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Partnership Enhances Hospitality Training and Certification Capabilities

Washington D.C. – November 14, 2016  – The National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced a partnership for the largest foodservice trade association in the world to acquire the training business assets and products of the American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Institute (AHLEI). Currently owned by AHLA, AHLEI is recognized as the training and certifying body for the hospitality industry.

Given the nature of the hospitality industry and the intrinsic sharing that goes on between the restaurant and lodging sectors, NRA and AHLA saw a unique opportunity to combine resources to produce an even more robust training program – that will benefit employees in their career development and improve overall consumer satisfaction. AHLA will retain the certification business, and the NRA will assume day-to-day responsibility for AHLEI’s training program business. Under the intended agreement, NRA will purchase the AHLEI portfolio of 180 training products and assets, as well as the Lansing, Michigan building owned by AHLEI.

“We are grateful that AHLEI business has found a home with the National Restaurant Association. It's a natural and logical evolution that combines two outstanding teams committed to excellence in the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industries,” said Dawn Sweeney, president & CEO, National Restaurant Association. “By adding the AHLEI assets and business lines to our offerings, we will increase our reach and enhance our credibility as the acknowledged leader in industry training and certification – while extending our expertise to the hotel and lodging industry.”

“AHLA’s core mission is to provide employees with the best career opportunities through training and development. Recognizing important partnerships that help us achieve our goals has been and continues to be critical to the industry’s success,” said Katherine Lugar, president & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “This new partnership gives us the opportunity to focus on what we do best, providing the training and resources necessary to offer pathways to upward mobility for our talent and the future generation of hospitality leaders by maintaining the certifications program. We are very excited about this collaboration and are confident that the NRA will continue to grow and enhance training offerings for our industry.”

AHLEI will be run as a separate business under the NRA’s Training & Certification division. The acquisition is slated to be completed by the end of this year.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14.4 million employees. The NRA represents the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. The association operates the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 20-23, 2017, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Contact: Steve Danon

sdanon@restaurant.org / 858-774-1290

About the American Hotel & Lodging Association

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.9 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry of more than 53,000 properties generating $176 billion in annual sales from 5 million guestrooms.

Contact: Katie Longo

klongo@ahla.com / 202-289-3148

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