateful for all the ways you have continued to show up – for your employees, for your communities, for your association and for your industry. Your membership investment, intelligence from “the field,” participation in our surveys and calls to action, and your notes of support and encouragement are greatly appreciated and serve as the fuel for what comes next.