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					Leading Off
Jay Treadwell                                                                                                     Michael Johnson

                                                                                                                                                                                            Robert Barker, University Photography
                                                                          Robert Barker, University Photography
President,                                                                                                        Dean and E. M. Statler Professor,
Cornell Hotel Society                                                                                             Cornell School of Hotel Administration

I am gratified to see another edition of the                                                                       Dear Alumni and Friends,
Cornell Hotel School Magazine in print so soon                                                                    Greetings from Ithaca, where Statler Hall is bustling
after the last. I congratulate Bill Summers, who                                                                  as we move into a new academic year.
has guided this issue to completion, and David                                                                       I am very pleased to announce the appointment of
Strong, associate dean for business affairs, who                                                                   Jon Denison as associate dean for external affairs,
has been dividing his time between his own office and External Affairs                                               effective Sept. 1. Jon, an advancement professional with a career that
on an interim basis. Both are committed to having this magazine                                                   spans nearly 30 years in higher education, will provide strategic
published four times during the coming year; please make sure to get                                              leadership and direction for the Hotel School’s alumni affairs,
your material in on time.                                                                                         development, corporate affairs and communications functions. We
    I am pleased to announce that we are in the final stages of finding                                             have included him among the Newsmakers on page 19. Our December
the latest technology in alumni communications and connectedness.                                                 issue will feature Jon and all the members of his team, several of whom
At HEC in April we put together a team with David Strong; Tim                                                     have joined us recently.
Durnford, who heads up IT for the school, supported by Michael                                                       This issue of your magazine reports on the progress the school is
Fraker; and James Cho, the campus chapter president for CHS. There                                                making on many fronts. Our cover story describes a new scholarship
were others, but especially important was Monica Gelinas ’99, who is                                              program formed in honor of senior lecturer Giuseppe Pezzotti.
the chapter president in New York City. She and I started this effort in                                           Scholarships like this one are becoming an increasingly important
New York early in the spring; she has been so helpful as a “young alum”                                           source of support. Your generous contributions enable many of our
in translating what people not in my generation are looking for in                                                students to gain a first-class education and leave school unencumbered
electronic connectedness. Our efforts were presented at the                                                        by financial burdens.
Leadership Summit here in Washington, D.C., in August.                                                                 I thank everyone who has helped put one or more of our students
    The third CHS Leadership Summit took place at the Gaylord                                                     through the School. On a broader note, I thank each of you who have
National Hotel and Resort. Almost every one of the 60 chapters sent                                               helped us move closer to our goals in the Campaign for Cornell.
their president, an officer or another representative to examine the                                                     In other news, we continue to forge new ground with the
best practices of chapter management. We learned many things, but                                                 Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality
key among them was that the energy and motivation of Hotelies to                                                  Entrepreneurship. Under the lead of managing director Tom Ward, we
stay connected with each other, the industry and the world remains                                                held a successful first meeting of our Innovation Network in New York
unsurpassed. Our grateful thanks go out to all the volunteers and                                                 this June. Nearly 100 industry leaders gathered for the event, which
leaders who worked tirelessly to make this happen. A special heartfelt                                            featured presentations from three leading innovators. For more details,
thanks goes to Rocco Angelo ’58 and his assistants Bill Quain ’74 and                                             please see the story on page 4.
Raj Chandnani ’95 for their great work on the summit.                                                                  The summer also marked the second event in our Dean’s Leadership
    You may not have heard yet about the Million-Dollar Challenge                                                 Series, a panel discussion on sustainability held in Washington, D.C.
issued by the Cornell Hotel Society Foundation and CHS during last                                                This forum is proving to be an effective way to bring academic and
spring’s Hotel Ezra Cornell. The Foundation and CHS have pledged to                                               industry leaders together to debate critical issues. For more about the
provide up to $100,000 in the form of a one-dollar match for every                                                event, please see page 10.
three dollars raised for scholarships over the remaining course of Far                                                 Last spring, we had the pleasure of recognizing some of our top
Above … the Campaign for Cornell. The initiative is already a success,                                            graduating students with the Joseph Drown Special Prize. In all, we
with nearly $500,000 raised in new scholarship funds. We are delighted                                            celebrated the achievements of five exceptional seniors for their
that the Washington/Baltimore chapter was the first to accept the                                                  leadership in the classroom and in the community. You can read more
challenge to create a new scholarship. Joe Lavin ’75 and Walker Lunn                                              about these leaders in the story on page 5.
’03 will hold a large fundraising event at Washington’s Kennedy Center                                                 As we move through autumn, be sure to keep up with your fellow
on October 15 to support that effort.                                                                              alumni at the many events sponsored by the Cornell Hotel Society
   We look forward to many events that are being planned around the                                               chapters. For a full schedule, please see
world. Among them, the CHS Asia/Pacific Regional Meeting will be held                                                   I hope to see you soon, whether on campus, at a school event or at
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 9–12, 2008. For more information,                                              an industry gathering. As always, feel free to contact me anytime.
please contact Carla Petzold-Beck ’95 at cpetzold-beck@ghmhotels.                                                      Sincerely,
com. Next April 23–26, the CHS Europe/Middle East/Africa Regional
Meeting will be held in Berlin, Germany. For more information, please
contact Michael Cortelletti ’99 at michael.cortelletti@dunkinbrands.                                                 Michael D. Johnson
com. For more information and details, check out                                        
for these and other events near you!

  Jay Treadwell ,61, President
                                                                                                                                                                        Jason Koski, University Photography
           Pezzotti and Dale Winham ’06 discuss the Statler
           Leadership Development Program.

                                                                                                                                                                                Lindsay France, University Photography
                                                                  Jason Koski, University Photography

Sara Jane McLaury ’11 and her father, Douglas, visit with
Pezzotti and Sameer Nair ’11 at a recent new-student reception.                                         Pezzotti and Chef Michel Roux of the Waterside Inn in London.

