40 Year Anniversary Series: As RHI celebrates a 40th anniversary in 2023, this interview returns to the end of the twentieth century as Athens, Georgia, was transitioning from a predominantly daytime to a nighttime economy. Birthplace of band legends REM and B52 and home of the 40 Watt Club and other icon music venues as well as 40,000 University of Georgia students, Athens’ growth in evening and late-night dining and entertainment required focused, collaborative nighttime management strategies. Armando Sanchez-Aballi was hired to coordinate the Athens Hospitality Resource Panel in 1999, an early format of what today would become an office on nightlife. This interview revisits some of the challenges and the value of a coordinated, collaborative process with key stakeholders and Armando’s role. It continues with his move to establish the Tallahassee Hospitality Resource Panel and support programs in Delray Beach and Ybor City in Tampa.
Armando Sanchez-Aballi worked as the Hospitality Resource Panel (HRP) coordinator at the Athens Downtown Development Authority in 1999 before moving to establish the Tallahassee HRP. He went on to work with the Beer Industry of Florida before shifting to a career in the healthcare industry.