Chicago 2019: Hospitality



We pour so much time, effort, and emotion into the conference each year - it's one of the highlights of our careers - and because of that it's always been hard to think about expanding it beyond a single day in New York. Nearly every year we've talked about what else we might do, where else we could go, but we return back to the same idea of focusing our efforts on where we are because it takes so much time to make it what it has become.

But times have changed, and thanks to Donnie Madia and Kevin Boehm, who approached us after the 2018 conference in New York, we are excited to create a more intimate, regional event in Chicago. Having Kevin and Donnie, who get what the conference is all about, help usher in this next chapter, in a city filled with a remarkable history of hospitality, brings us such joy.

So without further ado, we're proud to announce the inaugural speakers for the first ever Welcome Conference Chicago below! The theme this year will be "Hospitality.”

We are thrilled with the group of remarkable people who have gathered for this year’s conference, and we can’t wait to see you in Chicago this Fall. 

- The Welcome Conference Team

Hosted by Donnie Madia & Kevin Boehm

September 23rd at the Steppenwolf Theatre

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Danny Meyer - Restaurateur, Union Square Hospitality Group
Andrew Zimmern - Restaurateur & TV Personality
Missy Robbins - Co-Founder Grovehouse, Chef-Owner of Lilia and Misi
Sean Feeney - Co-Founder Grovehouse, Owner of Lilia and Misi
Phil Vettel - Dining Critic, Chicago Tribune
Ken Fredrickson - Master Sommelier & Founder, Tenzing
Mindy Segal - Chef & Author, Mindy’s HotChocolate
Tim King - CEO, Urban Prep Academics
Kevin Brown - CEO, Lettuce Entertain You
Maile Carpenter - Editor-in-Chief, Food Network Magazine
Belinda Chang - Sommelier
Donnie Madia - Restaurateur, One Off Hospitality
Kevin Boehm - Restaurateur, Boka Restaurant Group


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