2   Cornell Hotel School
Honoring an Institution
New Scholarship Named for Giuseppe Pezzotti

F    our students have been selected to receive a new scholarship in
     honor of senior lecturer Giuseppe Pezzotti ’84 MPS ’96.
     The Giuseppe Pezzotti Scholarship was established by alumni
and friends to recognize this educator for his extraordinary contri-
                                                                              “Giuseppe reminded me of what I had dreamed of achieving as
                                                                           a freshman and how unattainable it felt at the time, but how it was
                                                                           actually possible,” Omurgonulsen recalls. “He believed in me more
                                                                           than I believed in myself. He is not just a teacher – he is a philoso-
butions over 24 years at the School.                                       pher and a dreamer. He dreams with his students and gives them
   Those students are Antoine Wilson ’09, Valeska Toro ’09, Daly           the tools to achieve those dreams.”
Guillermo ’10 and Vanessa Deleon ’10.                                         Reflecting further on her mentor, Omurgonulsen says that he
   “What matters most about this scholarship is that it will help          embodies one of her favorite quotes, from Kahlil Gibran: “The
students get an education,” Pezzotti says. “I thank all of my friends      teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of
and former students, whose kindness and generosity will make a             his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
difference in so many lives.”                                                 Richy Petrina ’01 was 15 years old when he met Pezzotti.
   During his time at Cornell, Pezzotti has taught thousands of            Petrina’s older brother Peter ’94 was a teaching assistant in
students in his courses on restaurant operations and manage-               Pezzotti’s restaurant operations class. Pezzotti told Peter to bring his
ment. For many students, the first day in his class made a lasting          brother along for the next prep session. After one hour at Pezzotti’s
impression.                                                                side, Petrina was taken in. At Pezzotti’s invitation he continued to
   “Giuseppe recited everyone’s names and hometowns without                help out throughout his high school years, even after his brother
ever having met us,” recalls Sabato Sagaria ’97. “Since that day,          had graduated. After his experiences in Statler Hall, Petrina knew he
his service philosophies have been ingrained in my head. Now that          wanted to attend the Hotel School.
I have worked in several five-star hotels and restaurants, I can truly         “Giuseppe has a beautiful spirit,” Petrina says. “Like he did for
appreciate the art of service as it was so effortlessly demonstrated by    me, he goes out of his way to help people he might never meet
Giuseppe.”                                                                 again. He has inspired me to do the same for others. I think that is
   For all his talents in the classroom, Pezzotti’s true hallmark is his   his greatest contribution – instilling in others the selflessness that
interest in his students as people. Over the last quarter-century he       he so naturally practices.”
has served as a valued mentor to many students, both during their             Pezzotti’s formal hospitality education began at the Italian Hotel
time at Cornell and throughout their careers.                              School in Florence, where he was awarded first prize. Later he held
   Deniz Omurgonulsen ’00 got to know Pezzotti during her                  positions with various cruise line companies and at several hotels
freshman year in 1996. One day that spring, he asked her how she           and restaurants in Europe and in the United States. He went on to
felt about being a board assistant for HEC and a student volunteer         earn his undergraduate degree at the Cornell School of Hotel
for the collegiate chapter of CHS. When Omurgonulsen said she              Administration in 1984 and his master's degree in 1996.
enjoyed both roles, Pezzotti told her that one day she could run              In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Pezzotti has led
both organizations.                                                        numerous executive education seminars worldwide. More than
   Omurgonulsen remembers laughing out loud. Pezzotti then took            anything, this humble leader enjoys sharing knowledge.
out a piece of paper and had her write on it, “1. Be president of the         “There is an old Latin saying, ‘Discendo docebis docendo disces,’
CHS, CC and 2. Act as managing director of HEC.” He then folded            which means ‘I learn so I can teach, I teach so I can learn,’” Pezzotti
the paper and put it in his pocket.                                        says. “In life, we are all teachers. You share a few things, you can
   Four years later, Pezzotti called Omurgonulsen into his office. He       make a difference in a life. Giving is a beautiful thing.”
closed the door, took the same slip of paper from his pocket and              For more information on the Giuseppe Pezzotti Scholarship,
unfolded it.                                                               please contact Meg Keilbach at 607.255.9542.

                                                                                                                                 By Bill Summers

                                                                                                                             Cornell Hotel School   3
Eye on

                                                                                                                                        Robert Barker, University Photography
How do you capture liquor inventory to the last drop?
Create the healthiest environment in your guest rooms?
Interpret data to optimize revenue?
  Some 100 hospitality industry leaders got the answers this
summer at the launch meeting of the Innovation Network, a
membership group that aims to advance innovation across
the industry.                                                   Lee Pillsbury ’69 addresses the crowd at the first Innovation Network
  The Innovation Network is brought to the industry by the      meeting, held in New York this past spring.
Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality
Entrepreneurship at the Cornell University School of Hotel      Cross explained how his team developed a unique model
Administration. Through roundtables, seminars and other         that hotel managers use to analyze demand, competitive
events and resources, members gain insight into the latest      activity and customer input. The firm works closely with
thinking of experts in innovation, strategy and leadership.     clients to interpret data and create solutions in pricing and
They also interact with innovators, educators and one           revenue management. The firm’s principals have served more
another.                                                        than 100 clients, uncovering more than $10 billion in addi-
  “The Innovation Network supports the school’s commit-         tional revenue.
ment to accelerate the study and practice of entrepreneur-         Each presentation was followed by an engaging question-
ship in the hospitality industry,” says Lee Pillsbury ’69,      and-answer session and a reception that enabled attendees to
co-chair, Thayer Lodging Group. “The network gives mem-         interact personally with the featured innovators and one
bers firsthand insight into how the best minds are propelling   another.
the industry forward. Our goal is to help members better           “We are very pleased with the strong turnout and lively
understand the innovation process and use that know-            interaction at the Innovation Network launch meeting,” says
ledge to stimulate innovation and profitable growth in their    Tom Ward, managing director of the Pillsbury Institute.
organizations.”                                                 “This event reaffirms our commitment to build an exclusive
  Pillsbury Institute leaders evaluated more than 100 inno-     network of senior leaders who can reap significant value
vative success stories before choosing three to highlight at    through ongoing interaction with the most innovative
the inaugural meeting of the Innovation Network. Attendees      minds in hospitality and beyond.”
heard presentations from the leaders of these companies,           Upcoming Innovation Network events are scheduled for
who explained how they conceived and implemented break-         September 3–4, 2008, in Ithaca, N.Y.; January 25–26, 2009,
throughs in different facets of the industry.                   in San Diego; and June 2, 2009, in New York City.
  Scott Martiny, CEO of Capton, described how his company          For more information about the Innovation Network,
developed technology that helps companies manage liquor         please contact Tom Ward at
inventory. The Beverage Tracker embeds wireless, RFID tech-
nology into free-pour liquor spouts, giving bar operations
managers an accurate measure of how much liquor is poured          About the Innovation Network
in every drink and how that drink is recorded. Capton
                                                                   The Innovation Network, or IN@Cornell, is a peer network
launched the product to help companies account for what            with the mission of advancing strategic innovation in hospital-
Martiny calls “the $7.5 billion in annual missing liquor in        ity to improve human experiences. The network has three
the industry.” Customers include Host Hotels and Resorts,          main components:
MGM Mirage, Starwood and Hyatt.
                                                                      Knowledge Sharing – Through a steady stream of innova-
  Brian Brault, founder and CEO of PURE Solutions, outlined           tion insights to our members, and through forums, round-
how his company has developed a process to create the                 tables and events, members will be exposed to the
healthiest and most allergy-friendly environments in the              thinking of foremost experts in innovation, strategy and
world. The process treats the air and every surface in rooms          leadership. Through our website, members will have access
                                                                      to a knowledge base of innovation content, trends and
to remove mold, bacteria, viruses and other irritants.
PURE rooms are currently installed in over 50 hotels and five
conference centers, providing relief to the more than                 Networking – Through a variety of roundtables and
70 million Americans with allergies to airborne allergens.            events, members will interact with experts, innovators,
                                                                      educators and industry peers.
  Attendees also learned about an innovative approach to
revenue management pioneered by Revenue Analytics CEO                 Innovating – Members will be exposed to a stream of the
Robert Cross and Executive Vice President Dax Cross. Robert           latest in hospitality industry innovations. Sourced by the
                                                                      Pillsbury Institute, these innovations will be the latest “new,
                                                                      new things” capable of generating positive bottom-line
                                                                      impact for member companies.
4   Cornell Hotel School
             Honoring Exceptional Students

                                                                                                                                                                Jason Koski, University Photography
 Drown Prize winner Christi Lockwood and finalists, from left, Geoff Gray, Justin Sun, Rohan Thakkar and Mark Thompson. Dean Johnson, right, honored each
 student at a ceremony this spring.

