Updates from the Director

The Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations typically publishes updates from its director a few times each year. You can see all of CIHLER’s news and features on BusinessFeed.


David Sherwyn

Academic Director of CIHLER; John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources 607.255.1711

June 2024

With graduation and reunion in Ithaca’s rear-view mirror, it is time to look back at the last year and on to the next. CIHLER is nearly back to its pre-pandemic days. Last September, we hosted our 21st Annual Labor and Employment Roundtable. In addition to members of our management board, we also had a concurrent roundtable with our employee advocate board. In the afternoon, both groups met to discuss the issues that are affecting the industry.

Our 18th annual HR in Hospitality Conference, with over 300 attendees, seven plenaries, and more than 20 breakouts, continues to be our signature event. This year, our keynote was Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). I can honestly say that Johnny rocked the house – thanks for coming, my friend! Once again, CIHLER had a significant presence at the Georgetown Hospitality Law Summit, ALIS Law, the Big Sky Labor Conference, and NYU’s 76th annual labor conference.

Given our Center’s mission to modernize labor relations in the hospitality industry, CIHLER continues to focus on holding union/management roundtables and Unite Here’s presence at CIHLER’s annual conference continues to grow. Our HR in Hospitality Conference featured numerous panels with leaders from Unite Here. The 2025 HR in Hospitality Conference at the Hotel Del Coronado will have even more joint sessions with the union and other plaintiffs as we discuss the employment law issues of the day. In September of 2024, Gwen Mills, President of Unite Here, and I will be keynote speakers at next year’s Georgetown Hospitality Law Summit, strengthening our relationship even further.

As we continue to look forward, we will have our 22nd Annual Labor and Employment Roundtable on September 9th in Ithaca, NY. We will host several Roundtables and continue our eCornell Webinar series—we did four this year and expect to double that number next year. We are thrilled that Mike Maffie, Assistant Professor of Human Resources, will be presenting on AI in Big Sky in August. I will be there, too. I hope to see some of you there!

Lastly, on the research front, Harry Katz and I are part of a team that proved that arbitration is 19 times more plaintiff-friendly than litigation. This research corrects decades of what we now know was inaccurate scholarship that, unfortunately, Congress relied on. CIHLER is part of the team working with members of Congress to correct this misperception.

Our goal here at CIHLER is to continue to be at the forefront of the industry and grow our board membership. We are incredibly thankful for the work that the members on both CIHLER boards do to further our mission and our friend, thought leader, and driving force, John Ceriale, without whom none of this would be possible.


Previous Director's Updates

Below are previous director’s messages from David Sherwyn, founding academic director of the Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations.