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2019 Chief Staff Executives Retreat & Small Bar Track
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 Export to Your Calendar 3/12/2019 to 3/13/2019
When: March 12 - 13, 2019
Where: Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
540 N Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois  60611
United States
Contact: Emma Buell

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Please click here to view a program preview of the General CSE Retreat Program.

Please click here to view a program preview of the Small Bar Track Program.

The CSE Retreat is a great opportunity for chief staff executives of bars of all sizes to gather in advance of the ABA Bar Leadership Institute to discuss personal development, human resources issues, and volunteer/management relationships.


As a change from last year’s conference, this year’s retreat will be held as a collaborative event in conjunction with the Small Bar Conference. To kick-off the retreat, there will be separate welcome dinners on Tuesday evening, March 12, one for general CSE attendees and one for Small Bar attendees. On Wednesday, all attendees will participate in a joint breakfast and joint programming in the morning. In the afternoon there will be an offsite lunch and targeted programming for smaller bars at the Chicago offices of the Illinois State Bar Association. Lunch and programming appealing to a broader range of CSE's will continue at the Marriott. As always, the CSE Retreat is open to executive directors only.


NABE is also bringing back the Bootcamp for New Executive Directors which will be held prior to CSE Retreat and Small Bar dinners, on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 12. The Bootcamp is geared toward executive directors who have been in their positions under two years.

Registration Fees

General CSE Retreat

Registration for the 2019 CSE Retreat includes the CSE Tuesday Dinner, Wednesday joint breakfast, Wednesday CSE lunch and all substantive CSE programming. Guest ticket price for either Tuesday dinner is a separate fee and not included in the retreat registration price.

Small Bar Track

Registration for the 2019 Small Bar Track includes Wednesday joint breakfast and morning programming with CSE and a separate lunch and afternoon programming. To keep registration for the Small Bar Track affordable, the Tuesday Small Bar Dinner is optional and requires a separate fee. Guest ticket price for either Tuesday dinner is a separate fee and not included in the retreat registration price.

Small Bar Track Attendees click here to register >>

General CSE Attendees click here to register >>

Early Registration Rate through February 4, 2019
$100 for Small Bar Track*
$285 for General CSE Sessions

Standard Rate after February 4, 2019
$125 for Small Bar Track*
$335 for General CSE Sessions

Additional Fees
$65 Tuesday Small Bar Dinner Ticket (both attendee and guest ticket price for Small Bar Track)
$85 Guest Ticket General CSE Tuesday Dinner

*Special registration rate provided for the Small Bar Track as part of the CSE Retreat/Small Bar Conference joint event.

Meeting Venue and Accommodations

The 2019 CSE Retreat and the Small Bar Conference Track will be held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown (540 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL). The Small Bar Conference Track Wednesday afternoon will be held at the Chicago offices of the Illinois State Bar Association, 20 South Clark Street, Chicago, IL. Both CSE and Small Bar immediately precede the 2019 ABA Bar Leadership Institute, and accommodations will be provided by the BLI headquarter hotel, the Chicago Marriott Downtown. The BLI room rate is $208 (+tax). CSE and Small Bar are scheduled to precede the BLI conference for economy, but individuals may attend CSE and/or Small Bar independently of the BLI and make reservations at the Marriott. Please follow the link below to make hotel reservations no later than February 25, 2019.

Registration Policies

Registration: Registration is $100 for Small Bar Track attendees and $285 for individuals attending the General CSE Retreat through February 4. After February 4, registration increases to $125 for the Small Bar Track and $335 for the General CSE Retreat. The Tuesday Small Bar Dinner is a separate fee of $65 for attendees and their guests, and not included in the early or standard rate registration. Guests tickets to the General CSE Tuesday Dinner are $85 each. Registration closes on February 25, 2019. Late registrations will be accommodated provided that registration has not reached capacity. Please contact Emma Buell at to request registration after February 25, 2019. Names of late registrants may not be included on the attendee list provided in the pre-meeting message sent to registrants.

Cancellations: All requests for refunds must be submitted in writing to Rebecca Green-Jablonsky at A full refund will be applied to cancellations received on or before February 1, 2019. Refunds of 50 percent will be applied to cancellations received after February 1 through February 25. Refunds for cancellations after February 25 cannot be guaranteed.

Information: Please direct general registration questions to Emma Buell at


The NABE Scholarship Committee is proud to offer 3 scholarships available to Executive Directors only for attendance at the 2019 CSE Retreat (including the Small Bar Track). The scholarship includes a waiver of the 2019 CSE Retreat registration fee, and up to $750 in reimbursement to cover the cost of travel expenses. Please follow this link for scholarship guidelines and to apply no later than January 18, 2019.


Interested in sponsoring the 2019 CSE Retreat? Follow this link to view the 2019 Sponsor Prospectus.

Weather and Transportation

Weather: Chicago weather in March is typically between 45 and 50 degrees.

Transportation: O’Hare International Airport; Midway Airport; Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Buses and Trains

Visit for more information about things to do in the Windy City.

National Association of Bar Executives
c/o ABA Division for Bar Services
321 N. Clark St., 17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 988-5408