Welcome to Las Vegas and the Forty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the Western Decision Sciences Institute (WDSI). On behalf of the WDSI Board, we would like you to enjoy a great and exciting week during the conference. We hope that at this year’s WDSI conference, you are able to reconnect with old friends and share your research and ideas with new colleagues from around the world. This year we have attendees from all five continents!

Organizing a conference of this magnitude requires the unyielding efforts of countless volunteers. This year, the 2016 WDSI Annual Meeting was supported by the Program Planning Committee consisting of a strong team of Track Chairs and Country Contacts. I would like to thank each member of the Committee for his/her efforts in managing the review process, organizing sessions, and assisting in the planning of the annual meeting. Thanks are also in order for everyone who submitted papers, abstracts and panels, and all of the reviewers for this year’s papers. A good review process cannot go forward without your efforts, and I know that the authors appreciate all of your valuable feedback on their manuscripts.

Several individuals provided valuable assistance during the organization and execution of the conference. In particular, the current WDSI Board members assisted me throughout the year and provided invaluable advice and guidance. I would like to thank each of them: Omer Benli, John Bell, Debbie Gilliard, Albert Huang, Salem Boumediene, and Sheldon Smith. Finally, I would like to thank all of the Past Presidents of WDSI who actively share in the planning an organization of our annual meeting. We are a much stronger organization due to the commitment of these mentors.

I am also grateful for the support of our sponsors: Portland State University, The School of Business at the Metropolitan State University of Denver; the University of Tennessee; the Hospitality Technology Research Institute at the California State University, Dominguez Hills; the California State University, Long Beach; University of the Pacific; and the College of Engineering at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

On behalf of the WDSI President, Dr. Deborah Gilliard, the Board of WDSI, and the 2016 Program Planning Committee, I extend a warm welcome to the participants of this Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting. We know you will enjoy the meeting and the excitement that Las Vegas has to offer!

Natasa Christodoulidou

Vice-President for Programs and Program Chair
California State University Dominguez Hills