                                                                                resources at CHC Hospitality Consultants, overseeing recruiting
Christi Lockwood Named                                                          and hiring, training, staffing and compensation for this consulting
Drown Prize Winner                                                              practice comprised of Cornell students. Lockwood also worked as a
                                                                                server at the Plum Tree restaurant for nearly two years, where she
Christi Lockwood ’08 received the 2008 Joseph Drown Special                     trained new members of the team.
Prize this spring, the highest honor bestowed upon a Hotel School                  For the past two years, Lockwood has been a member of the Ye
student. The prize is awarded to a graduating senior who has                    Hosts Honorary Society, the Hotel School’s honors club. In that
demonstrated academic excellence, extracurricular leadership,                   capacity, she takes part in curriculum reviews and provides career
entrepreneurial spirit, social responsibility and well-conceived career         advice to younger students. She is also a member of the National
goals and aspirations. The prize is funded through the generosity               Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key Honor Society. A
of the late Joseph Waterford Drown, a dedicated entrepreneur who                native of Waterbury, Conn., Lockwood is also a member of Hotelies
established a foundation to further the betterment of deserving                 Serving Society, through which she took part in various service
individuals. Lockwood received a $15,000 award, and four finalists              projects such as Relay for Life and working in a local soup kitchen.
each received awards of $1,000. They are Geoff Gray, Justin Sun,                   Among her academic highlights, Lockwood spent her winter
Rohan Thakkar and Mark Thompson, all Class of 2008. Brief                       break working as an extern with Expedia in Costa Rica, where she

biographies follow on each winner.                                              produced a report on best practices in sustainable tourism. “I am
                                                                                convinced that Christi will excel as a leader and an innovator in the
Christi Lockwood and her mother were in a public library                        hospitality industry,” says Marvin Seas, her supervisor on the
when they decided to check on her early-decision application to                 project.
Cornell. When a message appeared congratulating her on her                         Lockwood is now a human capital consultant with Towers Perrin.
acceptance, she and her mother screamed. Today, Lockwood thanks                 Eventually she would like to pursue a career in sustainable tourism,
her mom and dad for their support and encouragement to dream                    which would enable her to combine her desire to improve society
big – and to achieve the goals she set for herself.                             with her interests in hospitality and business.
  At Cornell, Lockwood has excelled in her work, her academics
and her service. For two years she worked as the director of human

                                                                                                                                   Cornell Hotel School     5
Drown Prize Finalists

                                                                             During his senior year, Sun served as president of the Cornell
                                                                          Hotel Society’s Collegiate Chapter. In that capacity, he worked with
Geoff Gray made history this year when he became the first-ever           the New York City chapter to raise $10,000 to support student life
student general manager of the Statler Hotel. That achievement            at the Hotel School.
capped Gray’s four-year run in the Statler Leadership Development            Sun also was a volunteer at the Cornell Public Service Center,
Program, which included roles as a bellman, front office manager          where he helped to renovate a garden at a local elementary school
and director of operations. As student GM, he logged between 20           and make improvements at the Cayuga Nature Center. Back in
and 30 hours a week in the hotel. He hired staff, managed the             Seattle, he volunteers for World Vision, which sends food and cloth-
budgeting process, developed a new rooms-pricing strategy and             ing to troops overseas.
helped plan the room-renovation project.                                     A superb writer, Sun also worked as a writing consultant in the
   Gray also served as managing director of HEC 83, a commitment          school’s communication center. Says center leader and senior
that required strong leadership and about 25 hours a week over the        lecturer Craig Snow, “Justin has taken good advantage of the leader-
past year. This marked Gray’s fourth year on the HEC team and his         ship opportunities available at the Hotel School. In so doing, he has
third year on its board of directors.                                     earned the respect of his professors and his peers. And although he
   A San Diego native, Gray is also a Cornell Tradition Fellow, an        is a very talented young man, he demonstrates wonderful and
honor he earned through his excellence in work, academics and             authentic humility.”
community outreach. He also has served for three years on the                Sun says that his personal and professional growth is due to a
board of directors for Hotelies Serving Society, which helps to orga-     work ethic he learned from his parents. He plans to help his parents
nize and run charitable events in the Cornell community.                  build even greater efficiency into their 500-seat restaurant, called
   Says Hotel School professor Bruce Tracey, “Even with his many          China Harbor. That would bring him full circle, for it was the joy
accomplishments, Geoff remains a very humble and gracious                 he felt in pleasing restaurant guests that led him to pursue his
‘servant leader.’ His involvement in the leadership development           degree at Cornell.

program is a model for others who seek a career in operations, and
he will be a very tough act to follow.”
   Gray is quick to recognize others, primarily his mentor Rick           When Rohan Thakkar transferred from Boston University
Adie ’75, general manager of the Statler Hotel. Commenting on his         during his freshman year, he arrived at Cornell with impaired
time as student GM at the Statler, he says, “I have had the amazing       vision and a learning disability that had just been discovered.
joy to learn from Mr. Adie on a daily basis. He has given me the          Unable to see the whiteboard or read his textbook, he worried about
opportunity to develop myself as a leader.”                               his future.
   Gray is continuing to hone his skills at the Statler Hotel. He was        In the summer after his freshman year, Thakkar’s parents
recently named winner of the Weisz Family Scholarship Award,              arranged for surgery. After the operation, when he opened his eyes
which recognizes an exceptional Statler Leadership Development            and told his parents he could see, he watched the tears form in their
Program Fellow. Gray received a cash prize of $10,000 and is serving      eyes. “I learned that life is not about getting the best grade or
as rooms director in the hotel.                                           making the most money, but about realizing who you are inside

                                                                          and that life can change in a heartbeat,” he says.
                                                                             Thakkar has been exemplary in his service to others. An active
Justin Sun grew up working in his parents’ restaurant in Seattle.         member of the Hotel School ambassadors program, he recruited
Among his defining experiences at Cornell was his work as human           new ambassadors and publicized the program across the Hotel
resources director for HEC 82, the annual weekend-long hospitality        School community. He was also chairman of the New-Student
conference. In that role, Sun oversaw the recruitment and training        Orientation Program at Cornell, where he doubled the number of
of over 300 student volunteers.                                           volunteers to over 800 and introduced a number of exciting new
   Last summer, Sun worked as an intern in human resources for the        events. He delivered a speech at the New-Student Convocation to
Westin–New York. Many of the associates he trained had been in            8,000 new students and their families. That experience, he says, still
the country only a short time and spoke little English. Sun took          brings a smile to his face.
great satisfaction in helping these associates acclimate themselves          Through a similar leadership role in Hospitality Financial
to new jobs in a foreign environment.                                     Advisors, Thakkar helped freshmen and sophomores learn about
   Through his internship and his HEC experience, Sun saw how             opportunities in the financial industry. He worked as education
the human resources function is vital to any business. As for his         function manager at HEC 81, he works part time for Cornell
career aspirations, he plans to work in every facet of hotel operations   Hospitality Consultants, Inc., and he also has served as a teaching
before moving into a career in human resources management.                assistant in two classes.
Longer term, he aims to start a nonprofit organization that supports          Thakkar has also earned many honors. He is a member of the
minorities in starting their own businesses.                              Quill and Dagger Senior Honor Society, and he is a Meinig Family
                                                                          Cornell National Scholar, an award bestowed upon less than two
                                                                          percent of the Cornell student body.

6   Cornell Hotel School
   Last summer, Thakkar completed an internship in Costa Rica
with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Drawing on his analytical ability,
teamwork and people skills, he realized that consulting was his best
                                                                              Alter Honored
path forward. He has joined Ernst and Young, where he aims to
learn the industry through his consulting work.
   Looking ahead, Thakkar plans to be active in his family’s real
estate business, and hopes someday to expand that business to
include hotels and restaurants. Longer term, he envisions launch-
ing a series of medical resorts worldwide, to serve those who must
undergo treatment for serious illnesses.

