Party Professor – December 2023


An Advocacy Party

We Can Make a Difference One Voice at a Time!

Beth Standlee 0319

Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

Recently, I had a very exciting adventure on the “Hill” in D.C. with my AAMA friends. As a board member, one of our commitments is to advocate for those of us who make our living and lives in the entertainment space.

I have never been to our nation’s capital and the experience was one of the coolest parties I’ve ever been to. It might sound lame, but it felt as if we were doing something important. We weren’t sitting on the sidelines complaining about what Washington won’t do. Who knows if anyone was really listening. Who knows if our concerns will be taken on by the senate and house representatives’ staff we communicated with. What I do know is doing nothing is not an option for me. I am committed to fighting for my right to party!

Advocacy is a powerful force that can drive positive change in our world. It involves raising your voice, standing up for what you believe in, and working towards a better future. Among the topics we tackled were rising costs of labor. We asked about the potential of a “training” wage for first time workers. We also brought up the need for H2B visas for temporary workers.

I was pretty excited to hear about the HERO bill, on the floor currently, that incentivizes employers in our space to employ young people who might otherwise fall through the cracks. I’m not sure we hear enough about these types of opportunities and when we do, we need to figure out how to support and help pass this type of legislation. Because I’m terrible at reading legalese, I’ve used to help summarize the bill for you.

Beth Standlee

Beth Standlee made her first trip to the nation’s capital with AAMA’s lobbying delegation in late October to help advocate for the industry.

Introducing the HERO Act of 2023: Empowering Youth Through Tax Credits

Summary: The Helping to Encourage Real Opportunities (HERO) for Youth Act of 2023, designated as S. 1276, is a legislative proposal introduced in the 118th Congress. This bill is aimed at amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make significant changes to the work opportunity credit for certain youth employees. The primary sponsors of this bill are Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth, and it was introduced on April 25, 2023. The key provisions of the HERO Act are:

1. Short Title: The bill’s official title is the “Helping to Encourage Real Opportunities (HERO) for Youth Act of 2023.”

2. Expansion of Credit for Summer Youth: The HERO Act proposes to modify the work opportunity credit by expanding the credit for summer youth employment. It allows for year-round employment by striking certain clauses and redefining them. Under the new provisions, the credit will be allowed for individuals employed for not more than 20 hours per week during any period between September 16 and April 30 while attending secondary school.

3. Increase in Credit Amount: The bill increases the credit amount by restructuring certain sections of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

4. Credit for Disconnected Youth: The HERO Act introduces a credit for disconnected youth, defined as individuals aged 16 to 25 who have not regularly attended secondary, technical, or post-secondary school for a 6-month period preceding the hiring date, have not been regularly employed during the same period, and are not readily employable due to lacking basic skills.

Advocacy for youth, our businesses, our team and ourselves begins with a simple yet profound idea: that one person can make a significant impact. Every major change in history started with someone advocating for what they believed in. Think about the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, or the fight against climate change. These movements were fueled by the dedication of individuals and groups who decided to take a stand and advocate for their causes.

I know we run businesses, and it may seem like advocating for profit is our primary goal. However, I’m not sure money is enough to maintain the passion it takes to deal with the public every day and the challenge of the thousands of decisions we must make on an annual basis. Profit and money are a result of the things we feel passionate about and for which we are willing to advocate.

One of the most powerful aspects of advocacy is its ability to bring people together. Advocates often join forces with like-minded individuals and organizations, forming a strong and unified front to address critical issues. This collective action amplifies their voices and increases their impact. It’s not just one person advocating; it’s a community of advocates working together for a common goal.

My hope is that AAMA successfully advocated on behalf of our industry. In addition to the labor issues, there were several other important topics covered. We asked lawmakers to address the EBITDA Deductions, Section (199A) of the Tax Certainty Act, and the credit card swipe initiatives.

Advocacy is a potent force for change that empowers individuals and communities to shape the future they desire. It’s about informed action, collective effort, and influencing decision-makers to create a better world. I encourage you, as our lobbyist John Russell encouraged us, to get involved at the local level. It’s important to know those who are making decisions on your behalf and that they, in turn, know you. We don’t want to simply communicate when times are bad. That isn’t the most effective strategy. Instead, we need to advocate now and create communities and decision makers that will advocate on our behalf when needed!


Beth is the CEO of TrainerTainment LLC, a training company devoted to the family entertainment and hospitality industries. Beth and her team are focused on helping the companies they serve to make more money through sales, guest service, leadership and social media marketing training. Training products and services are delivered in person, through books and DVDs, and virtually with e-learning courses, webinar development and 24/7 online access. Visit her company’s website at



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