CIC Agenda

Winning the Race for Talent – How to Find, Hire and Keep the Best!


All events will take place at the Ronald Reagan Building (unless otherwise indicated):


8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.marker Young Professionals Community Service Project (OFF-SITE!)
Young Professionals only (39 and younger)

D.C. Central Kitchen
2121 First St SW | Washington, D.C. 20024

Please plan to arrive by 8:45 a.m. to allow time for check-in at DCCK.

SHFM's Young Professionals have the opportunity to spend the morning giving back at D.C. Central Kitchen's brand new facility. SHFM volunteers will work alongside staff and students to cut, chop, peel and prep fresh produce as we prepare balanced meals for the community. Learn about the project here. Limited capacity - be sure to register early!

Important Info: Please sign and bring with you a copy of the Volunteer Waiver and COVID-19 Vaccine Form. All attendees must have proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Transportation is on your own. Dress Code:

  • Long pants (no leggings, no shorts)
  • Closed toe shoes
  • No tank or halter tops
  • Hair must be up and out of face (DCCK will provide hair nets)
  • Masks are not required (optional choice)
marker9:00 a.m. Pre-Conference Registration Opens
Asset 39:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Operators Session*
Client Liaisons, Self-Operators or Integrated Facility Managers only(No additional fee)If you’re an Operator*, plan to come together to exchange ideas with your colleagues during this interactive session. Attendees become the program as they participate in facilitated and insightful dialogue on topics of mutual interest. A survey will be sent in advance of the conference to determine critical issues that are top of mind with today’s operators. Bring your challenges, ideas and solutions to the table and walk away with resources from fellow operators who have similar responsibilities. Lunch will be served immediately after the session.
Asset 311:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Foundation Mentorship Program Lunch

This is a time for those participating in the mentorship program to network over lunch.

Asset 112:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Operator Lunch*
Client Liaisons, Self-Operators or Integrated Facility Managers only (No additional fee)

*Contract management companies will be contacted separately regarding their designated representative.


12:30 p.m.        marker CIC Registration Opens
Asset 31:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Welcome and Session One | Starting Off Strong – Acquiring The Best

George Rivera III, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, Society for Human Resource Management
Jennifer Velazquez, Head of Talent Acquisition - Workplace Experience Group, Aramark
Julie Ann Wilkinson, Senior Group Product Manager, Experience Services, JLL

Most will agree that acquisition is one of the most challenging steps in winning the race for talent. This crucial aspect of finding the best has become more demanding in the current work environment.

How do we attract high-performing talent with a hospitality mind-set? What can be done to appeal to these individuals? Are there factors that differentiate one opportunity from another?

Hear from workplace professionals as they share insights on:

  • Talent Acquisition Trends – what business leaders should be tracking
  • Amenities – what innovative approaches are most effective
  • Talent Sources – where to find candidates in today’s marketplace
Asset 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Networking Break

Sponsors will be exhibiting at two defined times to share the latest innovations in products and services. Please be sure to show your support to our generous sponsors, who have made this conference possible, by browsing their innovations!

Asset 23:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.   Session Two | Setting the Pace: Onboarding for Success

Mahlet Tesfatsion, Director, HR Business Partner, Sodexo (Moderator)
Richard Brown, Strategic Initiatives & Orientation, FLIK Hospitality Group
Raabia Shafi, Founder + CEO, Raabia Shafi Consulting

They’ve signed an acceptance letter. Now how do we provide a solid onboarding experience that welcomes them into the organization’s culture and sets them up for success? Join industry insiders as they provide advice on how to make the most of this critical period. Learn from a moderated panel discussing:

  • Top Priorities in the First 30, 60 & 90 Days
  • Essential Engagement Methods
  • Best Keys to Training
  • The Influence of Varied Learning Styles
  • Creating a Hospitality Mindset

Gain a new understanding of onboarding’s essential role and the latest thinking on how to be successful.

Asset 14:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.   Networking Break & Exhibits 

This the final opportunity to browse sponsor innovations in products and services!

Asset 24:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Session Three | Going the Distance: Retaining the Winners

Lynn M Cowart, Chief Operations Officer, Co-Founder, Talent Dimensions
Staci Drilling, People and Culture Director,  North America, ISS Guckenheimer

Many say retaining your best is the ultimate measure of success in winning the race for talent. Discover some of the latest trends and techniques to accomplishing that goal as experts explore:

  • What employees value in their jobs today
  • Why people are leaving and staying
  • How to retain high-performing talent
  • How to create significant value in the hospitality workplace
  • What companies are doing to retain their talent pool
  • What resources are available to assist

Focus on retention and engagement strategies that work while completing the course and going the distance.

Asset 16:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Networking Reception
Connect with your fellow attendees at a “meet and greet” designed to build business relationships! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as you network—the perfect close to an insightful conference.
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