RHI's New Leadership Defines 2010 as the Year of the Sociable City

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The "Sociable City" will be the focus of the Responsible Hospitality Institute's program development for 2010 through the support of two new board members: Kathie Durbin, Chief of Licensure, Regulation and Education in the Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control Division, and Lynne Breaux, recipient of the 2010 Food Service Leader of the Year award and president, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Kathie Durbin

Kathie Durbin, Chief of Licensure, Regulation and Education in the Montgomery County, MD Department of Liquor Control Division

“As regulators, we cannot rely solely on our power of enforcement. We need to educate and maintain open communication with all sectors. I hope to bring this perspective to a national network administered by RHI.

The January 2010 board meeting of the Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) welcomed a new board chair and several new board members to broaden the organization's scope. Traditional RHI board members represent a diverse palate of national expertise ranging from beverage companies and law enforcement to regulators and downtown development. This year marks the expansion of representation to local hospitality and regulatory leaders, paving the way for tools that better reflect local needs. This landmark development coincides with RHI's launch of twenty Sociable City Forums, which will unite local stakeholders to share strategies for nightlife management across North America.

Spearheading RHI's 2010 program development is newly elected board chair Kathie Durbin, Chief of Licensure, Regulation and Education in the Montgomery County, MD Department of Liquor Control Division, and member of the Regulatory Committee of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association. At the forefront of a "concierge government" approach, Ms. Durbin confirms the importance of opening a national dialogue in problem solving. "As regulators, we cannot rely solely on our power of enforcement. We need to educate and maintain open communication with all sectors. I hope to bring the perspective of challenges in our county, and how we overcame them, to a national network administered by RHI."

A prominent figure from Washington DC's hospitality industry has also gained a seat on the board: Lynne Breaux, president, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and member of the Council of Restaurant Association Executives. Recipient of the 2010 Food Service Leader of the Year award, Ms. Breaux represents one of the nation's most dynamic hospitality economies. Her unique expertise on local business challenges and successes will be applied to the national sphere through participation in RHI's board.

National associations' interests continue to be represented on the RHI Board. David Christman, Director of State and Industry Affairs, National Beer Wholesalers Association, was elected to serve a second year as secretary/treasurer. Meanwhile, two new individuals have been selected to represent their organization for 2010: Kit Cramer, president, International Downtown Association and Lauren Adkins, Assistant Director for Field Services, National Trust Main Street.

The RHI Board of Directors meets on a quarterly basis while also actively working with RHI staff to plan and conduct forums, webinars and conferences on a variety of issues related to the nighttime economy, as well as expand membership in RHI's Sociable City Network.

For more information on RHI and its Board of Directors, please visit http://www.RHIweb.org or call 831.469.3396.

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Alicia Lakomski
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