Piedmont College has partnered with The Classic Center Authority and The Classic Center Cultural Foundation to co-host the Athens Hospitality and Tourism Conference March 27.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 1 to 4 pm in The Classic Center. The conference will celebrate the fast-growing hospitality industry, which has been ranked as the second-largest sector employer in Georgia. The conference’s host city, Athens, is a vibrant tourist attraction with a bustling hospitality economy.

Earlier this year, The Classic Center Authority, The Classic Center Cultural Foundation and Piedmont introduced a new Hospitality & Tourism Management program that is part of the Harry W. Walker School of Business. Classes will be available at Piedmont’s Athens campus this fall.

The keynote address will be given by John Brantley, a renowned speaker, who will discuss how to “Build a Thriving Workforce Today.” Brantley’s leadership and team-building systems have been used to improve performance, productivity, and employee engagement.

Hannah Smith, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau, will also speak on “I Bet You Didn’t Know the Many Ways that the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau Can Help You”. 

The conference is part of a larger effort by the Authority, the Cultural Foundation and Piedmont College to grow and develop a hospitality and tourism workforce for the Athens area.

“Athens is one of the most popular destination cities in Georgia,” said Paul Cramer, Executive Director of The Classic Center Authority. “Each year, hundreds of thousands visit Athens to enjoy sporting events, concerts, theatre productions and festivals. Hospitality and tourism is an important industry, and it demands a highly skilled and innovative workforce.”

The conference will conclude with three 15-minute roundtable discussions where attendees will have the opportunity to sit with industry experts and pertinent professionals in an informal environment to discuss related topics. The conference is an ideal setting to meet the professionals who directly impact the hospitality and tourism industry in Athens and experts in social media, education, and career development. 

To register and learn more about the conference, please visit the hospitality and tourism conference webpage.


For more information contact:

Ashley Crain, Ashley@ClassicCenter.com




About Piedmont College

Now celebrating its 120th year as one of the most dynamic small colleges in the Southeast, Piedmont is an independent liberal arts college of more than 2,360 students. The college’s four schools—Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing & Health Sciences—develop tomorrow’s leaders by engaging students in the classroom, in their community, and around the world. 


About The Classic Center

Located in Athens, Georgia, The Classic Center is a multi-use conference center, performing arts theatre, multi-purpose arena and outdoor, covered pavilion hosting conventions, conferences, meetings, weddings, concerts, sporting tournaments and special events for up to 6,000 people.


About The Classic Center Cultural Foundation
The Classic Center Cultural Foundation provides resources to entertain and educate the Athens community by providing and supporting diverse performing, visual and culinary arts and hospitality workforce development programs, while working to maintain The Classic Center in a state-of-the-art condition. The Cultural Foundation established the Paul T. Martin Hospitality Education Fund in 2018 as a way to further support local hospitality workforce development initiatives.