Presented by Cross Employee Benefits & Northeast Delta Dental


Thank you all who attended! See you next year!


Join us at the Nonantum Resort & Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine

October 23rd & 24th


Not to be missed!


Panels and Seminars will address:

  • The latest research and tools to help you target your ideal customers (from B&Bs to large hotels)
  • Current national trends and best practices for the changing restaurant industry
  • Cannabis: from the latest Maine regulations to tourism marketing
  • Social Media: In-house or outsource? Using tools such as Instagram & Facebook Live to boost business.
  • Labor pains in Maine: How to outsmart staffing issues, master retention and handle audits.
  • Dialing into digital sales: Make online booking, reservations and reviews work for your business.

Two celebratory nights of live music, a mixology mix-off, dinner & trade show held in two of Maine’s classic waterfront resorts.


For registration questions contact:

Deals for new members apply, contact:

For room reservations call 1-888-205-1555 for the Nonantum or 207-967-3331 for the Colony. Ask for the Innkeeper Event Rate: $99 single, $109 double occupancy and $169 ocean view.


We look forward to seeing you there!

Sold Out


Sold Out

The Nonantum Resort and The Colony Hotel 

Monday, October 23rd – Nonantum Resort


11:00am – Registration Opens in the Lobby


1:00pm – 1:15pm – Official Welcome – Ballroom         

Our CEO Steve Hewins and Summit Co-Sponsors, Cross Employee Benefits and Northeast Delta Dental, greet attendees.


1:15pm – 2:30pm Keynote Presentation

Be Inspired with Christina Miranda, Co-Founder Redpoint Marketing – Inspiration can transform stagnancy into brilliance, challenges into opportunities, and ordinary into extraordinary.  Learn how our associations are uniting to lead and succeed in today’s challenging hospitality sector. (Q&A to follow) Click here to learn more about Christina and Redpoint Marketing.

2:45pm – 4:30pm – Opening Sessions


Select the one that is right for you!

Marketing for Independent Hotels with Holly Zoba, Senior VP, Signature Worldwide – Explore effective strategies using the right tools to optimize your hospitality plan. Learn to craft messages that lend drama to your inn or hotel’s story and expand your customer base. Click here to learn more about Holly. Ballroom

Cutting Edge Trends and Best Practices for Independent Restaurants with Hudson Riehle, Senior VP, National Restaurant Association – Topics include consumer demand, food preparation, technology, human resources, marketing and operations. Finishing up with a Restaurant Round Table – Free flowing discussion of statewide hospitality issues and how the Association should be involved. Click here to learn more about Hudson. 95 Ocean Room


4:30pm to 5:30pm Free Time


5:30pm – 7:30pm Trade Show Happy Hour at The Colony Hotel

Mingle with leading hospitality suppliers and network as talented bartenders from Southern Maine shake up the latest cocktails in our Mixology Mix-off. Vote for the best as you encounter new products and services. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, come hungry! Grand Dining Room


7:30pm Music from The Windmills on The Colony’s veranda. Dessert and Coffee in the Marine Room


Tuesday, October 24th – Colony Hotel 

Registration will be moved to the Colony.


6:30am to 7:30am – Rise and Shine on the Ocean, The Colony – Beachfront

Join us for morning fitness on the beach.


7:30am to 9:00am State of the Industry Breakfast, The Colony – Grand Dining Room

Steve Hewins and Greg Dugal discuss our past successful year, future trends and share the direction our organization will take in 2018.