Mark Thompson is committed to leaving his imprint around
the world. His global ambitions grew out of a semester abroad his
junior year, when he served as an intern with investment bank
Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong. Thompson made the most of his
time in Asia, traveling to China, Thailand, Japan and Singapore
and building a truly global perspective.
   In each of the past two summers, Thompson worked as an
analyst at Goldman Sachs’s headquarters in New York. Through
those experiences and his time with Goldman Sachs overseas,
Thompson decided to pursue a career in international finance, on

                                                                                                                                                   Robert Barker, University Photography
the firm’s foreign exchange desk in New York. Longer term, he aims
to relocate to Asia and explore entrepreneurial avenues.
   A native of Jamaica, Thompson is committed to service. For two
years he served as a resident advisor, part of a staff responsible for
supervising five residence halls of 300 upperclass students. He is a
career preparation program fellow for Management Leadership for
   Deborah Pawlikowski, his supervisor when he was a resident            Bob Alter ’72 receives the Hospitality Innovator Award from Dean
                                                                         Michael Johnson.
advisor, describes Thompson this way: “Mark leads by example –
choosing right over wrong, ethics over convenience and truth over        Entrepreneur extraordinaire Bob Alter ’72 was presented with the
popularity. He is extremely respected and well liked by fellow staff     School’s 2008 Hospitality Innovator Award at an alumni reception
and students alike, and is a role model for all.”                        in New York City in June. The annual award honors entrepreneurs
   Raised in Vineland, N. J., Thompson is a member of the Mortar         who have created and built distinctly successful ventures in the
Board National Honor Society. He won the 2006 Goldman Sachs
                                                                         hospitality field, and is sponsored by the School’s Leland C. and
Scholarship for Excellence Award and earned a Cornell Tradition
                                                                         Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship.
Fellowship. A defensive lineman on the Cornell football team for
three seasons, he won the Sigma Phi Epsilon “Balanced Man” schol-        “Tonight we recognize an extraordinary innovator – a Hotel School
arship for athleticism, leadership, service and scholarship.             graduate who has built and run thriving investment enterprises for
   Thompson thanks Professor Craig Snow for his guidance both in         over three decades,” said Dean Michael Johnson in presenting Alter
and out of the classroom. He says Snow has had the greatest influ-
                                                                         the award before 300-plus alumni. “He is also an inspiration to our
ence on his personal and professional life – by introducing him to
                                                                         alumni and students, many of whom harbor entrepreneurial ambi-
the idea of structure both in communication and in life.
                                                                         tions themselves.”

                                                                         Alter is chairman of Sunstone Hotel Investors, a real estate invest-
                                                                         ment trust based in Southern California. Sunstone oversees 46
                                                                         upscale properties operated under brands such as Marriott, Hilton,
                                                                         InterContinental, Hyatt, Starwood and Fairmont.

                                                                         Under Alter’s leadership, Sunstone has increased its total enterprise
                                                                         value from $75 million in 1995 to $3.2 billion today and increased
                                                                         sales from $30 million to over $1 billion in 2007. Among its recently
                                                                         acquired properties are the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Marriott
                                                                         Boston Long Wharf, Hilton Times Square, DC Renaissance and the
                                                                         Fairmont Newport Beach.

                                                                                                                          Cornell Hotel School 7
                                  Bergen Brings Tuscan Touch
                                  to Taverna Banfi
(Editor’s Note: When Statler Hotel leaders sought a distinctive Tuscan        it possible. They had the charisma, flair and organizational skills
theme for their new restaurant, they knew right where to turn. Acting on      and style to give you that feeling that, even though you are in a
a tip from John Mariani, general manager Rick Adie ’75 and his team           huge hotel, you are the only guests. That is the magic of a true
reached out to Christophe Bergen ’76, who had assisted Mariani’s team         hotelier. Nobody exists except you, and that is the kind of experi-
in developing Il Borgo, the Tuscan luxury rooms and suites at Castello        ence that I love to create for guests. After finishing school in
Banfi in Italy. Working from his base on Lake Garda in Italy, Bergen          France, the Hotel School at Cornell became my goal.
partnered with design group CMMI and the Statler leadership team to
create Taverna Banfi, which opened in February 2007. We recently caught       Q. When you reflect on your education, which professors
up with Bergen to explore his fascinating career spent developing exquisite   stand out?
properties on both sides of the Atlantic.)                                    A. I had several professors who inspired me. My law professor,
                                                                              John Sherry, Sr., was an outstanding educator with a sharp and
Q. What were you hoping to accomplish with Taverna Banfi?                     witty mind. He could hold the attention of the class in such a
A. Our goal was to bring an element of fun and Tuscan charac-                 way that you felt you were at a special event. Another course that
ter to a rather formal fine-dining experience. Rick Adie put                  influenced me in a strong way was Peter Rainsford’s chemistry
together a very strong team between the students working here,                class. He would be proud to know that he left a mark on many
the faculty, the technical team at the Statler and the designers              thousands of Cornell hotel students who will never want to look
from Atlanta. We incorporated a lot of color and texture into the             at chemistry again, and will remember him for that reason
spaces, using special fabrics, Tuscan-style lighting fixtures and             fondly. And Fran Herman in communication was terrific.
printed photos from Banfi cellars on canvas to give restaurant
guests some of the character of the famous Tuscan wine cellar.                Q. Like many entrepreneurs, you started in a corporate envi-
We also tried to be sure we had all the technical elements to                 ronment. How was that experience?
make the guest experience pleasurable. From what I see today, I               A. After graduation, I entered a management training program
think we have done very well.                                                 with ITT Sheraton. I went to Toronto for what I thought would be
                                                                              an international experience. I worked at a 1,500-room hotel that
Q. Tell us about your experience growing up in France and your                was a joint venture with Four Seasons and Sheraton. After about
first exposure to the hospitality field.                                      six months, however, I knew corporate life was not for me and I
A. I grew up on the French side of Lake Geneva. I was bilingual               left to go into the private hotel world. My next job was to work
from the start and spoke four languages by the time I came to                 for the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont. I managed the restaurant
Cornell. That helped me in my decision to work in the interna-                at the lodge for about a year and a half and I knew this was the
tional hotel business. When I was young, my grandmother took                  kind of hotel-keeping I wanted to do.
us to Geneva every two weeks and we would go to different
grand hotels to have tea in the afternoon. We would sit down in               Q. How did you end up back in Europe?
these enormous palaces and have tea as if we were in somebody’s               A. I got a call from Peter Wirth ’77 to work on a project in
living room. I thought, how do you make a huge place like this                Holland. From there it was from private hotel to private hotel all
become like a house? The great hoteliers of the early 1900s made              the way. The more I got involved with private owners and their
                                                                              properties, the more I was involved in not only managing but

8   Cornell Hotel School
also in defining concepts, in defining design. Every two or three
years I would get a call from someone who had enjoyed the work
that I had done with one property, asking if I would like to help
develop their project. So for about 20 years I moved back and
forth between Europe and the United States.

Q. What properties did you work on in the States?
A. I helped develop two properties in the States, one in the
Berkshires of Massachusetts, Blantyre, a 24-room property that
became one of the first “Relais and Châteaux” properties in the
United States. That started a phase of my work where I brought
European aspects into American properties, giving them the
sense of something special. My next opportunity came after a
woman from Texas bought the Maidstone Arms on Main Street
in East Hampton, New York. I spent four years developing that
property, opening it up, managing the hotel and launching it
onto the Hamptons scene. Then I went back to Europe.

