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Business Beat: Traci Dufresne, manager, hospitality workforce development at RI Hospitality Assoc.

The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) is pleased to announce that Woonsocket, RI resident Traci Dufresne has been named its manager of hospitality workforce development.  

In her role, Dufresne is tasked with conducting all trainings for RIHA and the RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF), teaching multiple hospitality trainings including Coaching for First Time Managers and Hotel Boot Camp, coordinating the Rhode Island ProStart® High School Culinary & Management program and organizing its yearly competition, and more. 

“Traci has proven to be a valuable member of our team and an excellent resource for her colleagues and for our members,” said Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO, RIHA. “She has been integral to our mission since joining our team and has done a great job managing and coordinating our trainings while working to empower those looking to further their careers within the industry.”  

Dufresne’s career in hospitality began in May of 1998 when she secured a position as a manager for a popular local chain restaurant and its various concepts; a position she held until February of 2014. After that, she worked as a manager for Outback Steakhouse, where she gained valuable experience as a trainer, until joining RIHA’s staff in 2021. 

Dufresne received an associate degree from the Katharine Gibbs College 1999. She is a certified ServSafe® and State of Rhode Island food safety instructor, a certified ServSafe® alcohol instructor, and a certified American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) instructor. 

Photo Credit: Spencer Gossy Photography

About the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA):

With more than 900 foodservice and hospitality members in Rhode Island, the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) has been the voice of the hospitality industry in the state since 1963.  For more information on the RIHA, please call (401) 223-1120, or write to: RI Hospitality Association, 94 Sabra Street, Cranston, RI, 02910, or visit

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