A "Letter of Cooperation” pledge agreement was officially accepted last week between the Bed and Breakfast associations of the USA and Belarus at the annual meeting of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII). The Presidents of both Associations, Jay Karen and Dr. Valeria Klitsounova, signed the document that initially launches an exchange program of professional training resources and opens membership of the 800 Belarusian B&B’s and Farmsteads to enjoy the significant benefit of PAII resources.
Dr. Wayne Engel, who is PAII’s International Ambassador-at-large negotiated the agreement this past year. Dr. Engel is Professor Emeritus at James Madison University and Owner of The Stonewall Jackson Inn at Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. As an expert, as well as Ambassador, he was invited by the State Department and the American Embassy to spend a week in Minsk with Dr. Klitsounova to consult, open relationship/doors and negotiate the first outreach initiative to Europe’s eastern countries to cooperate in matters related to owning and operating a profitable Bed and Breakfast business. As a result, Drs. Engel, Klitsounova and three aspiring interning Innkeepers were invited and hosted by PAII for the official signing of the document of cooperation.
Already in place, there is a pilot Internship Training Program in operation at Dr. Engel’s Stonewall Jackson Inn B&B with the three young Aspiring Belarusian Innkeepers. These interns were specially selected by Dr. Klitsounova as the first of many other aspiring and experienced Innkeepers that will be placed in selected successful and training oriented B&B’s in the USA. In return, an identical program is available in Belarus for our Innkeepers. The two Associations are currently making a joint application to several private international foundations to fund and staff for further development of the internship program, and to exchange research information and professional training resources.