9:15am to 10:15am – Social Media Panel – Carriage House

Social media is changing the way we eat and travel. Hotels and restaurants that embrace free visual marketing tools like Instagram gain business. Mary Strain of the Migis Hotel Group, Don Littlefield of Maine Brew Bus and Dream Local Digital founder Shannon Kinney share best social practices. (Q&A to follow) Moderated by Kathleen Pierce 


10:30am to 11:30am – Dialing into Digital Sales – Carriage House

A panel of representatives: Lyndsey Bjork of, Ashley Audet of Expedia and Peter Gosdanian, District Director Northeast for Open Table discuss the ins and outs of this here-to-stay online reality. (Q&A to follow)


12:00 – 2:00pm – Lunch and Keynote Presentation with Kevin Hancock – Grand Dining Room

Maine Innkeepers Annual MeetingJean Ginn Marvin, Association Chairperson conducts the brief formalities.

Hospitality Workforce TrainingDerek Langhauser, President, Maine Community College System.

Kevin Hancock, president of one of Maine’s oldest family run businesses, Hancock Lumber, shares a transformational personal story guaranteed to empower. Not for Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse, includes signed copy of his book. To learn more about Kevin and his book “Not for Sale” click here.


2:30pm to 3:30pm – Labor Pains in Maine – Carriage House

A panel of hospitality experts will discuss how to outsmart staffing issues, master retention and handle audits. The panel will include Allyson Cavaretta – Director of Sales & Marketing of the Meadowmere Resort, Laurel McClead of Drummond Woodsum’s Labor and Employment Group, and Garret Oswald – Director of the State Workforce Investment Board, Maine Department of LaborModerated by Greg Dugal

3:45pm to 4:45pm – Cannabis: From Regulation to Tourism – Carriage House

The newly emerging marijuana industry could be a boon to hoteliers and restaurateurs. Maine’s top lawyers on the subject, Ted Kelleher and Hannah King of Drummond Woodsum will lead a panel discussion along with State Sen. Roger Katz and Lynn Tillotson, CEO of Visit Portland. Moderated by Greg Dugal

5:30pm to 7:00pm Gala Cocktail Reception – The Nonantum

Join us for a rousing start to an evening of celebration!


7:00pm – 8:30pm MEIA AND MERA Dinner – The Nonantum

A feast fit for Maine’s leading hoteliers and restaurateurs! Featuring the music of Jim Ciampi and a live auction, and culminating with our Awards presentation.


8:30pm Celebrate under the stars into the night! More big surprises and details to follow.

Nonantum Resort

Where Traditions Begin

The Nonantum has provided the setting for celebrating life’s special events – and quiet vacation retreats – for more than a century. Our seasonal waterfront resort offers casually elegant accommodations, award-winning dining, on-site activities, boat and trolley tours, and an ideal location close to the shops and galleries of Dock Square, and the beaches. *(Open seasonally, end of April through mid-December).

Colony Hotel

The Colony Hotel is a recognizable landmark from land and sea overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Kennebunk River and private beach! The 1914 resort is a picturesque getaway with 125 guestrooms in five buildings each with its own distinctive style and ocean, river, or garden view. Two ocean view restaurants serve fresh New England fare and lobster at every meal. The Colony has been the proud host to many of Kennebunkport’s most famous visitors as well as guests who want to experience classic New England charm in a beautiful historic setting.



As the Senior Vice President of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association, Hudson Riehle directs the Association’s consumer, economic, market, human resources, tourism and operations research as well as oversees its extensive knowledge center activities.  Frequently cited by major national and international news organizations and appearing on national television broadcasts, he has authored a variety of articles and serves as an information source and spokesperson for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Mr. Riehle received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Skidmore College in New York and his Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Appointed by the Secretary of Labor, he has been a member of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Research Advisory Council; a former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Alexandria (VA) Convention and Visitors Association; a member of the Center for Food Integrity Consumer Research Advisory Panel and the Wharton Executive Advisory Panel;  and is currently included in the current edition of Who’s Who in America.

