Join us at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine

Presented by Cross Benefit Solutions & Northeast Delta Dental

Thank you for attending this year’s summit. See you next year at Sugarloaf. Oct. 28-29, 2019! 
  • President and CEO Steve Hewins unveils the vision, goals and objectives of the new HospitalityMaine
  • Greg Dugal covers our advocacy agenda and upcoming legislative session
  • Labor Commissioner John Butera, Executive Chef Steven Learned and Eastern Maine Community College’s VP of Academic Affairs Elizabeth Russell discuss ways to tackle Maine’s Hospitality Workforce Challenges
  • Peter Cooke, Ben Martens and Rauni Kew show how green operations = greater profitability 
  • Hoteliers learn to “play the game” and deal with the mega online players. Leave this tech-focused session with new strategies and tactics from national expert Lisa Kolb, of Acorn Internet Services, Inc.
  • National restaurant guru Ed Doyle of RealFood Consulting leads an interactive session on defining the guest experience through strategies practiced by cutting-edge restaurants across the country
  • Share ideas with peers in a lively Roundtable Discussion of the pressing issues we all face
  • Be inspired by the ”Never Give Up. Never Quit” message of courage and determination from Army Staff Sargent Travis Mills.
  • Spectacular evening entertainment  with the “Taste of Bangor Reception” and Summit Dinner, a private concert with Nashville recording artists Striking Matches and a free play voucher from Hollywood Casino to complete your winning evening

Register Here!

Staying over? The following members offer discount room rates:

The Residence Inn, Oct. 28-30th – $169- Call: 207-433-0800 and reference Hospitality Summit or Book Here

The Charles Inn, Oct. 28-30th – $89.99- Call: 207-992-2820  WEBSITE PROMO CODE: INNKEEPER (Transportation provided).

The Vacationland Inn 28-30th – $79.99- Call: 207-989-5450   WEBSITE PROMO CODE: INNKEEPER (Transportation provided).

The Fireside Inn 29-30th – $119.99- Call: 207-942-1234 and reference the Maine Hospitality Summit

Hollywood Casino Hotel, Oct. 28-30th – $99- Reference the Maine Hospitality Summit

Contact us for Sponsorship Opportunities!

For registration questions contact:


Monday, October 29th 

 9 am – Registration opens in the Cross Insurance Arena lobby

10 am – First Annual Member Meeting of HospitalityMaine – Ballroom 

12 pm – 1:30pm – Opening session with lunch buffet

• Official Welcome from Kerrie Tripp, executive director of Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau

• Steve Hewins presents the “Power of Hospitality” and reveals, for the first time publicly, new goals and programs from HospitalityMaine. Inaugural HM apprenticeship, and health care plan for members announced.

• Greg Dugal provides an update of key hospitality government affairs issues we face locally, statewide and nationally, such as short term rentals, salary and overtime rules, and paid sick leave.

1:45pm – 3pm – Tackling the Hospitality Workforce Challenge

Greg Dugal leads a panel of diverse leaders in government, education and business to explore solutions to solve this problem once and for all. Badging, certificates, internships, apprenticeships, foreign workers, and degree programs will all be discussed. John Butera, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor, Steven Learned, executive chef at Sunday River and Elizabeth Russell, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Eastern Maine Community College share successes. Q& A session included.

3:15pm – 4:30pm – Green Operations: Profiting from Sustainability

Green is the new black!  Eco-friendly business operations can drive profits like never before. Learn new procedures and practices from experts Peter Cooke of Manomet, Ben Martens, the executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association and Rauni Kew – PR and green program manager at Inn By The Sea to create a new narrative to attract guests and improve your bottom line. Landace Porta, managing director of Black Point Inn, moderates this timely discussion.  

4:30pm to 5:30pm – Free time to explore Bangor, relax or network. 

5:30pm – 7pm – Taste of Bangor Reception – Cross Center pre-function area

Sample craft beers from Bangor’s Geaghan Brothers Brewing Company, while enjoying appetizers from the Queen City. Cash bar features a signature HospitalityMaine cocktail.

