Spotlight on Hospitality Professionals

Are you a hospitality professional?  Do you want to be? If so, the article, “Training Tomorrow’s Professionals” is about YOU! Just a few months into retirement I was thrilled to contribute to this article published by Minnesota Meetings and Events Magazine. Now I’m even more excited to be returning to DCTC. Contact Jason Obarski,, or me, if you want to complete your educational journey and open doors to you future.  Let’s go back to school together!

Rondi Pacheco is Making Every Minute Count


Rondi Pacheco is having quite a year!  She completed the trifecta of education — degrees in accounting, law, and meeting-event management. The latter degree, earned at DCTC, was instrumental in what she describes as, “finding my true calling.”

For Rondi, a self-described “idealist”, promoting other people and their talents is part of who she is.  Equally important to her is volunteerism.  In her words, “I’ve been given some special gifts and talents and I need to share them with my community.” Her infectious energy and love of people are all part this sparkly package that her native-Hawaii is sharing with Minnesota.  Those of us who know Rondi, chuckle when she introduces herself as an introvert.  Yes, she loves to dance, sing, read comic books and is in a bowling league, but few would categorize her as an introvert. She lives her belief that, “I don’t have a lot of time here on this earth, so I better make every minute count.”

At the recent Best of Minnesota 2016, Rondi was MNME7832_0617_Bestof2016Awards_RN_0004inducted into the Minnesota Meetings and Events Hall of Fame and honored with the coveted “Up-and-Coming Meeting Professional” award.

It was a magical evening with great friends and entertainment.  Rondi was visiting her family in Hawaii and asked me to accept the award on her behalf.  The number of DCTC program alumni in the audience that night made it feel much like a DCTC-alumni reunion.

A few months ago, Rondi was awarded Leader of the Month by the MPI Minnesota Chapter. Rondi volunteers with MPI on the team that manages the organization’s social media accounts and promotes activities on social media platforms. During her time in that role, MPI has seen engagement and page visits increase exponentially on Facebook.  In fact, during one week, MPI MN experienced a 375% increase in page visits and 47% increase in engagement.  The nomination for this award describes Rondi succinctly: “Rondi has been an absolute JOY to work with; flexible, responsible and really stays on top of her game.”

Rondi’s leadership and dedication to the industry are best summarized by a statement she made recently for the pressselfie pics at MPI: “The Meeting/Events/Hospitality industry is about providing service to others.  It is an industry where individuals cater to and care for the needs of our clients and guests.  This is an industry that thrives on creativity and inspirational genius.  My personal passion of helping and guiding individuals to create their own unique experience is what motivates me to blaze a path for others coming behind me.  I want to share my experiences so that others will not fall and flounder but instead grow and prosper.  This is why I love this industry and will continue to share this love for years to come.”


Design for Success: Embassy Chefs Met the Challenge! You can too!

haiti-serving-the-winning-dishWhat challenge, you ask?  Seamlessly integrating components of an event is always a challenge; even more so when logistics, procurement, stakeholder objectives, marketing, and public relations meet.  This slide show from the 9th Annual Embassy Chef Challenge shows the magic that happens when synergy meets success. Thank you, BizBash and PCMA for excellent reporting. Students at DCTC’s Hospitality and Event Management program learn all of this and more as part of their journey.  Together we make your success happen. One simple course, a certificate, or degree can change your life, amp up your career and earn accolades for your organization!

Learn about stakeholder objectives in SMGT 1160.

Explore procurement and financial aspects in SMGT 1160, 1161, and 1162.

Logistics range from event space, traffic flow, signage, floral, audio-visual, communication and just a few hundred other items.  Start with SMGT 1160, 1161, 1162, 1680, and 1696 . Then move on to SMGT 1166 to create WOW in the exciting world of event design.

Want to know more about marketing and public relations?  Check out SMGT 1176.

All of the components come together in SMGT 1172.  Don’t get caught up in the small details and neglect the big picture.  After all, a successful hospitality event manager is a project manager at the core!

Achieving success is an adventure! Learn about your adventure by email from Marki Struensee, or contact me on LinkedIn.

Real Learning YOUR Way

classroom or online - you choose - custom_board_education_books_14423

DCTC Hospitality Programs meet you where you’re at and take service to a whole new level! Students can work completely online or combine online with in-person classes.

Flexible Learning at It’s Best!

You can choose to be completely online one week and only partially online next week. Students who live in other states or countries, are traveling, or just can’t make it to class, may work online completely. Or, you can reduce your computer screen time by participating in part-time “classroom” opportunities in the real world. This is learning at its best!

Get it Your Way — In the Real World

We make learning real! “Classroom” takes on a whole new meaning in DCTC’s hospitality courses. Thanks to industry partners, almost all of the optional “classroom” Saturdays are in the real world at venues and industry organizations. Students get behind-the-scenes tours and hear from industry professionals.

