Wednesday, January 14, 2015

NRA Public Affairs Conference Registration Open

Dear LRA Members,

The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Public Affairs Conference is set for April 14-15, 2015 in our Nation’s Capital at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. It is with great pride that I have accepted our 2015 LRA Chair Tony Abadie’s request to serve “State Whip” for this important industry event. If you have not visited Washington D.C. before the entire Capitol complex and National Mall are full of historic sites, museums and places of interest.

Advocacy is a vital component to advance the interests of the restaurant industry and now more than ever our industry faces unprecedented attacks on numerous legislative and regulatory fronts. Your attendance at this event has a powerful impact in sharing your business concerns and issues with our Congressional Delegation. The focus of the LRA and NRA is to build our industry’s influence and image by expanding our member’s engagement.

This two-day event begins on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 14 with a keynote address followed by breakout sessions and issue panels to get you up to speed on the key issues facing our industry. That evening, we celebrate our industry’s great philanthropic efforts recognizing the winners of the NRA’s Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity awards. Past Louisiana winners include: Tommy Cvitanovich of Drago’s Restaurants, Greg Reggio of Taste Buds Management and Leah Chase of Dooky Chase Restaurant.

On Wednesday we have a jam packed day that begins with a breakfast speaker and then we board buses to head to Capitol Hill to meet our Congressmen and Senators. After the Hill climb, the NRA and LRA in conjunction with the American Hotel and Lodging Association are hosting a reception. Our Louisiana attendees enjoy a group dinner together to share experiences of the conference.

If you have attended the Conference in the past you are aware of how our Hill visits are organized, but for those of you who will be joining us this year for the first time, I’d like to share it with you.

Due to the time constraints, size of our group and location of the congressional and senate offices, an individual itinerary is created for each LRA attendee to direct you to those meetings we would like you will attend. Our best impact is when we have constituents of each Congressional district join us with their Congressman. We try to accommodate every request and we hope to have good representation at all meetings.

For each meeting, a member spokesperson is selected to represent the group and “make the ask(s).” These member spokespeople attend the breakout sessions and issue panels and also meet with the LRA staff to review the talking points in advance of the visits to ensure they understand the issues that we will discuss with the Congressmen and Senators. And we try to have an LRA senior staff member present for all of the Hill visits.

To register, click here.

I’ll see you in D.C.!


Jim Besselman
2015 State Whip, NRA Public Affairs Conference

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