Tuesday September 15th, 2020 

A GRAnd New Year Ahead!

Guest Relations Association  Virtual Conference 
Due to CoVid 19 we have had to rethink our  Annual Conference for 2020, therefore we are so excited to invite you to join us for our first ever GRA Virtual Conference.  This will be a half day filled with education, industry updates and firsthand business experiences during these trying times. 
If your membership is current with GRA this will be a free offering to you and up to 15 of your team members.   


Guest Relations Association
“A GRAnd New Year”
 Virtual Conference
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
9:00 am-2:15 pm PST


8:00-8:40 am                   GRA Board of Directors Meeting (Board members only)

8:40-9:00 am                   Conference attendees/members log in to sessions
                                           GRA Board members will be online to welcome and socialize.

9:00-9:15 am                   Welcome and Overview:   GRA President Jeff Crowe; Heaven Hill Distillery

9:15-9:45 am                   Educational Session:  Vamonde; Genevieve Keeney; National Museum of Funeral History
Genevieve will walk you through the process and the importance of being part of this program.  Vamonde is the future of destination marketing.  They enable destinations, not Google search results, to be the voice of authority for visitors and residents.  Their platform connects destinations and attractions with digitally savvy visitors through experiential content.

9:45-10:00 am                 Q&A Vamonde Presentation

10:00-11:00 am               Educational Roundtable Session:  Programming to Make 2021 a GRAnd New Year.
Three diverse companies, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Herr’s Snacks  and KY Artisan Center will address the group about how CoVid 19 impacted their operations and how they are coping with the changes and plans for the “new normal.”    Attendees will be able to interact with these company representatives for questions, answers and guidance.  Moderated by Jeff Crowe; Heaven Hill Distillery.

11:00-11:15 am               Break for all participants

11:15-12:00 pm               GRA Award Presentations with Q&A with winning companies
Three companies will be presented awards for outstanding performance over the past year.   Each award recipient will have the opportunity to provide a brief overview of their award-winning program with a follow up with Q&A.  Award submission information will be sent out by August 1, 2020.  We hope you take a moment to share your award-winning projects with us.

12:00-12:30 pm               Louisville Tourism Presentation
Threats from a global pandemic to the plight of racial injustice and the disruption to business have affected most all US cities.  Adding to these challenges in Louisville is the perception created from a partially boarded downtown.  The hospitality industry in Louisville supports the changes needed to bring about sustained racial equity and believes tourism is one of the ways we have of changing perceptions and bringing people together (albeit socially distanced).  Hear from Nicole Twigg, VP Tourism Development about how Louisville Tourism is negotiating these challenges and trying to ensure that the spirit of hospitality Louisville offers remains strong.


12:30-12:45 pm               Q&A Louisville Tourism Presentation

12:45-1:15 pm                 GRA Business Meeting
We encourage all to join us during our GRA 2020 Business meeting; Board Elections, 2021 Conference Announcement and special recognition to GRA outgoing board members.

1:15-2:00 pm                   Q&A Session
All attendees, sharing of experience and just good ole southern networking and hospitality. 

2:00-2:15 pm                   Wrap up and final words


*This one-day event is included in your 2020 GRA membership.  If you are a member with a fully paid 2020 membership you can invite as many teammates as you would like from your company to join us virtually.  If you are not a member currently please feel free to join GRA today!  This is a great educational session for a minimum investment.  Visit  (membership applications must be approved after submission)


Guest Relations Association 2020 Board of Directors:

Jeff Crowe, Heaven Hill Distillery; President

Curtis Andersen, Sweets Candy, Treasurer

Venice Andersen, Sweets Candy, Secretary

Todd Finley, KY Artisan Center, VP of Membership Recruitment

Sue Craddock, Jiffy Mix, VP of Membership Retention

Chris Wilkins, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, VP Website

Zack Towery, IAS Technology; VP of Social Media

Genevieve Keeney, National Museum of Funeral History; VP of Awards

Mary Schurwonn-Dell, Miller Coors, VP of Board Development