KEVIN HANCOCK is the President of Hancock Lumber Company. Established in 1848, Hancock Lumber operates ten retail stores and three sawmills that are led by 475 employees. The company also grows trees on 12,000 acres of timberland in Southern Maine. Hancock Lumber is a multi-year recipient of the ‘Best Places to Work in Maine’ award. The company is also a past recipient of the Maine Family Business of the Year Award, the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence, and the MITC ‘Exporter of the Year’ award. Kevin is a past chairman of the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association, as well as the Bridgton Academy Board of Trustees.  Kevin is a recipient of the Ed Muskie ‘Access to Justice’ Award, the Habitat For Humanity ‘Spirit of Humanity’ Award, the Boy Scouts of America ‘Distinguished Citizen’ Award, and Timber Processing Magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ Award.  Kevin also spent 20 years coaching middle school basketball for the Lake Region school district. Kevin is a graduate of Lake Region High School and Bowdoin College.  He is also a frequent visitor to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In 2015, Kevin published a book about his experiences with the Oglala Sioux Tribe titled, Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse.  The book won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, the 2016 Independent Authors Network Award, and the 2016 New York Book Festival Award. Kevin is an advocate of strengthening the voices of all individuals—within a company or a community such as Pine Ridge—through listening, empowering, and shared leadership.


Featured Topics:

Customer Experience, Customer Service, Leadership, Negotiating, Prospecting, Reputation Management, Sales Strategy, & Social Media

Holly has more than 20 years of sales and marketing management experience in the hospitality industry – helping them improve customer service and increase revenue. Holly has also created and implemented social media training for the hospitality industry, helping companies develop and implement social media strategies and manage their online reputations.

An accomplished leader known for building strong customer relationships, Holly is skilled at sourcing new business and determining best-fit solutions for clients. She also has real world experience training, developing and coaching talent to achieve measurable results. Holly is a frequent speaker, as well as a contributing author and editor for many trade publications on topics such as customer service, sales strategy, social media, and online reputation management in the hospitality industry.

Holly also served as the director of business development for Milestone Internet Marketing in the central United States region. She is currently Chairperson for the Digital Marketing Council of HSMAI. Holly is well respected throughout the hospitality industry and has considerable hands-on experience, having worked as a hotel general manager, corporate director of sales and marketing, and director of business development.

Holly holds a bachelor’s degree from Catholic University. She has also received executive education and sales training from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Shannon Kinney has over 15 years of experience in the development of successful Internet products, sales and marketing strategy. She has worked on the teams developing successful Internet brands such as,, and over 60 online media properties for newspapers all over the U.S. and Canada. Prior to that, she spent over 10 years in media sales and sales management in Maine. She is an experienced speaker, trainer, and consultant, and worked with small and large companies alike. She is considered an expert in the field of online marketing and social media, and speaks regularly at conferences on the subject.


She’s known throughout the industry by many names… The Beer Lady, The Cupcake Lady, The Jazz Lady, and more. But to us, she’s just Chris – a 25-year veteran of hospitality marketing with a head for business and a heart for hugs. She can wrap even the toughest strategic business decisions with warmth and grace, and she’s successfully guided our clients through some of their darkest hours. Perhaps we should add “The Crisis Lady” to that list of names.

When she’s not slaying tough dragons for clients of our consulting division, she can be found on stage at conferences and conventions around the world. A sought-after speaker and trainer, Chris connects with audiences of all sizes about hospitality operations, guest service, marketing, and communications. We miss her when she flies off to present at these conferences, but thanks to the glory of social media, we pretty much see every speech from every angle.

Besides being a science geek and a voracious reader, Chris is our resident experience junkie, which has ignited some big ideas for clients… like the Innkeeper for a Day program (New England Inns & Resorts Association), The Sanctuary (Princess Cruises), and Ice Sports University (Lake Morey Resort). She’s a master at untangling complex concepts and transforming them into smooth, step-by-step paths to goal line.

And here’s a fun fact: The chart-topping album French Fries & Champagne by famed jazz band The Hot Sardines is an homage to Chris, who’s been their Chief Consigliere since her favorite snack (so named) first brought them together in 2012. (Shameless plug: Buy It Here)

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