Q. Over your career you have developed skills as both a
designer and a project manager. Describe that evolution.
A. As I worked with architects and designers, I started to learn
more about the technical side of the process. What did they need
to do to create the right product? That started me on the path to
project management. The most recent project we had was on
Lake Garda in northern Italy with Bob Burns (Hon.), the
famous founder of the Regent International Hotel. It was a beauti-
ful villa on the shore of the lake that he turned into a 21-room
luxury hotel. He really showed me that this project was just as
much about operations and guests as about project management.
You can work with architects who love form but don’t always
                                                                                                                                Jason Koski, University Photography
understand function, and guide them through the process so
they can see what the eventual guests are going to experience.          Christophe Bergen ’76 put the Tuscan touch on Taverna Banfi.
My role was to bridge two very important parts of the end
product – the vision of the guest experience and the technical          Q. You are playing an increasingly active role in the Cornell
side.                                                                   Hotel Society in Europe. What do you and your colleagues hope
                                                                        to accomplish?
Q. Tell us about your work at the Castello Banfi estate.                A. I am happy to be part of the founding of a new chapter of
A. That project came as a result of our work at Villa Feltrinelli.      the society in Europe. The AlpAdria Chapter groups together
The Mariani family had been to the villa several times and knew         graduates from six countries. We are slowly building a group that
the work we had done there. They had started with a project that        will help support the efforts of the European Regional Chapter in
would have been a destination offering guests a B&B experience          promoting the interests of the Hotel School. My wife, Verena, and
on their wine estate. As the project went on, however, they saw         I have moved from Lake Garda to Vienna to work on an extraor-
the market was changing and moving in the direction of luxury.          dinary project, Palais Schwarzenberg. From here, we are only a
So we spent two years working with their team to redirect the           few hours from all the countries in the chapter. We are working
property into a luxury Tuscan destination. We worked a lot with         on a scholarship program that will help European students and
the charm of the Tuscan character, the existing stone over very         young professionals in this area to come to Cornell, especially
rugged buildings. We opened in March 2007, 14 rooms and suites          those interested in PDP programs. Our next meeting is in Croatia
in the old borgo. All the rooms have beautiful views over the vine-     this November.
yards: Tuscany at its best. We gave the guests their own entrance
into the Castello and turned part of a large courtyard portico into
a reading room with a huge fireplace. That was important to give
guests the feeling that they had “experienced” Castello Banfi. Of
course, it ties in very well with the two restaurants there, both the
gourmet restaurant and the taverna. The style of the taverna,
informal and elegant, inspired the Taverna Banfi at Cornell.

                                                                                                                          Cornell Hotel School          9
                                        Dean's Leadership Series

                                        Sizing Up Sustainability
                                                                                                            that sustainability must become part of a company’s genetic
                                                                                                            code. “This goes way beyond towels on the rack,” Jerome said.
                                                                                                            “Sustainability should be treated with the same business
                                                                                                            acumen as everything else.”
                                                                                                               Karen Lewis, co-founder of the Lapa Rios Ecolodge in Costa
                                                                                                            Rica, described how her team partnered with the community
                                                                                                            to build a property in harmony with social and ecological
                                                                                                            consciousness. Today local natives make up nearly all of the
                                                                                                            property’s staff.
                                                                                                               “We asked residents if they would learn with us how to run
                                                                                                            a hospitality business,” says Lewis, who built on 1,100 acres of

                                                                    Robert Barker, University Photography
                                                                                                            tropical rainforest on the Osa Peninsula in 1990. “Sustain-
                                                                                                            ability to me is about sustaining a community. It’s about a
                                                                                                            better life for our employees’ children and grandchildren.”
                                                                                                               The panel also debated the merits of sustainability certifica-
                                                                                                            tion. Mark Milstein, director of the Center for Sustainable
                                                                                                            Global Enterprise for the Johnson School at Cornell Univer-
An attendee poses a question during the dean’s leadership event                                             sity, opines that some executives think certification will put
on sustainability.                                                                                          them at a competitive disadvantage.
                                                                                                               “That’s not so bad,” countered Gary Mendell ’79, chair-
More than 150 hospitality leaders from industry, academia and the                                           man and CEO of HEI Hotels and Resorts. “I think we would give up
trade media gathered this past summer to hear experts address                                               competitive advantage in favor of some type of unilateral
the need to further develop sustainable business practices.                                                    The event, moderated by Cornell Hotel School dean Michael D.
   Hilton Hotels executive and panel member Christopher
                                                                                                            Johnson, was held at the Willard InterContinental in Washington,
Corpuel framed the discussion by presenting his definition
                                                                                                            D.C. A forerunner in sustainability, the Willard last fall became the
of sustainability: “It is addressing your needs today without
                                                                                                            first urban luxury hotel in the nation’s capital to be powered
negatively impacting your needs for tomorrow,” said Corpuel,
                                                                                                            entirely by wind energy.
vice president of global sustainability for Hilton.
                                                                                                               “This series is one of the many ways in which the School
   “As we question why we do what we do, we must always ask,
                                                                                                            promotes interaction among hospitality executives, our faculty, our
‘Is there a better way?’” said David Stipanuk, associate profes-
                                                                                                            alumni and the news media,” said Johnson. “We look forward to
sor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and a panel
                                                                                                            continuing this conversation at the next panel, to be held this
                                                                                                            November during the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant
   David Jerome, senior vice president of global corporate
                                                                                                            Show in New York City.”
social responsibility at InterContinental Hotels Group, advised
                                                                                                                                                                          Lapa Rios Ecolodge web

        Lapa Rios Ecolodge in Costa Rica.

10   Cornell Hotel School
Fites Celebrated at Cape May Ceremony
The Washington Inn, one of the finest landmarks of Cape
May, N. J., was the elegant setting June 20 for an intimate
ceremony honoring Robert Fite ’50 and his wife, Betsy, as
Foremost Benefactors and Builders of Cornell. The gathering was
held in the inn’s outstanding wine cellar, where the guests enjoyed
the superb hospitality and cuisine of proprietor and Hotel School
alumnus Michael Craig ’85.
   As two of the Hotel School’s staunchest and most generous bene-
factors, the Fites endowed the Ray and Elizabeth Fite Family Schol-
arship – named for Bob Fite’s parents – and made a gift to the Beck
Center that resulted in the naming of the “Be of Good Cheer” room
in the Statler Hotel. They have also generously supported men’s and
women’s track and field at Cornell.
   Hotel School dean Michael Johnson shared the podium with                                                       Bob Fite ’50 and his wife, Betsy, have been extraordinary
                                                                                                                  supporters of Cornell.
Andy Noel, director of Cornell Athletics, who recognized the Fites
as Foremost Benefactors. Johnson’s remarks reflected on the legacy                                            twine: Betsy and her mother stayed in the Colonial Hotel in 1959,
that Ray and Elizabeth Fite created with their 1929 acquisition and                                          Bob introduced himself, and they married that year. From then
subsequent restoration of Cape May’s dilapidated Colonial Hotel, a                                           until now, Bob and Betsy Fite have been devoted to each other, to
depression-era leap of faith that inaugurated a 60-year tradition of                                         Cape May and to Cornell.
great hospitality and entrepreneurship. Their courage in that
venture also allowed Bob and Betsy Fite’s paths to cross and inter-

                                                                                                             Academic Advisement:
                                                                                                             A Renewed Focus
                                                                                                             Faculty members have formalized their commitment to the student
                                                                                                             advising practice, unanimously endorsing a vision statement that recog-
                                                                                                             nizes the importance of this crucial function. Under this new approach,
                                                                                                             every faculty member will advise at least one student at all times. “We are
                                                                       Jason Koski, University Photography

                                                                                                             committed to building long-term relationships with all of our students
                                                                                                             and to developing a common set of knowledge, experiences and beliefs,”
                                                                                                             says Judi Brownell, dean of students. Several faculty members were
                                                                                                             honored for their extraordinary commitment to advising at an awards
Freshman and sophomore students have recognized Daphne Jameson,                                              ceremony this spring. The School’s renewed focus on advisement will be
Amy Newman and Preston Clark for their outstanding contributions as
transition advisors.                                                                                         the topic of an article in the next issue.

