Get Ready for a Transformation!

 The Guest Relations Association is under construction, so keep your eyes peeled for exciting developments and updates to come


Past Conferences

A history of the Guest Relations Association

1957 Stone Valley, NY - 13 companies organized to become the Pharmaceutical Tour Directors

1958 Kalamazoo, MI - Conference site

1959 Indianapolis, IN - Name changed to National Association of Pharmaceutical Tour Directors

1960 New York - All–male organization added 3 females

1961 Philadelphia, PA - 26 individuals

1962 Groton, CT

1963 Chicago, IL

1964 New York City - Name changed to National Assoc. of Professional Tour Directors

1965 Richmond, VA - The first non- pharmaceutical company joined

1966 Indianapolis, IN

1967 Augusta, MI - 10th Anniversary

1968 Rochester, NY

1969 Palo Alto, CA - totaled 23

1970 Dearborn, MI

1971 New York City, NY - Name changed to the Guest Relations Association Plant and Industrial Tour Directors

1972 Orlando, FL

1973 Hershey, PA

1974 Aspen, CO

1975 Racine, IL

1976 New Orleans, LA

1977 Williamsburg, VA

1978 Minneapolis, MN - Name changed to Guest Relations Association

1979 San Francisco, CA - 39 members

1980 Philadelphia, PA - GRA newsletter debuts

1981 Kalamazoo, MI

1982 Albuquerque, NM

1983 Colorado Springs, CO - 51 members

1984 Indianapolis, IN

1985 Richmond, VA

1986 Houston, TX

1987 San Francisco, CA

1988 Denver, CO - Coors Brewing Co. Golden hosted

1989 Racine, WI - S.C. Johnson Wax host

1990 Hershey, PA - Hershey’s Chocolate World host

1991 Atlanta, GA - World of Coca Cola host; Visited Coca Cola Headquarters, CNN, Chick-Fil-A and have a formal dinner at the Theater and a tour of the Ritz Carlton Atlanta Buckhead

1992 Kansas City, MO - 53 members; Farmland Industries was the host; visited Hallmark

1993 Pasadena, CA - Kathy Hanak, Coors Brewing Co. President - 42 members and 7 spouses in attendance from 18 states as well as 6 guest speakers. The conference included a luau, 50’s tail gate, tour of Universal Studios and Nutrilite; Seminars by Ritz Carlton and Universal S

1994 Phoenix, AZ - Ritz Carlton; Gil Lanas, Miller Brewing Co. president. 30 members 5 spouse in attendance; desert- jeep rally and dinner at Rawhide; Seminars on gift shops and standards of excellence and evaluating your program

1995 Philadelphia, PA - Ritz Carlton. Herr Foods host; 43 members representing 24 companies. Tours: Herr Foods and Binney & Smith. Seminars International Tours, liability, crisis inquiries and cost-justifying programs. Ben Franklin talked about hospitality in 1776 compared to

1996 Milwaukee, WI - Miller Brewing Co. host; Tours of Dow Chemical, Frank Lloyd Wright building

1997 Indianapolis, IN - Larry Cimino Pres.; Eli Lilly host; Membership 60; Tours of Eli Lilly

1998 Boulder, CO - Steve Spencer Pres. Celestial Seasoning’s co-host with Coors Brewing-Golden

1999 Dresden, OH - Longaberger host; everyone made a basket; visited the Longaberger Headquarters – a giant basket! Tours of Velvet Ice Cream

2000 Plymouth, MA - Ocean Spray Cranberry host; Visited a Cranberry Bog and Cranberry Festival, Ghost tours of Plymouth and the Plymouth Plantation

2001 Napa, CA - Jelly Belly hosted; Tours of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Napa Wineries and Alacatraz. This conference was held two weeks after 9/11. Many attendees had to cancel. Jennifer Arrigo was the President of GRA

2002 Atlanta, GA - Coca Cola hosted; tours of CNN, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Chick-Fil-A and a Coca Cola Bottling Plant as well as Coca Cola Headquarters. Jennifer Arrigo, president

2003 Burlington, VT - Ben and Jerry’s, Vermont Teddy Bear, Vermont Coffee, Burton Snowboards. Inge Davies, president

2004 York, PA - Harley Davidson York and Wolfgang Candy hosted; Tours of both facilities, York Wallpaper, the York Industrial Museum and Chocolate World. Inge Davies, president

2005 Louisville, KY - Hosted by Toyota; Tours of Church Hill Downs, Louisville Slugger and Seelbach Hotel; Inge Davies, president

2006 Denver, CO - Hammond’s Candy hosted with tours of Celestial Seasonings, Coors Field and Coors Brewing Company. Jennifer Arrigo, President for second term

2007 Chicago, IL - Motorola hosted; Tours of Eli’s Cheese Cake, Chicago River Tours, Sears Tower and Long Grove Confectionary; Jennifer Arrigo, president

2008 Napa, CA - Hosted by Jelly Belly and Guide Dogs for the Blind

2009 Minneapolis, MN - Hosted by Andersen Windows, Cardinal Float Glass and Spam Museum

2010 Lexington, KY - Hosted by Toyota, Makers Mark Distillery and Heaven Hill Distillery

2011 Lehigh Valley, PA - Hosted by Martin Guitar and QVC

2012 Moline, IL (Quad Cities) - Hosted by John Deere and Pioneer

2013 Houston, TX - Hosted by National Museum of Funeral History

2014 Portland, OR - Hosted by Bob's Red Mill, NIKE and Leatherman

2015 Peoria, IL - Hosted by Caterpillar & Integrated Audio

2016 Buena Park, CA - Hosted by Nutrilite

2017 Waterbury, VT - Hosted by Ben & Jerry's

2018 Salt Lake City, Utah - Hosted by Sweet Candy Company

2019 Louisville, KY - Hosted by Evan Williams & Louisville Slugger

2020 Virtual - 1st ever virtual GRA Conference - Due to Covid