CHRIE Communique applauding our hosting of the 2011 conference.
The Road to Tuskegee
Cynthia 5. Deale, Ph.D., is Immediate Past President of ICHRIE & Associate Professor of Hospitality Management, Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University.
As 2011 comes to a close, I, like many people, take stock of the past year and look ahead to the new year. As I look back over ICHRIE this past year, I have many fond memories and numerous things to be thankful for including our new case study initiative (thanks to Mariana Sigala), the SHARE Center (thanks to Steve Hood of Smith TravelResearch), the CVents partnership (thanks to Kathy McCarty and events), the restaurant manage ment challenge soon to be underway (thanks to Kathy McCarty and Knowledge Matters) a revitalized SIG Council (thanks to Dina Zemke), a better submission platform for the 2012 conference (thanks to Dennis Reynolds and the ICHRIE Research Committee), a leadership track at the Career Academy (thanks to Rich Ghiselli and the ICHRIE Professional Development Com mittee), the first ICHRIE Career Fair (thanks to Carl Boger), the ongoing development of an industry toolkit (thanks to our Industry folks), the emerging economies membership initiative under development (thanks to APac CHRIE and the ICHRIE Membership committee), working with a great board, and lots of other great activities and valuable contributions made by our members, as wellas numerous worthwhile conferences and meetings.
And the meetings and conferences are where I want to focus a few of my words as we look ahead to 2012. Last year, I had the privilege of attending a variety of excellent meetings for ICHRIE and its various federations and chapters. Recently, in October of this year, I had the pleasure of going to our Southeast CHRIE (SE CHRIE) Chapter's annual fall conference at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. The event was special in several ways. First, this conference was the inaugural ICHRIE-related event hosted by and taking place
at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Arguably, Tuskegee is one of the most famous HBCUs in the U.S. At our conference, we toured Booker T. Washington's gracious home, learned about everything that people can possibly do with a peanut or sweet potato at the George Washington Carver Museum, and stood in awe of all that we saw at the Tuskegee Airmen Museum.
ICHRIE, or in this case SE CHRIE, brought us to Tuskegee to share in this place steeped in important history. Booker T. Washington is a name that we all may know, but my guess is that not many of us have traveled to his home or visited the university he lead to national prominence. George Washington Carver is another well-known figure in US history, who devoted much of his life to improving economic conditions for farmers, but my guess is that not many of us have been to the campus or museum honoring his legacy. The Tuskegee Airmen are famous for their heroic efforts during World War II, but most of us probably know them best be cause of the movie that told their story. Yet, through SE CHRIE and our wonderful hosts at Tuskegee, including Dr. Steven Lonis-Shumate, at the conference we were able to stroll through this celebrated place in admiration and with respect and to have the pleasure of taking it all in with our ICHRIE friends. Thanks to all of the SE CHRIE members who traveled to Tuske gee and special thanks to Wanda Costen (the SE CHRIE Chapter president) and her son, Brumby Mcleod and his colleague from the College of Charleston, Larry Stalcup (treasurer of the SE CHRIE federation) and his wife Joan, Patricia Agnew, and Mary Roseman for the pleasure of their company throughout the weekend at the only university in the U.S. that is a National Historic Site.
I had not seriously given much thought to the idea that ICHRIE goes beyond being a vehicle for networking and sharing teaching and research ideas. It also allows us, as members, to have unique opportunities to learn about our world in thoughtful ways. The trip to Tuskegee was memorable, special and, I might add, a bit profound for those of us who ventured there this year. Without SE CHRIE, I might never have ventured to Alabama to seek out these historic sites and learn about these amazing, gifted, and courageous Americans.I am glad I did and bet that others who attended are also glad that they made the trip to the Kellogg Conference Center on the beautiful Tuskegee University campus. We met to share not only our research presentations, but also learning experiences about people we may have known of throughout much of our lives. Yet perhaps only now, through our time together at the SE CHRIE fall conference, do we truly appreciate them.
At the end of the conference, I think we left with a deeper understanding of the efforts put forth and the contributions to education and society made by those at Tuskegee and by their sense of grace, dignity, and honor. Thank you for the memories ICHRIE and SE CHRIE, and I look forward to creating new ones with all of you in 2012.