                                                                                                                                                                 Cornell Hotel School   11
                                                                                                Ted Teng ’79
                                                                                                Honors His Mentors
Robert Barker, University Photography

               Ted Teng ’79 (fourth from right) is providing a gift to the School in honor of   degrees from Dickinson College and the University of Pennsylva-
               seven faculty members. From left are Stephen Mutkoski, James Eyster,             nia. Before joining the Cornell faculty, he was a consultant with
               Michael Redlin, Dean Michael Johnson, Richard Penner, Neal Geller and
               Robert Chase. Teng’s gift also recognizes Raymond Goodman, who was               Laventhol and Horwath. Eyster has developed and teaches academic
               unable to attend the luncheon.                                                   courses and executive education seminars in real estate finance,
                                                                                                management contracts, operational analysis, hospitality financial
               To honor seven faculty members who have made an especially                       management, and housing and feeding the homeless.
               profound impact on his life, Ted Teng ’79 has established a fund                    A. Neal Geller ’64, ’74 MBA recently retired as the Robert A.
               in each faculty member’s name, providing for an annual award for                 Beck Professor of Hospitality Financial Management at the School
               each of the next five years.                                                     of Hotel Administration. He taught the required capstone financial
                  Teng is honoring Robert M. Chase, James J. Eyster, A. Neal Geller,            management course, Hospitality Financial Management, as well as
               Ray Goodman, Stephen A. Mutkoski, Richard H. Penner and                          an elective course in Internal Control. In addition to his BS and
               Michael H. Redlin.                                                               MBA, Geller obtained a PhD in accounting from the School of
                   “We are most grateful to Ted for his generous gift,” says Dean               Management at Syracuse University in 1977.
               Michael Johnson. “This will help us immensely in our ongoing                        Raymond Goodman is CEO and chair of the board of directors
               efforts to recruit and retain an accomplished, diverse faculty that              for the Mayflower Communities, Inc. He is also professor and chair
               delivers a distinctive education for our students.”                              of the Department of Hospitality Management at the Whittemore
                  Teng’s remarkably successful career has taken him around the                  School of Business of the University of New Hampshire. Earlier, he
               globe. He currently is principal and CEO of Prime Opus Partners,                 served as a teaching fellow at the Hotel School and as an assistant
               LP. Earlier, he served as president and COO of Wyndham Interna-                  professor at the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Manage-
               tional, Inc., the fourth-largest lodging company in the United States.           ment, University of Houston. He has also provided consulting
               Before joining Wyndham, Teng spent seven years in Asia, serving                  services to numerous retirement and long-term care organizations,
               as president of the Asia Pacific region for Starwood Hotels and                   and received many awards for his contributions to the field.
               Resorts Worldwide, Inc. During that time he opened the first St.                     Stephen A. Mutkoski ’67, ’76 PhD is the Banfi Vintners
               Regis luxury hotel in Asia.                                                      Endowed Chair of Wine Education and Management at the School
                   “It gives me great pleasure to recognize these seven educators, all          of Hotel Administration, where he has taught since 1972. He
               of whom had such a positive influence on me,” Teng said at a cele-                received his BS from Cornell University in 1967 and his PhD in
               bratory luncheon held in Ithaca last spring. “I am also pleased to               1976. A former food and beverage manager and restaurant owner,
               play a small role in helping the school continue to strengthen what              Mutkoski has been able to combine his professional career with his
               is already an outstanding faculty. My hope is that this gift might               love of food and wine. He teaches several food and beverage
               inspire other alumni to honor the professors who have made a                     management courses in both the academic programs and the
               difference in their lives.”                                                      executive education program at Cornell.
                  Professor Emeritus Robert M. Chase ’59 BME ’61 MBA has been                      Richard H. Penner ’68 B.Arch., ’72 MS has been a member of the
               associated with the Hotel School since 1962. His teaching ranges                 Cornell Hotel School faculty since 1970 and is currently the Richard
               across property management, information systems, accounting,                     J. and Monene P. Bradley Director of Graduate Studies. Penner
               finance and business strategy. Chase is a proponent of discovery                  teaches courses in hotel planning, development and interior design.
               learning and is famous for developing “management games,” which                  He graduated from Cornell with bachelor's and master's degrees in
               are being used in colleges and corporations across the globe.                    architecture and is the author of three books. At Cornell Penner has
                  James J. Eyster, the HVS International Professor Emeritus of Hotel            helped lead the design and operation of campus facilities, serving
               Finance and Real Estate at Cornell University’s School of Hotel                  as chair of several university committees.
               Administration, earned his PhD at Cornell and holds additional                      Michael H. Redlin ’67 BS MechE, ’74 PhD, professor emeritus,
                                                                                                taught at the Hotel School from 1973 to 2005. Over this time he
                                                                                                focused on the important and central role that facilities play in
                                                                                                successful businesses in the hospitality industry. His primary areas
                                                                                                of expertise were property development, renovations, energy and
                                                                                                water conservation, and food-service facilities design.

               12     Cornell Hotel School
The General Managers Program at 25:
Getting Better with Age
On June 9, 2008, the School welcomed 66 hotel general managers              every session impresses me with the level of participants
and directors to the Ithaca campus for the General Managers                 and their eagerness to learn and to grow professionally and
Program (GMP), the premier executive education program for hotel            personally,” comments Thomas Kline, executive director of
general managers and their seconds-in-command.                              the Office of Executive Education. “GMP is an important
   The 10-day program focused on property-level issues such as              step for managers to develop from decision-makers to stra-
strategic leadership, finance, revenue management, ethics,                   tegic thinkers. We take pride in facilitating that transfor-
human resources, marketing, asset management, distribution                  mation for hotel general managers.”
and operations. Through lectures, classroom and small group                   After 10 days of intensive, interactive learning, the
discussions, case studies and computer simulations, partici-                program concluded with a banquet and ceremony in which
pants were able to explore, develop and apply new ideas. Many               participants received a certificate of completion and were
said they valued the freedom to explore new ideas and look at               welcomed into the Cornell Hotel Society as affiliate
their properties with new eyes.                                             members. Participants left the event and the program ener-
   “GMP is a combination of theory, book practices and learn-               gized to apply their Cornell experience to enhancing their
ing about new trends in the industry – a real tool not to be                business and personal success.
missed by any hotel leaders,” says participant Simone Bories,                 The next General Managers Program to be held in Ithaca
director of Emirate Towers Offices and Boulevard.                            will begin January 12, 2009. Applications for the program
   GMP participants valued their networking opportunities as                may be submitted online or by e-mail, fax or mail. Deposits
much as the in-class learning, developing a sense of camarade-              received by November 12 will be discounted by $250.
rie through open discussion with others. Cheng-Hsiun Lee,                   Participants are generally full-service hotel general manag-
general manager of the Japan Prince Hotel in Taiwan, says,                  ers or their immediate reports, who should have at least
“GMP has afforded me the unique chance and fantastic learn-                 two years’ experience in their current positions.
ing experience for lifting my personal career goals. GMP also                 Complete information about the program can be
helped me to build a network of global colleagues.”                         found on the Office of Executive Education website:
   Program administrators appreciated the high level of           
engagement and aptitude they saw in the participants.
                                                                                                                         – By Amy Boardman
    “Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration has been
hosting the General Managers Program for 25 years, and

                                                                                                                                                Barry Delibero

                     Some 66 hotel leaders celebrate completion of the General Managers Program in Ithaca this summer.