Here’s your list of fall ’16 semester courses with optional “classroom” dates and locations. THANK YOU, industry partners for helping to make learning real!

SMGT 1022 Leadership

1160 Fundamentals of Meeting, Conference, & Event Management

SMGT 1161 Advanced Meeting, Conference, & Event Management

SMGT 1162 Special Event Management & Coordination

SMGT 1166 Event Design: The Art of Wow


Chart your career path in Meeting and Event Management or Hospitality Lodging Management.

For more information about any of DCTC’s Hospitality Programs, contact or meet me on LinkedIn.


Change in Today’s NEW Marketplace: Evolution or Revolution?

Ask Ray Kroc, founder of the fast food chain, McDonalds, about success.

If you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first . . . success will be yours.

Ray Kroc

At last count, McDonalds had almost 37,000 locations worldwide so there must be something to this “customer first” thing. Since Kroc’s organization began in 1955, the marketplace has changed. During those six + decades, business has evolved. While many changes influenced the evolution, many have joined Kroc on the list of change leaders. Technology and globalization are among the many factors that fed the evolution. And, each of the leaders that led that evolution share this legacy. They were . . .

Aware of opportunities

Applied sound business practice

Faced challenges

Effected change

Some believe these leaders were just lucky; they were in the right place at the right time.  In truth, historical research indicates these individuals were aware of changes impacting business and dreamed evolution was possible. They dreamed it, hoped it, planned it, and gave it a deadline. Each, in their way, effected evolution.  At the time, some onlookers thought of the changes as revolution. I’m sure for many, the loss of “the way we used to be”, felt like revolution then and to some, what we’re discussing here may also be akin to revolution.

The fluidity of today’s marketplace combined with demographic evolution of the world’s citizenry, have brought us to an intersection of hope, opportunity, challenge, and change. hope opportunity challenge change custom_four_street_sign_13089

No culture, country or business is exempt from addressing a fundamental shift in business promulgated by the fact that people have and are changing.  It is one thing to refer to the generations and quite another to consider that each generation shares a span of birth years and collective experiences. As a group, each generation prioritizes their values differently.

A note from Rosealee: We are part of a global economy, and none of us is exempt from the web of international business. This is the third in a series of five articles that originate from a keynote address on hope, opportunity, challenge, and change I was recently honored to present at an international business conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


George Washington and the Jesuits Figured It Out — It’s Our Turn!

Civility is always a topic of research on my desk. It is an integral component of everything I do; educational curriculum, business consulting . . . heck . . . life, is all about civility. At its core, civility is respect; respect for self and others.

“Do unto others” has been around for a while. In addition to the obvious early religious references, French Jesuits compiled rules of civility in 1595. Francis Hawkins was the first to publish the Jesuit rules in English in 1640. His work can be traced to Youths Behavior or Decency in Conversation Amongst Men.

George Washington (1732-1799) studied the work as a young man and from washingtonit, fashioned his “110 rules.” He believed the rules were necessary for someone aspiring to be a gentleman.  The rules are mirrored in every publication that focuses on customer service, good business, civility, and success strategies. Yet I find it stunning that they are not mirrored in much of our daily lives.


It really is our turn!  If we respected ourselves and others, there would be no need for many of the college courses we teach, a lot of the consulting requests I receive, or articles like this.  Come to think of it, I think world peace would be achieved. But apparently, there is a need for us to be reminded of civility.  Here’s the rule:

Civility Matters!

Relationships happen with civility.  Relationships enhance our lives. Civility increases happiness and wealth.  Rules are still being written and ALL of them route back to the French Jesuits and George Washington.  I applaud Kathleen Elkins’ article in the Business Insider published earlier this year.  The article, “5 simple etiquette habits that help the rich get ahead, according to a man who spent 5 years studying millionaires,” cites these rules:

  1. Send thank you cards
  2. Remember the little details
  3. Have good table manners
  4. Know how to dress
  5. Introduce yourself properly

Not much more needs to be said, but for a step back in time (or perhaps into our future?), read more of George Washington’s, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, here.

Courage Kenny Jr Wheelchair Softball World Series Needs YOU!

Courage Kenny Jr World Series Softball

2016 Jr. World Series Wheelchair Softball
Friday, August 5 – Saturday, August 6
Brooklyn Park, Northwoods Park
 *Current DCTC hospitality students may qualify to earn course assignment credit
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute will be hosting the tournament and needs volunteers to help provide a quality tournament for our youth.   To sign up and see the list of volunteer openings for individuals 16 years of age and older, please go to:
Dress is casual.   You may wear your own corporate t –shirt if you have one.  Otherwise, we will provide you with our Allina volunteer t–shirt to wear. Please come to volunteer or cheer on our highly competitive players!
*Current hospitality students: This can earn you more than a thank you and that warm fuzzy feeling — Please consult with Rosealee Lee about assignment credit for your first fall semester ’16 program course.