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[Excerpt] I am looking forward to March, not only because winter is nearly over here in the Northern Hemisphere, but because it means that we will attend the Annual National HR in Hospitality Conference and Exposition to be held March 16 to 19 at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. This year’s conference, the second of its kind, represents the culmination of a vision shared by the leaders of Cornell’s Hotel School and its ILR School, as well as two prominent alumni. Before identifying these people and explaining the conference, a little background is necessary.

Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration has for eighty-five years enjoyed the reputation as the world’s preeminent hospitality management school. Similarly, Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, now known as the ILR School, has been regarded as the best school of its kind since being founded in 1948. The germ for the idea of a cosponsored conference began in spring 2006 when the ILR School named Harry Katz as dean. Dean Katz built bridges between the two schools when he agreed to become a cosponsor of the Hotel School’s Labor and Employment Law Roundtable and its Human Resource Roundtable. In July 2006, Michael Johnson became dean of the Hotel School. Around that same time, ILR alumnus Bruce Raynor, president of Unite Here (the hospitality industry’s largest union), and Ken Kahn, president of LRP Publications (a Center Partner that, in addition to its publications, develops and runs conferences on variety of topics), agreed to work with both the Hotel School and the ILR School to develop an HR in Hospitality Conference.


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