The People Who Matter Most

January 06, 2014 | 1905 Views

The People Who Matter Most

Patrick Yearout, FMP, CHT

Director of Innovation, Recruiting, and Training | Ivar's & Kidd Valley Restaurants

There are a lot of reasons why I’m excited to attend the 87th CHART conference in March.

First of all, there’s the incredible setting: The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs.  The CHART board had the opportunity to visit the property in October, and we all fell in love with this truly spectacular place.  Seriously, go to the website ( and prepare to be amazed by the photos.  And did you see the conference rate we’re getting?  $139 per night!  It will be very difficult to beat this level of luxury at such an incredible price.

And, of course, the conference content will be of the highest caliber.  The bulk of the sessions will consist of CHART’s twelve training competencies (developed by hospitality trainers for hospitality trainers) that will cover the four different roles of our profession: trainer/facilitator, instructional designer, manager, and executive.  I’m especially excited because I will be taking my 12th competency in Colorado Springs to complete the entire set.

In addition, the agenda will feature three top-notch general session speakers (including CHART Past President Kathleen Wood), the addition of a fifth track of workshops delivered by some of our most experienced members, and an e-learning boot camp offered by longtime CHART Sponsor DiscoverLink.

But all of these elements are secondary to the most important reason I will be attending: the opportunity to be surrounded by, and learn from, the best and brightest hospitality trainers in the country.  The absolute best part of our conferences, especially during the winter events where the attendance is a bit more intimate, are the extended, one-on-one conversations where I get to discuss the matters most pressing to me and my company.

To me, CHART really delivers when I’m chatting with Gabe at the opening reception and he tells me about strategies for successful new store openings.  It’s about having lunch with Donna and discussing orientation programs that have helped to improve tenure at her company.  It’s walking through the Resource Gallery with Craig and talking about vendors whose products have truly made a difference with his managers.  It’s sitting in the Hospitality Suite with Joleen and finding out about training techniques I never even knew existed.  It’s learning from people like Curt, Monique, Jason, Kirstie, Michele, Mike, Cindy, John, David, and everyone else I get to spend time with.  It is during these seemingly little moments where the most powerful and most effective lessons take place, in my opinion, and it is these conversations that make CHART such a wonderful and special organization for hospitality trainers.

Any why are these conversations so important?  So that I can return to Ivar’s armed with the most effective operational training tips and techniques to create the best education programs possible.  So that Tracy, one of our new servers, can learn how to deliver the highest level of hospitality and earn enough in tips to pay her bills each month.  So that Mark, one of ou management trainees, has the best possible chance of succeeding when he takes control of one of our restaurants.  So that Tyler, who is working on becoming an Assistant Manager in our Seafood Bars, is able to learn everything he needs in order to reach his career objectives.  And so that Solomon, Katrina, Cindy, Rodrigo, Chris, Mohamed, Trevor, Betty, and everyone else who works at Ivar’s are able to accomplish their professional goals and have a happy and rewarding career with our company.

These are the folks who matter most when it comes to the CHART conferences, and it is them I will be keeping in mind every moment I am in Colorado Springs.   

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