Attending the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers Conference

[MUSIC]. Hi, my name is Shawn Murray. I’m one of the assistant professors at Montgomery County Community College. Project-based learning is a critical component of what students at Montgomery County Community College experience in a classroom. This year, we had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers Conference, NABHOOD, in Miami, Florida. Now let’s hear from some of our amazing students. The NABHOOD Conference in Miami was a wonderful experience. The entire event really refreshed my motivation as well as my mindset. It was great to observe diversity and inclusion and its greatest forms, such as, networking with other students from different backgrounds and hotel and business owners which really resonates to the importance of multicultural tourism in our industry. It was humbling to see what I learn in class become a reality in front of my eyes. I have to say it was great to see women on the panel sharing their experiences and encouraging us young women. I want to extend both my gratitude to Mr. Andy Ingraham, CEO and President of NABHOOD, and Montgomery County Community College for providing this wonderful life-changing experience for me and my colleagues. My experience at the NABHOOD Conference was a very enjoyable one. When I was there, I was able to do a lot of networking that it was actually able to give me the job I have today. Along with learning the ABCs of owning and running a hotel, I am actually now management at one of the local hotels in the area in Blue Bell. It is a very exciting experience. I always recommend it. I also got the chance to meet Bo Kimble and he was one of my childhood basketball stars that I love. So it was a very fun experience. We also got to do a little tour around Little Havana and got to learn the area of Miami and how the hotel industry works there. So it was a very enjoyable experience. Attending NABHOOD Conference was my first professional conference. Being able to network and conversing with a lot of professional hotel owner to developer was amazing. I had an opportunity to stay in a Copper Door B&B hotel co-owned by Jamila Rose. Conversing with her was very important to me for on many different levels. To see that a young African-American woman so successful and to accomplish, that was amazing and I would definitely love to do it again. My name is Greg DeShields, I’m the executive director of PHL Diversity. We are a business development division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Our job is to secure diverse multicultural meetings and conventions to the city of Philadelphia. But beyond that, we also value the impact that an organization like the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau can have on the young minds of those who have aspiring careers in the hospitality industry. And to that degree, we collaborate with a variety of academic institutions. So PHL Diversity in the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau is dedicated to developing the minds of those future leaders in the hospitality industry and to that end, we support a variety of different programs. We have our own hospitality education day which gathers about 250 11th and 12th graders from the Philadelphia School District. But we also support the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality Conference. That is to ensure that students from both two-year and four-year academic institutions have the ability to attend this fantastic conference and learn about their career options within the hospitality and tourism industry. But more specifically, we’ve partnered with Montgomery County Community College as students pursue careers and learning about owning and operating hotels at the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers Conference, it takes place each July in Miami. This year we had a fantastic representation from Montgomery County, and they were able to engage with a variety of experiences from a backhouse tour to learn about how a hotel actually works, to sitting in sessions learning about how hotels are financed, who the brands are, the products, and the different nuances of the industry that can help them secure and position themselves for a great opportunity in the industry. At the end of the day, the hospitality industry is probably one of the most resilient industries that anyone could pursue. Whether it’s in good times or bad times, people are always going to want some place to sleep and eat. We at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau on PHL Diversity are 100 percent behind the idea of engaging young minds and not just the academics associated with this industry but the practical fundamentals, and that’s where the collaboration of a corporate partner in an academic institution wins all the time. So thank you so much and we look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia. From corporate partnerships to exploring transfer opportunities to amazing institutions such as Temple University, Cornell University, or Florida International University, the NABHOOD conference provides an opportunity for Tourism Hospitality Management students at Montgomery County Community College an opportunity to not only learn the ABCs of hotel ownership and development, but also the opportunity to potentially meet their first business partner. To learn more about project-based learning and how our students are engaged with hotel entrepreneurship and ownership, please feel free to visit our website or reach out to me at [email protected]

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