                                                                                                                         Cornell Hotel School   13
                                                                                                      A rendering of the Statler Hotel guest room
                                                                                                      that is now in development.

Benjamin West Selected for Statler Hotel Renovation
The Statler Hotel has selected Benjamin West as purchasing                   As the renovation moves forward, the hotel plans to partner with
agent for a comprehensive renovation project at this historic             leading hospitality brands whose products will be featured in guest
property on the Cornell University campus.                                rooms and public spaces. WATG’s design team will play a lead role
   “We are very pleased to have Benjamin West join our                    in integrating those products into a coherent whole.
team on this exciting endeavor,” says Rick Adie ’75, general                 “Companies that join in this effort will receive broad visibility at
manager of the Statler Hotel, an operating unit of Cornell’s School       the property and through a multifaceted outreach program,” Adie
of Hotel Administration. “As the hospitality industry’s leading           comments. “This partnership will deliver positive results for
furniture, fixtures and equipment purchasing firm, Benjamin West            all parties.”
will play a key role in helping us create an exquisite blend of service      As the gateway to the university and the surrounding Finger
and amenities. This is another important step forward as we work          Lakes region, the Statler serves a sophisticated clientele that regu-
to deliver a distinctive experience for our guests from around the        larly includes global leaders in government, business and academia.
world.”                                                                   Among the property’s guests are heads of state, Supreme Court
   Adie, his team and School faculty have been working in partner-        justices, U.S. senators, world-renowned entertainers and CEOs of
ship with leading hospitality design firm WATG to lay the blueprint        leading hospitality firms such as Fairmont, Hilton, Marriott and
for what will be the most sweeping refurbishment in 20 years. Now         Four Seasons.
Benjamin West will work closely with School and WATG leaders to              The Statler is also a teaching hotel where students apply their
procure materials for the hotel’s 153 guest rooms and its public          classroom learning to practical experience. To learn more about
spaces.                                                                   participating in the Statler Hotel renovation project, please contact
   “Benjamin West is very excited to be selected to manage purchas-       Meg Keilbach ’88 (CALS), interim director of alumni affairs and
ing on this extraordinary project and create a superior purchasing        development, at or Joe Strodel, director of corpo-
solution,” remarks Dede Kassel, director of business development.         rate affairs, at
“We look forward to bringing our expertise in the industry to help
Statler Hotel leaders create an exceptional property in this unique

14   Cornell Hotel School
      School Commends Retiring Professors
              Geller and Stipanuk

Two retiring Hotel                                                                                                              The afternoon’s other
School faculty members                                                                                                       honoree, David M.
were feted May 7 for                                                                                                         Stipanuk, began his
their combined 65 years                                                                                                      Cornell career in 1977 as
of exceptional service                                                                                                       a research associate and
to Cornell. A. Neal                                                                                                          program leader for the
Geller ’64, MBA ’74,                                                                                                         New York Food and
the Robert A. Beck Profes-                                                                                                   Energy Research and
sor of Hospitality Finan-                                                                                                    Development Council.
cial Management, and                                                                                                         Since joining the faculty
Professor David M.                                                                                                           of the Hotel School as an
Stipanuk were the guests                                                                                                     assistant professor in
                                        Retiring professors A. Neal Geller and Dave Stipanuk were recently honored
of honor at the event,                              for their long and exceptional service to the school.                    1983, he has taught
which was hosted by                                                                                                          courses in facilities
Dean Michael D. Johnson in the Alice Statler Auditorium.                         management, hospitality risk management and hotel development
   Geller, who taught hospitality financial management and inter-                 and construction. He was promoted to associate professor in 1989.
nal accounting, earned recognition three times as a Merrill Presi-                   Stipanuk holds a BS in applied mathematics and engineering
dential Scholar Outstanding Educator. He has authored two books                  physics from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a master’s
and numerous articles and consulted actively within the hospitality              degree in mechanical engineering, with a major concentration in
industry. His administrative service included a term from 1995 to                thermodynamics, from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He
2000 as associate dean for academic affairs. As the Richard and                  completed a Fulbright Lectureship at Massey University in New
Monene P. Bradley Director of Graduate Studies from 1991 to 1995,                Zealand in 1991. He has co-authored three textbooks published by
he oversaw the development and certification of the master of                     the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Asso-
management in hospitality degree.                                                ciation and articles for the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly on energy
   Geller graduated with distinction from the Hotel School and the               and environmental issues in the lodging industry.
Johnson Graduate School of Management before joining the Hotel                       Richard Penner, the Richard J. and Monene P. Bradley Director of
School faculty as a lecturer in 1974. He was promoted to associate               Graduate Studies, presented highlights of Stipanuk’s career during
professor in 1977 upon receipt of his PhD in accounting from Syra-               the event. “Dave has always been intellectually curious and ready
cuse University’s Graduate School of Management. He became a full                to conceptualize some new area before others see its importance,”
professor in 1985 and was named the Beck Professor in 2000.                      he said. “Ten years ago he was prescient in foreseeing the growing
   David Dittman, the Hubert E. Westfall Professor of Accounting,                importance of sustainability. This became a crusade to raise aware-
who delivered the tribute to Geller, remarked, “Neal Geller exempli-             ness among students – and the industry – to myriad social and
fies the ideal of E. M. Statler that ‘Life is Service.’ Neal is the ideal         environmental issues, and the range of positive (or negative) impacts
Hotel School professor. He was born into a hotel family and worked               our industry can make. Dave pioneered courses in sustainable devel-
in the business after receiving his BS in hotel administration from              opment in our hospitality curriculum. He led field trips to the
Cornell. He took a job teaching at the Hotel School while he worked              Caribbean and Mexico that greatly enriched the students’ educa-
toward his MBA at the Johnson School. He earned his PhD at Syra-                 tional experience through a shared exploration of the issues.”
cuse University while teaching full-time at the Hotel School. He is                  The tributes to Geller and Stipanuk concluded with the presenta-
a nationally recognized expert and scholar in internal control who               tion of hand-calligraphed registers of appreciation created by
rose quickly to the rank of professor. Throughout his career Neal                Professor Emeritus Robert M. Chase.
Geller always put service to the Cornell Hotel School first and fore-
                                                                                                                                  – By Jeannie Griffith
most in his thoughts and actions. He is the quintessential