Participating members:

Oriental Jade Asian Kitchen & Bar

Sea Dog Brewing Company

Bangor Hollywood Casino & Hotel

Dennis Paper & Food Service

Timber Kitchen and Bar

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

7 pm to 8:30 pm – The Summit Dinner

Experience the talents from the kitchen of Maine’s only specifically designed convention center. Tonight’s menu features: Surf and Turf. Start off with Maine wild blueberry and goat cheese arugula salad with maple walnuts and cinnamon pear balsamic. Followed by petite beef tenderloin with caramelized shallots drizzled with truffle oil and lobster-haddock strudel in a shrimp cream sauce. Buttered-poached Maine grown pinto gold potatoes and a fresh vegetable medley.

Vegetarian offering: Eggplant strudel with roasted sweet peppers, carrots, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, basil and marinara and Portabella Florentine. Butter-poached Maine-grown potatoes with fresh vegetable medley.

8:30pm – Live show from Striking Matches (courtesy of BMI – Hollywood Casino & Hotel) and party into the wee hours! 

Striking Matches

Following dinner, summit-goers travel across the street to the fantastic Hollywood Hotel and Casino. A selection of desserts and after-dinner drinks await. Courtesy of BMI, the excitement continues with a private performance by one of Nashville’s hottest new performance and song writing teams, Striking Matches!

After the show everyone receives free slot vouchers for use in the Hollywood Casino and hopefully to launch a successful remainder of the evening!

Tuesday, October 30th – The Cross Insurance Center

8 am to 9 am Breakfast – Start your day with fresh scrambled eggs, crisp applewood smoked bacon, Maine potato home fries, fresh fruit, stuffed-baked blueberry cream cheese French toast with maple syrup. Maine wild blueberries donated by: Wild Blueberry Association of North America

9:15 am to 10:30 am – Breakout Sessions

It’s Not Just About Your Website with Lisa Kolb of Acorn Internet Sevices, Inc. Growing and maintaining your revenue is about strategy: Revenue management, direct booking vs. OTA, Google organic vs. local vs. paid. And the list goes on. You must know how to “play the game” to compete. The problem is, many hotel owners don’t even know the rules, let alone how to keep up when the rules change. Develop a quality strategy to entice guests to your website, and grow your direct bookings in this session.

Building a Road Map to Success with Ed Doyle of RealFood Consulting. No matter what segment of the hospitality world you occupy, having a vision to navigate today’s highly competitive and challenging landscape is critical. Doyle discusses best practices and ‘short-cuts’ to chart a course to profitability for your restaurant. Learn new tools to measure progress in this collaborative discussion. Leave with actionable steps to make the right “turns’ to get where you want to go.

10:45am to 12 pm – Round-table sharing event

Free-flowing discussions on key challenges facing the hospitality industry. (You decide the topics)

12:30 – 2 pm – Lunch and keynote Presentation with Travis Mills

On April 10, 2012, United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne was critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device. He lost portions of both legs and arms. As one of only five quadruple amputees from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to survive such injuries, Travis now lives an inspiring life as a quadruple amputee.

The war hero shares his story of unshakable courage overcoming tragedy and loss. Mill’s “Never Give Up. Never Quit” motto teaches and inspires audiences from the moment he takes center stage.

His unthinkable journey is documented in the award-winning documentary film, Travis: A Soldier’s Story; he has written a New York Times bestselling memoir titled, Tough As They Come; he speaks across the country motivating others to live by his motto. His foundation recently completed the construction of a fully adaptive veterans retreat in Belgrade Lakes where he hosts injured combat veterans and their families. For more information about Travis  visit:

Look forward to seeing you there!

Register Here!

