One hundred and thirty attendees at the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART) semi-annual hospitality training conference, held here earlier this month, built and donated 20 bicycles to children in need in Portland, Oregon. The bike-building event, which took place on Sunday, March 8, 2009 at the Portland Hilton & Executive Tower, was part of an experiential learning session put on by Repario Ltd. After attendees built bikes in teams, they were surprised when 20 children from the local Boys and Girls Club of Portland Metropolitan Area were actually brought in to receive their bike and backpack with helmet and lock/chain from each team.
'The atmosphere was like Christmas, and there were few dry eyes in the room,' said John Isbell, CHART president and executive director, training & development for IHOP Corp. 'Community service projects allow us to give back to our host community while developing our members at the same time. Not only did we get to learn and practice teamwork techniques, but we also were able to see how events like this can work in our own organizations and communities.'
Attendees were also asked to bring donations of teddy bears for the Portland Fire & Rescue Toy & Joy Makers, a non-profit organization that has been giving toys to children in need since 1914. A presentation of more than 220 teddy bears was made on Monday, March 9, 2009 outside the Portland Hilton & Executive Tower to Dean Johnston, a retired Portland firefighter who is now president/ceo of Toy & Joy Makers.
At a CHART conference, attendees experience the spirit of developing people, which includes an attitude of caring and making a difference in people's lives. CHART has incorporated community service projects into its semi-annual conferences since 2002.
Next CHART Conference: 78th Semi-Annual Hospitality Training Conference, July 25-28, 2009, Cleveland, OH
CHART, www.chart.org, a non-profit professional association founded in 1970, is the leading resource for the development and advancement of hospitality training professionals and their organizations. With more than 700 members from more than 400 multi-unit restaurant and hotel companies, CHART represents a workforce of almost five million. CHART includes all facets of hospitality training, learning and performance professionals, from entry level to senior executive. CHART's mission is to develop hospitality training professionals to advance industry training practices and improve operational results by providing access to education, tools and resources.
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