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RIHA Annual Meeting Celebrates Industry Successes

The Rhode Island Hospitality Association (RIHA) and RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF) gathered on Dec. 1, 2021 for the association’s annual meeting, the first in-person celebration for the association since 2019. The celebration highlighted the accomplishments of members, teamwork and industry successes. Held annually, the gathering also serves as the official forum to elect new board members and thank outgoing members for their service. Outgoing chairman, Farouk Rajab of Providence Marriott Downtown, as well as incoming Chairman Bill Kitsilis of Angelo’s Palace Pizza, were among the honorees. Special guests included Gov. Dan McKee, Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, DBR Director Liz Tanner and SBA Regional Director Mark Hayward. Three NFL Football Hall of Famers, Ty Law, Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie, joined in the festivities, the latter being the founders of Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse at Bally’s Twin River in Lincoln, where the event was hosted. During the annual meeting, Secretary Pryor recognized the important collaborative role of the trade association in shaping and supporting COVID-19 related guidelines, restrictions and communications for the industry. Chairman Rajab received a citation of excellence from Gov. McKee. RIHA CEO and President Dale Venturini was presented with the inaugural Golden Pineapple Award, recognizing her outstanding efforts during the industry’s most difficult period. The pineapple serves as the emblem for RIHA, as it is a classic symbol of welcome and hospitality. Funds were also raised for the trade association, the new RI Hospitality Pineapple PAC and the education foundation.

 

Photos by Laura Widness.

 

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