Chairman's Message 2019

Burnell Goldman

As the Chairman of the RI Hospitality Association Board of Directors, I am incredibly honored and excited to represent such a thriving, economically-important industry in our state. As someone who has spent the majority of my career in other parts of the country and a relative newcomer to Rhode Island, I have spent the last two-and-a-half years getting acclimated to the local hospitality scene.

I can tell you that our industry is something very special in this state. We are so fortunate to have some of the best restaurants, hotels and private clubs in the region. With miles of coastline, pristine beaches, amazing attractions and a rich history, our industry is a driving force in tourism, job creation and tax revenue.

As General Manager at the Omni Providence, the largest hotel in the state, I know the importance of keeping rooms full and interest in the state piqued. The ability to attract leisure and business travelers alike is a true testament to all of the hard work performed by each and every person who works in our industry.

As a relative newcomer to Rhode Island, “I am all ears” as it pertains to insight and feedback related to hospitality in The Ocean State. Although I’ve served on the RIHA Board of Directors, I want to hear from you about the good, the bad and the ugly. Tell me what’s important to you so that I can better serve your interests. To be effective, we need an engaged membership whose priorities are aligned and representative of the entire industry.

There is so much good within our industry in spite of the difficulties we, at times, experience on Smith Hill with opposition from special-interest groups. Legislative challenges are inevitable but, we can’t lose sight of the amazing work that is being accomplished. With thousands of emerging workers being trained through the RI Hospitality Education Foundation programs, a vibrant ProStart culinary program, and a myriad of ServSafe, management and HR training, our Education Foundation is top-notch at preparing our next generation of hospitality talent for incredible careers.

So, as I begin this incredible journey representing you, our valuable and respected members, please know that I pledge to do my very best to ensure that all of our collective interests are well represented. If you’re already involved, stay involved. If you haven’t had the time, please make time. Get your peers involved. This is important and together, we can ensure that our industry remains vibrant, celebrated and important in our beautiful state.

Burnell Goldman
Chairman of the Board
General Manger, Omni Providence Hotel