2022 CFHLA Board Chair and Executive Committee Announced
Orlando, Fla. – This week, the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA) officially announced its newly elected 2022 CFHLA Executive Committee and Board of Directors, which includes Central Florida Hospitality Executives from across the tri-county area (Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties).
2022 CFHLA Executive Committee
The following Board members were elected to serve on the 2022 CFHLA Executive Committee, beginning January 1, 2022: Sonja Giselbrecht, General Manager of Marriott’s Cypress Harbour, Chair of the Board; Anthony Lazzara, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal, 1st Vice Chair; Jeff Swirsky, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Lake Buena Vista, 2nd Vice Chair; Barbara Bowden, Area Managing Director of Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando, Secretary; Jorg Heyer, Area General Manager of Sheraton Vistana Resort, Treasurer; Chris Mueller, General Manager of the Hilton Orlando, Assistant Treasurer; and Fred Sawyers, Managing Director of the Signa by Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Historian. Giselbrecht succeeds Jesse Martinez, General Manager of The Alfond Inn at Rollins, who has served as Chair for the past year and becomes the Immediate Past Chair.
Additionally, the CFHLA Board of Directors is made up of leaders from all sectors of the hospitality industry, including hotels, vacation ownership members, management companies, independent hotels, and allied members who do business with the hospitality industry. Please join us in congratulating the sixteen new members who were elected (denotes *re-elected to an additional term) to serve on the 2022 CFHLA Board of Directors.
*Brad Boland, Vice President of Development, Innovative Hospitality Partners
*Robert Bray, General Manager, Orlando World Center Marriott & Convention Center
Lana Burke, Area General Manager, Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando ICON Park
*Jill Cooper, Blown Away LLC
Joseph Delgado, General Manager, The Celeste Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
Robert Fohr, General Manager, Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort – Bonnet Creek
Les Harris, Area General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista/Orlando & Homewood Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista/Orlando
*Keith Hess, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites-Waterpark
*John Lamont, Vice President & General Manager, Florida Hotel and Conference Center
*Jay Leonard, Complex General Manager, Wyndham and Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area
Jason Lopez, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando
*Chris Mueller, General Manager, Hilton Orlando
Michael Scioscia, General Manager, JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
*Nina Shirk, District General Manager, Hyatt House/Hyatt Place across from Universal
Erin Sims, Landform of Central Florida
Robert Stanfield, Area Managing Director, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
CLICK HERE to view the entire 2022 CFHLA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
Netflix to charge an additional $8 month for viewers living outside US subscribers’ households
Netflix on Tuesday outlined how it intends to crack down on the rampant sharing of account passwords in the U.S., its latest bid to reel in more subscribers to its video streaming service as its growth slows.
To combat password sharing, Netflix said it will limit U.S. viewership of its programming to people living in the same household. Those who subscribe to Netflix’s standard or premium plans — which cost $15.50 to $20 per month — will be able to allow another person living outside their household to use their password for an additional $8 per month, a $2 discount from the company’s basic plan.
Without providing details how it authenticates subscriber identities or accounts, Netflix assured that everyone living in the same household of a U.S. customer will still be able to stream TV series and movies “wherever they are — at home, on the go, on holiday.” The company based in Los Gatos, California has roughly 70 million U.S. accountholders.
The long-anticipated move, telegraphed by Netflix a year ago, seeks to end a practice that the company allowed to go unchecked for years while its streaming service was attracting subscribers in droves. At that time, management had little incentive to risk riling customers by reining in password sharing.
While Netflix looked the other away, an estimated 100 million people worldwide were getting passwords from family and friends to freeload on Netflix TV series such as “The Crown” and films such as “All Quiet On The Western Front.” Those passwords were funneled through Netflix’s 232.5 million worldwide paying subscribers, who generated the bulk of the company’s $32 billion in revenue last year.
But after a year of lackluster subscriber growth that included its largest customer losses in more than a decade, Netflix is putting its foot down.
Before the crackdown on password sharing, Netflix began introducing features, such as the ability to transfer the profiles set up on subscriber accounts to make it easier for people to retain their viewing histories after they are no longer able to watch shows for free.
Netflix’s effort to force more of its viewers to pay for access to its programming follows the launch of a $7 monthly plan that inserted commercials into its service for the first time. Netflix has picked up an additional 9 million worldwide subscribers since the ad-supported option debuted, although not all of those signed up for the low-priced plan.
Although the new U.S. surcharge for viewers living outside subscribers’ households is less than Netflix’s basic streaming plan, it comes at a time that Americans have been paring their discretionary spending because of high inflation. That inflationary squeeze, combined with more competition from other streaming services, is one of the main reasons Netflix has suffered a slowdown in growth.
Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters acknowledged last month that the crackdown on password sharing is likely to trigger an uptick subscriber cancellations, but expressed confidence the company will be better off in the long run after people adjust to the clampdown.
“We see an initial cancel reaction, and then we build out of that both in terms of membership and revenue as borrowers sign-up for their own Netflix accounts,” Peters assured analysts, citing how the crackdown has unfolded in Canada since February.
Netflix’s shares fell 2% Tuesday to close at $355.99. The stock remain up by about 20% so far this year.
Target removes some LGBTQ merchandise from stores ahead of June Pride month after threats to workers
NEW YORK (AP) — Target is removing certain items from its stores and making other changes to its LGBTQ merchandise nationwide ahead of Pride month, after an intense backlash from some customers including violent confrontations with its workers.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” Target said in a statement Tuesday. ”Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”
Target declined to say which items it was removing but among the ones that garnered the most attention were “tuck friendly” women’s swimsuits that allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming operations to conceal their private parts. Designs by Abprallen, a London-based company that designs and sells occult- and satanic-themed LGBTQ clothing and accessories, have also created backlash.
