***Contact: Gina DaBiere-Gibbs Tourism Director 518-842-8200 ext. 12 http://www.visitmontgomerycountyny.com/
Fonda, N.Y. - The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce announced a change in location and time of its Hospitality Customer Service Training Seminar on Thursday, May 13 at 9am. The complimentary seminar is being relocated to The Chamber office, 1166 Riverfront Center, Amsterdam. "The goal of this seminar is to enhance customer service skills, general tourism industry networking, and increase knowledge of resources available for visitors to Montgomery County," says Gina DaBiere-Gibbs, Tourism Director. "This complimentary training is open to those involved in hospitality directly and indirectly. The seminar is not limited to attractions, restaurants, and lodging facilities; we encourage representatives from gas stations, convenient stores, and retail stores to participate. These front line associates are the ambassadors to our County receiving the infamous questions, "what is there to do here and where is there to eat?" If you have answered those questions you are invited to attend." The training seminar will host a panel of tourism industry leaders featuring Leesa Perazzo, Director of Workforce Development and Public Affairs for the Chamber of Schenectady County, Tracey Caponera, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Bachelor Degree programs for SUNY Delhi at their satellite campus at Schenectady Community College, and Gayle Smith the Division Manager of Human Resources for AAA Northway. Leesa L. Perazzo currently serves as the Director of Workforce Development and Public Affairs for the Chamber of Schenectady County focusing on the coordination of a series of educational initiatives that provide workforce development to seven county high schools and several nonprofits. Prior to her work at the Schenectady Chamber, Leesa spent the majority of 21-years in various management positions for Mazzone Management Group at Glen Sanders Mansion. Her background includes both advertising and marketing and human resources. She continues to feed her passion for the hospitality industry through her part-time business, Eat My Words which specializes in menu design and culinary terminology. In the early to mid 90s she was the sole owner of Leesa's Restaurant, a dinner and jazz club on upper State Street in Schenectady. Tracey Caponera holds a Master's Degree in Service Management from Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as being certified in Hospitality Sales through Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. She has extensive background in hospitality operations and sales with Hyatt Hotels, Marriott, Sheraton and independent hotels such as the Albany Desmond, the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa in Lake Placid. Tracey served for five years as a senior faculty member and director of internship programs at a leading hotel and culinary college where she specialized in curriculum development. She is on the Educational Committee of the Northeast NY Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, the Advisory Boards for New England Culinary Institute and a member of HSMAI. Tracey is pursuing her PhD through North Central University in Education, Specializing in Training and Development. In addition, Tracey partners with a successful Chef at New England Culinary Institute to offer hospitality and restaurant consulting services through Hospitality Training Ventures. Gayle Smith will be presenting on the importance of knowing your community. She has responsibility for six offices and over 100 employees who provide customer service to AAA Northway's 144,000 members in ten counties in upstate New York. Her responsibilities include ensuring that customer service training is provided to call center and frontline staff, as well as monitoring the quality of customer service delivery. A seasoned professional in the human resources and training field, she has experience in travel, manufacturing, hospitality and, through her work with a Professional Employer Organization, a myriad of other industries. She is a member of the Capital Region Human Resources Association, the Society of Human Resources Management and has attained certification as a Senior Human Resources Professional through the Human Resources Certification Institute. She is an active member of the Steering Committee of the Department of Labor's Job Service-Employer Committee. The seminar takes place during National Tourism Week, May 8 through 16. The goal of National Tourism Week is to enhance the economy, security and perception, and recognize the cultural and social benefits created by travel and tourism. This complimentary seminar is open to the public, but space is limited to 25 people. For more information and to RSVP by May 10 call DaBiere-Gibbs at 842-8200 ext. 12. The Chamber office is located at 1166 Riverfront Center, Lower Level next to Assemblyman Amedore's office, Amsterdam.