Cross Insurance Center
Hollywood Casino & Hotel

Cross Insurance Center

Bangor, ME

Along the historic riverfront in the quintessential New England city of Bangor, Maine, the Cross Insurance Center can host up to 2,000 convention guests with an 8,000 seat arena and room for 260 exhibit booths, offering you first class hospitality, and providing an unparalleled, original New England experience. Just minutes from Bangor International Airport, the state-of-the-art new facility has easy access to diverse dining and nightlife, boutique and unique shopping, and is just a scenic hour’s drive to breathtaking ocean views at Acadia National Park. The Cross Insurance Center guarantees complete satisfaction for patrons with specific seating needs. Whether you need bulk quantities of event tickets for a large group or organization or special considerations for disabled guests, the Cross Center staff will see to your every need.

Hollywood Casino & Hotel

After a full day of non-stop gaming action, you can relax at our luxurious hotel, featuring 148 deluxe rooms and four suites. It’s the perfect escape. The hotel has a daily amenity fee of $10 tax inclusive. This fee includes: basic Wi-Fi, unlimited local calls, a $5 food credit that can be used at all food outlets, two bottles of Poland Springs water, gym access, newspaper (available at front desk), printing of boarding passes, self-serve business center, and covered parking. Our facility is 100% smoke free. No pets allowed. Check-in time: 3 p.m., check out time 11 a.m. Valid photo identification is required upon check-in. Room rate does not include tax or amenity fee. A valid credit card is required for check-in for room rate, tax, amenity fee and a $50 incidental hold, or a full cash payment for room rate, tax, amenity fee and a $250 incidental cash deposit.

Travis Mills

Founder of the Travis Mills Foundation

Travis Mills’ keynote speech teaches and inspires audiences nationwide to “Never give up. Never quit.” no matter the obstacles or circumstances. Travis’ larger-than-life personality, sense of humor and incredible spirit for life engages audiences from the moment he takes center stage. Travis’ story has been featured on local and national news including Fox News’ Happening Now with Jenna Lee, The O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly, and CNN with Barbara Starr.

On April 10, 2012, United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne was critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan by an IED (improvised explosive device) while on patrol, losing portions of both legs and both arms. He is 1 of only 5 quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive such extensive injuries. Thanks to his amazing strength, courage, an incredible will to live, the heroic actions of the men in his unit, the prayers of thousands, and all the healthcare providers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Travis continues to overcome the obstacles of living life as a quadruple amputee. Every day is a battle, but Travis continues to astound everyone with his progress and with his amazing spirit. SSG Travis Mills is a genuine American hero, and for his incredible sacrifice, we are forever in his debt. Travis’ story inspired the creation of the award-winning documentary film, Travis: A Soldier’s Story, which after a nationwide theatrical run is now available at Travis has also written a New York Times bestselling memoir, Tough As They Come, chronicling his courageous journey.

In September 2013, Travis founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist wounded and injured veterans. Travis’ foundation is building a first class, fully-accessible “smart home” facility dedicated to the recreational and reintegration needs of recalibrated veterans and their families in Rome, Maine. @ssgtravismills

Rauni Kew

PR and Green Program Manager at Inn By The Sea Rauni Kew’s background is in marketing and public relations. Currently she manages PR & Green Programs for  Inn by the Sea.  The Inn has achieved LEED ® Silver,  was selected by Preferred Hotels for their GIFFTs Sustainability Award in 2014 & again in 2018, and was honored with the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Sustainable Industry Award in 2017. Ms. Kew served on the Maine Tourism Commission and as Chair of the Greater Portland CVB. She frequently has published articles on sustainable hospitality in industry journals. Previously Ms. Kew was Marketing Director for a Chemical Process manufacturer, launching dispersion equipment that reduced sludge in activated wastewater treatment plants, worked in the technology sector for an Internet screen sharing provider, and in production for CBC television news in New York and at the United Nations.


