Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Hara III

Robert J. O'Hara III

Attorney, Flaherty & O'Hara, PC

Robert “R.J.” O'Hara is president of Flaherty & O'Hara, p.c., a Pennsylvania-based boutique law firm with eleven attorneys and 20 support staff practicing exclusively in the alcohol beverage space. Mr. O'Hara received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Dayton in 1989 and his B.A. in English in 1985 from the same school. He served as Articles Editor of the University of Dayton Law Review and is a member of the National Honors Society in History. He co-founded the Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants and is chair of its Board. He is an associate member of several national professional and alcohol regulatory organizations and is honored to be frequently invited to speak at national and regional conferences on alcohol-related topics, as well as on the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational uses.

Mr. O'Hara represents members of all three tiers of the alcohol industry, representing clients on general liquor licensing matters, complex ownership changes, in litigation and hearings, on multistate license acquisitions, and on administrative citations. Mr. O'Hara's clients include numerous private equity funds and institutional investors in the hospitality, restaurant and alcohol manufacturing spaces, and addressing their unique concerns. Flaherty & O'Hara is national liquor counsel to numerous national and regional chain hotels, restaurants and grocers. The Firm's attorneys also often counsel on tied house and trade practice matters, advise clients on the legality of national alcohol promotions and marketing programs, and frequently draft legislation. Mr. O'Hara is also a shareholder in a PA craft brewery, Erie Brewing Company in Erie, PA, maker of Railbender Ale, an award-winning Scotch ale, among others.


Mr. O'Hara III can be contacted at 412-456-2001 or rj@flaherty-ohara.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.