50 Members Spend Day at the Capitol

More than 50 members spent a Day at the Capitol this session. Individuals and teams met with their legislators and leadership and attended hearings on one of two organized advocacy days.

Several businesses brought a team from their businesses, taking the opportunity meet with as many legislators as possible where they do business. They also saw it as a professional development program for younger leaders.

Here is the team from Parasole Restaurant Group, joined by members of the D’Amico Partners team.

In total, the two day-cohorts participated in nearly 75 meetings with legislators, making the case for our legislative agenda.


A good deal of advanced planning by staff goes into making these advocacy days, which this ran from 9am – 4pm, a success. Each member who registers provides their home address as well as the addresses for all their business locations. Then, staff get to work reaching our to legislative assistants to set up meetings, many of which are attended by more than one constituent. In addition, a schedule of special meetings and hearings is compiled to share with attendees, who can choose whether or not to attend.

The days started with a gathering kick-off at the Saint Paul Hotel, where Jill Sims, Director of Government Relations ran through the schedule and provided updates on legislation and messaging. One of this year’s kick-offs also featured a welcome and brief presentation by Lauren Bennett McGinty, Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism (EMT). Support of EMT’s budget request is on Hospitality Minnesota’s legislative agenda, so Director McGinty provided background on it.

Armed with schedules and updated information, participants were transported to the Minnesota State Capitol in courtesy vans generously donated for the day by the Saint Paul Hotel and Grand Casino Hinkley. After checking in at the Hospitality Minnesota “Hub,” this year located in the Transportation Building Cafeteria, attendees took off for their meetings.

At 2:30, or so, participants shuttled back to the Saint Paul Hotel to debrief on the day. Individuals shared what they learned, which helps staff understand where the challenges and opportunities are for advancing our agenda.

Something else happens during the day, especially during the debrief. Members who do not know one another have a chance to become better acquainted and hear different perspectives and experiences around the issues.

After a full day, the Day adjourned at 4pm, with many expressing gratitude and that the day was well worth their time away from their businesses. On participant remarked in a follow-up conversation, “Of all the advocacy days I participate in during the session, Hospitality Minnesota’s are the best and most effective.”

If you were not able to participate in this year’s Day at the Capitol program, you can still connect with your legislators and attend hearings. If you would like assistance setting up and preparing for meetings with your legislators, contact Jill Sims at jill@hospitalitymn.com.

Watch for the notice of our 2024 Day at the Capitol dates early in the new year. Both dates for this year filled to capacity before the deadline.

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