Lisa Kolb

Bed and Breakfast Website Design & Inn Marketing Specialists From working in a top 10 banking software company in Atlanta, Georgia, doing software development, installation, customer support and quality assurance to working for MCI/WCOM in Colorado Springs, Colorado, together Mark and Lisa have over 40 years of combined experience that can be put to work for you. In 1996, after almost a decade of solely working in the corporate world of software development and design, Mark and Lisa moved to Colorado Springs to open a Bed and Breakfast. While doing software support and development for their bed and breakfast and a local bed and breakfast organization’s Web site, the need for a low-cost quality solution for the online marketing needs of other small businesses became glaringly apparent. In January of 2002, Mark and Lisa formed Acorn Internet Services, Inc. Acorn IS is currently providing service for hundreds of satisfied Web site clients, and we are proud to say our customer base is growing daily. Currently, Mark provides support for the Acorn Webserver maintenance, database design for large customers, Webserver security and technology research, and Lisa oversees the day-to-day operations including weekly Webinars, Acorn University and On-Site Guest Speaking.

  • Lisa has her BS in Computer Science from Slippery Rock University in PA, 1988

John Butera

Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor John Butera, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor, is a Waterville resident who has served as Gov. Paul LePage’s senior economic adviser since 2011 and has also worked on economic and community development, business finance, workforce development and labor issues. Previously, Butera spent nearly 30 years in economic development in the public and private realms, including holding positions within the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and serving as executive director of the Central Maine Growth Council. Butera holds a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Steven Learned

Executive Chef at Sunday River The executive chef at Sunday River is a classically trained, second generation chef. He’s worked primarily in hotels and resorts. Ran ACF certified Apprenticeship Program for 11 years. Served two terms on the ACF National Apprenticeship Committee. Loves to teach and travel.

Striking Matches With their T Bone Burnett-produced debut album, guitar-wielding duo Striking Matches creates an unexpected and unique sound that defies easy categorization. The music of Striking Matches — Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis — occupies that sweet spot at the intersection of country, rock and blues, where all of the elements blend to form an authentically raw and rootsy sound that has a timeless and international appeal.

Nine of their songs including “When the Right One Comes Along” and “Hanging on a Lie” have been featured on ABC’s hit drama series Nashville and recorded by the show’s stars Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen, and attracted an international fan base. Get ready to dance! 

Peter Cooke

Businesses and organizations need tools and the knowledge of how to use them to become more sustainable. As Program Manager of the Grocery Stewardship Certification program, Peter has discovered creative ways to engage businesses and organizations to raise their contextual awareness and make them measurably more sustainable. He has performed sustainability assessments and audits for hundreds of businesses over dozens of industry sectors. He has also created environmental certification programs for Hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores. Peter is ISO 14001 Lead Auditor certified, Commercial Energy Auditor trained, Building Operator Certified, and Hazardous Waste Operations (OSHA 1910.120) certified. When he isn’t at Manomet, Peter teaches as an adjunct lecturer at Antioch University, University of Southern Maine, and Tufts University. In his spare time, Peter organizes an international ultramarathon running competition based on a Moby Dick theme and is also an avid whitewater paddler and surfer.

Elizabeth Russell

Vice President of Academic Affairs at Central Maine Community College For over 24 years, Liz Russell has served in a variety of capacities at Eastern Maine Community College. She began her career at the College as a member of the Business Management faculty. In addition to her current position as Vice President of Academic Affairs, she has also served as the Director of Admissions, Assistant Academic Dean, and Dean of Student Success. A member of the Achieving the Dream Steering Team, Liz is committed to student success as evidenced by her work in building the Student Success Center at EMCC and securing the College’s first-ever TRiO grant. Liz earned a B.S. and MSB from Husson University in Bangor, Maine.

Ben Martens

Executive Director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association 

Ben works with Maine’s community-based fishermen to develop projects, policies, and ideas to strengthen Maine’s fisheries for today, tomorrow, and forever.

Ed Doyle

President of RealFood Consulting , Doyle is a household name in the Boston hospitality scene for his work as a both chef and, now, consultant. While Director of Culinary Operations at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, the hotel’s restaurant Aura was named one of the Best New Restaurants in the U.S. That passion and drive are even stronger today as he helps new and existing foodservice businesses make success happen. Ed has been featured in Food and Wine, Restaurant Business, and Food Arts magazines. 

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