Dr. Lalia Rach's introduction to the hospitality industry began at a young age as her grandmother owned and operated a popular restaurant, Eulalia’s in Spring Green, Wisconsin for decades. Lalia continued on the family path working at Rock’s Round Barn Restaurant in Spring Green throughout high school and college. Upon graduating from UW-Platteville she began a managerial career in the hotel industry and taught hospitality-related classes at MATC in Madison WI part-time. During this time Lalia went back to college and subsequently earned an MBA in management from UW-Whitewater.
When she completed her graduate degree accomplished she decided to move laterally from the hospitality industry to hospitality higher education and began her second career as a college instructor at UW-Stout in Menomonie WI where she earned Outstanding Teacher of the Year honors in her second year.
It was during this time she realized her move to higher education was a permanent decision. Lalia accepted a teaching position at George Washington University in Washington DC and enrolled in the doctoral program in higher education where she earned an Ed.D. While completing her education she served as the graduate program director for tourism at GW. After graduation Lalia became the dean of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at the University of New Haven. Two years later she was recruited to serve as the founding dean of the hospitality program at New York University. During her tenure as dean at NYU, the hospitality program was named the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. Lalia stepped down from the deanship in 2010 after fifteen years in the position and returned to the classroom.
In addition to her role as an educator, Rach has also published extensively, authoring book chapters and numerous articles and is a highly sought-after speaker. She is a current or former board member of a wide range of corporations and associations, including the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association, the Madison (WI) Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Foundation, the Mohegan Sun Hotel Board of Advisors, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Women Business Travelers Advisory Board, the Educational Institute (American Hotel & Lodging Association), NYC & Co., New York City Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Travel and Tourism Research Association and The Society of Travel and Tourism Educators. She is a member of the Association of Travel Marketing Executives, the Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Educators, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International and Meeting Professionals International.
Rach maintains a hands-on role in the "real world" of the hospitality industry as a founder and partner of Rach Enterprises, a consulting firm that provides strategic guidance to hospitality businesses and public sector agencies in the area of economic development, strategic planning, brand management and customer service.