LOS ANGELES, June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- City leaders and planners, law enforcement officers, bar and restaurant proprietors and neighborhood organization heads from across California will discuss 'best practices' to manage 'hospitality zones' in their cities when they meet in Los Angeles on Monday, June 28, for the California Sociable City Forum: Investing in a Safe and Vibrant Nighttime Economy organized by the Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) and sponsored in part by Diageo, the world's leading spirits, beer and wine company.
"The purpose of the conference," said Stephenie Shah, Senior Director of State Government Relations, Diageo North America, "is to help cities foster hospitality zones that will enhance city nightlife and expand tourism and trade, while satisfying the standards of community residents and reducing the risks of irresponsible behavior." Diageo has been a major supporter of RHI since 2001.
Michael P. Downing, Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and Elizabeth Peterson-Gower, member of the Downtown Hospitality Forum and President of Elizabeth Peterson Group, Inc. will welcome participants to this day-long event. Jim Peters, President of the Responsibility Hospitality Institute, and a global expert on hospitality issues, will speak to the common trends and issues among North American cities and the 'core elements' of a safe and vibrant hospitality zone.
James Keblas, Director of the Seattle Office of Film and Music will kick-off a networking luncheon in the afternoon. A facilitated panel discussion will follow, focusing on the challenges to planning and managing hospitality zones and the successful strategies employed to meet those challenges. Speakers on the panel will include:
- Joe Cruz, Assistant Director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
- Mary Coburn, Board Member of the California Downtown Association and Operations Manager of Downtown Long Beach Associates
- Rodney Jones, Fontana Chief of Police and member of the California Police Chiefs Association
- Jot Condie, President and CEO of the California Restaurant Association
- Steve Zolezzi, Executive Vice President of the Food and Beverage Association of San Diego County
- Thaddeus Smith, Board President of Hollywood Entertainment District and owner/operator of The Music Box Theatre
- Jocelyn Kane, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission
Participants will experience first-hand the importance of bringing diverse perspectives of neighborhood groups, retailers, and government officials to make nighttime economies safe and enjoyable for everyone.
"The forum is especially important now," said Jim Peters, Founder and President of RHI, "because of the trend toward downtown and center city living and, with it, demand for more dining and entertainment options. Changing demographics are driving growth in the over 50 and under 30 populations, who are often seeking socializing options during different time periods."
The RHI is holding a series of Sociable City Forums in nearly a dozen cities nationwide during Summer and Fall of 2010.
Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.
Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).
For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.
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About Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI)
RHI is a private, non-profit organization that has been assisting businesses and communities in creating safe and vibrant places to socialize since 1983.