Trudy Rautio among top hospitality executives urging President Obama to focus on growing jobs in the industry

Trudy Rautio, Carlson president and CEO, joined a select group of CEOs asked to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House today on the second anniversary of his National Travel & Tourism Strategy. The travel and tourism industry supports nearly 15 million jobs in the U.S. and is one of the nation’s largest employers; creating one out of every 9 jobs.

The discussion with the President included both domestic and international travel community priorities, including the development of airport-specific action plans to improve international visitors' experience upon arrival; expansion of the Visa Waiver Program to nations such as Brazil and Poland; surface and aviation infrastructure needs; and provisions of the JOLT Act now pending before the House, specifically those related to immigration reform.

"The president recognizes that travel is a top performer on many of his economic priorities, like job creation and the U.S. trade balance," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "He invited us in to ask us what we need to be able to do even better. Customs entry reform, Brand USA renewal, infrastructure improvements—we didn't hold anything back, and he listened intently to everything we had to say."

“To achieve our goal of attracting 100 million international visitors to the U.S. by 2021, we need well-trained employees who can find ladders of opportunity within our growing travel and hospitality industry,” said Trudy after the meeting.

Trudy, who also serves on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, personally thanked President Obama for his workforce development and job-skills agenda and his recently announced $450 million in new Department of Labor grants under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative.

“As Marilyn Carlson Nelson has long said, ‘the greatest form of philanthropy is a good job,’ and Hospitality is an industry where you can quickly work your way up into a well-paying position in professional management,” continued Trudy. “Jobs in our industry can pull people up and out of poverty and provide opportunities to grow the middle class.”

Trudy also took the opportunity to ask President Obama to continue his administration’s efforts to eradicate human trafficking, another major philanthropic initiative for Carlson.

To read more about the outcome of of this executive roundtable, click here.

Other travel executives joining Trudy at the White House included:

Jim Abrahamson, chief executive officer, Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Geoff Ballotti, chief executive officer, Wyndham Hotel Group
John Caparella, president and CEO, The Venetian I The Palazzo
Stephen Cloobeck, founder and chairman, Diamond Resorts International
Roger Dow, president and CEO, U. S. Travel Association
Barney Harford, chief executive officer, Orbitz Worldwide
Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Jeremy Jacobs, Jr., principal, Delaware North Companies
Stephen Joyce, president and CEO, Choice Hotels International
Tom Klein, president and CEO, Sabre
Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide
Joseph Popolo, Jr., CEO, Freeman
Sergio Rivera, president, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International
John Sprouls, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Universal Parks and Resorts
Greg Stubblefield, president, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental
W. Edward Walter, president and chief executive officer, Host Hotels & Resorts
Paul Whetsell, president and CEO, Loews Hotels
Anre Williams, president, Global Merchant Services, American Express Company

Photo at right: Trudy Rautio, Carlson president and chief executive officer, participated in an executive roundtable with President Barack Obama to discuss the importance of job creation within the Hospitality industry. 

May 22, 2014
Photo caption:
Trudy Rautio joined a select group of CEOs in Washington, D.C. today who met with the president to discuss job growth and related topics in the hospitality industry on the second anniversary of the National Travel & Tourism Strategy.