The Pride merchandise has been on sale since early May. Pride month is held in June.
Target confirmed that it has moved its Pride merchandise from the front of the stores to the back in some Southern stores after confrontations and backlash from shoppers in those areas.
Target’s Pride month collection has also been the subject of several misleading videos in recent weeks, with social media users falsely claiming the retailer is selling “tuck-friendly” bathing suits designed for kids or in kids’ sizes.
The moves come as beer brand Bud Light is still grappling with a backlash from customers angered by its attempt to broaden its customer base by partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Bud Light’s parent company said it will triple its marketing spending in the U.S. this summer as it tries to restore sales it lost after the brand partnered with the transgender influencer.
Target and other retailers including Walmart and H&M have been expanding their LGBTQ displays to celebrate Pride month for roughly a decade. This year transgender issues — including gender-affirming health care and participation in sports — have been a divisive topic in state legislatures and the backlash has turned hostile.
Aiyana Mathews’ Success Story Ignites Global Business Pros at GSU’s 8th Global Languages Leadership Meeting
ATLANTA, Ga. (FNN) – Gardner-Mathews Global Management founder and CEO Aiyana Mathews provoked tears of inspiration during her keynote speech at the 8th Annual Global Languages Leadership Meeting (GLLM), hosted by Georgia State University’s Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research (CULTR) last Friday.
CULTR Director Dr. Hakyoon Lee greeted guests and provided an overview about CULTR’s work and priorities. This year’s GLLM was the first in-person event after two consecutive virtual events. FNN News asked her how it felt to finally be in-person again. “I think it’s great,” she said post-event. “It was great to see people I had previously met online during our Zoom meetings. It was great to see our supporters [and] community partners.”
Georgia State University Provost Dr. Nicolle Parsons-Pollard followed Dr. Lee, sharing brief remarks on GSU’s vision going forward and the institution’s excitement to welcome Mathews back as this year’s keynote speaker.
Mathews, who was invited to be this year’s keynote speaker after wowing the CULTR team with her panel discussion appearance for World Language Week in October 2022, shared her immersive experience in Japan and with Japanese culture Friday, impressing upon the audience the immeasurable value of learning multiple languages, embracing new cultures, and the powerful relationships and opportunities those efforts can create.
Mathews’ presentation spanned her compelling 24-year relationship with Japan, which began with her first landing there as part of an exchange program during her printing technology studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Her experience was actually a first for the institution–no other student had done that specific exchange program before. She also chronicled her experience of connecting with a Japanese student in the Department of Rheology at Chiba University, Fumiko Takahashi and her family. Fumiko, who was present for Mathews’ presentation Friday, received a standing ovation.
During her 44-slide presentation, Mathews laid out the proof of her passion to connect with people wherever she’s planted. She loved her first experience in Japan first experience in Japan back in 1999 so much that she ended up moving back there a second time in 2007, working as an assistant language teacher. She worked together with local community partners to create festivals that not only celebrated different cultures, but deepened her relationship with the Japanese people by helping natives expand their global awareness as well. Even upon her return to the U.S., she began fostering relationships within the Japanese community in Atlanta by developing a close bond with former Japanese Consul General George Hisaeda and his wife Midori, as well as connecting with relevant Atlanta-based Japanese organizations.
Mathews did the same in Orlando, Florida, fostering relations with Japanese organizations there and tasked to organize the Florida-Japan Aerospace and Aviation Summit, a business-to-business matchmaking event connecting small and medium-sized companies, local governments and universities to promote the development of aviation and space industries. It connected Japanese companies with Florida-based OEMs, suppliers, and R&D facilities, expanding their businesses to support these growing industries. The event was hosted by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
Her journey involved much more, and she clearly laid out the skills she developed along the way, but a core point resounded over and over again with each project and encounter: mastering other languages is paramount in fostering deep, meaningful connections with other cultures. Mathews wanted the audience to understand that being multilingual goes beyond getting translator or interpreter jobs. The opportunities are boundless when one chooses to master other languages while coupling relentless diligence with a genuine heart for people, as she has done.
Mathews’ presentation blew the 100 attendees–including CULTR’s leadership–away. “I think it was a very inspiring presentation,” said Dr. Lee of the keynote. “It was very successful, I enjoyed it very much.” Mio Maeda, the current Consul General of Japan, was also present. “I was very impressed,” Consul General Maeda said of Mathews’ presentation. “We are very lucky to have her as the bridge between Japan and the States. She’s so devoted to the relations between Japan and Georgia, so I thank her.”
During the Q&A portion, Nita Penn, a young African American mom of twins who teaches ESL in South Korea, stood and shared her deep gratitude to Mathews. “As someone who did the same thing as you in South Korea, I feel seen,” she said, fighting tears. “I just want to thank you for sharing your story and showing people this is possible and that there are more of us out there doing the same thing.” Mathews left the podium to hug her.
“This is actually the first time I’ve ever shared my [full] 24-year experience with Japan and I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time, so I feel very fulfilled,” Mathews shared with FNN News after the event. “I’m grateful that CULTR has given me this platform to showcase to the 100 participants that were here today something that I know so well.”
Mathews’ company, Gardner-Mathews Global Management, offers business development, marketing, project management, and other key services to businesses operations but has a niche in assisting companies that want to do business intercontinental, arrange corporate events and delegations, or wish to expand into international markets.
Mellissa Thomas reports for FNN News Atlanta. | email@example.com
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