Both photos by Robert Barker, University Photography

                                                                                                                                Cornell Hotel School   15
New Students at a Glance                      Elite Group Forms Class of 2012
This fall, the Hotel School will welcome
229 new undergraduate students, includ-       On August 23, Cornell enrolled 229 aspiring hospitality leaders into the School of
ing 167 freshmen and 62 transfer students.    Hotel Administration!
These students join the 63 new MMH               Given the record number of undergraduate applicants – over 1,300 this year –
students who enrolled in May 2008             selection of this elite group was extremely competitive. When selecting students, we
(22 beginning in Singapore at the Cornell-    look at more than just the academic record and SAT score: while these are important
Nanyang Institute of Hospitality
                                              indicators, alone they do not define the ideal Hotel School applicant. A true Hotelie
Management [CNI]). Students come from
                                              should also demonstrate a passion for hospitality, good interpersonal skills and the
31 states and 21 countries around the
                                              potential to become a leader – attributes that are often demonstrated through the
world including Australia, Belarus, Brazil,
Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica,          required interview.
Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Honduras,          Each year we rely on loyal and active alumni to conduct over 60 percent of our
Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy,   interviews, since many students do not have the opportunity to visit campus. Many
Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Netherlands,    applicants also comment that the passion and loyalty expressed by our alumni inter-
Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia,    viewers had a positive influence on their desire to attend Cornell.
South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland,             We wish to thank our alumni interviewers for the important role you play. We
Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey, the United          sincerely appreciate the ongoing support you provide as an interview volunteer. If
Kingdom, Vietnam and the United States.       you have not conducted an interview in recent years but would like to do so, please
Below is a brief profile of the admitted      send us an email and we will put you on the list. While we cannot guarantee we will
freshman class of 2012:                       need to call on you, we appreciate knowing that you are willing if an applicant in
                                              your area requests a local interview. Particular areas where we can always use more
Total applications: 1,126                     alumni interviewers are in Southern California, New Jersey, Mumbai, New Delhi,
Admitted: 208                                 Seoul, Singapore and Shanghai.
56% Female and 44% Male                          Thanks!
                                                 Brad Walp, MPS ’93
Multicultural: 27%
                                                 Director, Enrollment Management and International Programs
International: 21%

Special thanks are extended to the
members of the admission selection            Classy Contributors
committee, including Linda Canina;
Jan deRoos ’78, MS ’80, PhD ’94;              The Hotel School extends its graditude to the following alumni who volunteered their
David Dittman; Tim Hinkin (under-             time in support of the School’s admissions efforts during the academic year 2007–08.
graduate chair); Sherri Kimes; David
Lennox; Mike Lynn; Amy Newman ’96             Rajesh Advani ’96 MMH           Dinesh Khanna ’75 MPS
(Hum Ec); Neoma Mullens ’98; Dick             Nicole Allen ’01 MMH            Ravish Khanna ’91 BS
                                              Tanya Andriulaitis ’02 MMH      Devin Kimble ’93 MPS
Penner ’68 B.Arch., ’72 MS (MMH chair);       Daryl Ansel ’99 MMH             Andrew Klebanow ’91 MPS
Stephani Robson ’88, MS ’99 (Hum Ec);         Paul Arnold ’99 BS              Yash Krishna ’04 MMH
Lisa Shaffer; Alex Susskind; Gary             Donald Ball ’85 MPS             Samir Kuckreja ’90 BS
                                              Rogerio Basso ’00 MMH           Seung Lee ’04 MMH
Thompson; Erica Wagner; Brad Walp             Nicolas Beliard ’97 MMH         Sang Min Lee ’94 BS
MPS ’93; and Kate Walsh MPS ’90.              Xiangni Bian ’01 MMH            Xiaoxia Li ’99 MMH
                                              Kavin Bloomer ’90 MPS           Terence Kengan Loh ’97 BS
                                              Christian Boyens ’04 MMH        Dennis Marinich ’97 BS
                                              Tobias Busse ’02 MMH            Joseph Marko ’78 MPS
                                              Mark Chase ’03 MMH              Thomas McConnell ’81 MPS
                                              Darrell Cheung ’03 MMH          Carla Silva Moulton ’01 MMH
                                              Youngduk Choi ’06 MMH           Samantha Muna ’06 MMH
                                              Matthew Cox ’05 MMH             Kathryn Murphy ’84 MPS
                                              Raeanna Cranbourne ’98 BS       Sang-Hee Oh ’98 MMH
                                              Adrien Desbaillets ’04 BS       Jay Patel ’07 MMH
                                              Timothy Dick ’88 MPS            James Schwartz ’04 MMH         Every effort has been
                                              Sara Feinstein ’96 MMH          Daphne Smolka ’97 MMH          made to ensure the
                                              Antonio Fungairino ’97 MMH      John Southwell ’90 MPS
                                              Michael Gilligan ’94 MPS        Scott Stoneburgh ’04 MMH       accuracy of this list.
                                              Rohan Gopaldas ’02 BS           Stanley Sun ’00 BS             Please let us know
                                              Riyaz Jivanjee ’99 MMH          Paul Swenson ’01 MMH           of any discrepancies
                                              James Jung ’07 MMH              Daphne Tan ’00 BS              by contacting Brad
                                              Thomas Jung ’91 BS              Glennon Travis ’07 MMH         Walp MPS ’93, at
                                              Yara Karam ’07 MMH              Passana Uthaisangchai ’96 BS
                                              David Keen ’87 BS               Longjiang Wei ’05 MMH
                                              Tushar Khanna ’04 BS            Zoe Wu ’93 BS, ’94 MPS

16   Cornell Hotel School
         The School’s Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) continues to grow and thrive as the leading
         producer of practical research that powers the industry forward. The center pursues this
         mission by building partnerships with hospitality leaders; underwriting cutting-edge research
         and tools produced by our faculty; holding industry forums to address timely subjects; and
         sponsoring major industry events. Read on for more about the center’s latest activity.

         Roundtable: Adding Social                                                                                                                    HVS Renews Partnership
         Media to the Marketing Mix                                                                                                                   HVS, one of the world’s foremost hospitality
         Hospitality marketers must determine how to                                                                                                  consulting practices, has renewed its partner-

                                                                                                                Jason Koski, University Photography
         use web-based social media to support market-                                                                                                ship with Cornell’s Center for Hospitality
         ing objectives, agreed participants in the                                                                                                   Research. Suzanne R. Mellen, managing
         School’s fourth-annual Marketing Roundtable                                                                                                  director of HVS, will continue on the center’s
         held in June. Chaired by faculty member Lisa                                                                                                 advisory board.
         Klein Pearo, the roundtable explored the rela-                                                                                                  As a center partner, HVS has a seat at all
         tively uncharted marketing terrain created by                                                                                                roundtables, which allows its senior-level execu-
         social media.                                     Julie Cottineau, vice president of brand at Virgin                                         tives the opportunity to meet and interact with
                                                           USA, and E-Site Marketing CEO Felix Laboy ’86                                              university researchers.
            Professor Pearo started the day by exploring   discuss social media’s impact on marketing.
         how marketing academics teach social media.                                                                                                     “HVS’s participation has been a great asset to
         She noted that existing textbooks provide no      of practitioner models by examining users and                                              Cornell,” says Joseph Strodel, Jr., director of
         guidance beyond trying to fit social media into    uses of social media. She offered examples of                                               corporate affairs for the school. “HVS offers
         rigid frameworks that divide communications       best practices from hospitality and non-hospi-                                             international experience in hospitality real
         by medium rather than by more embracing           tality organizations.                                                                      estate consulting and asset valuation, and has
         definitions that encompass communication              For more information about future round-                                                made considerable contributions to our
         methodology and objectives. Cindy Estis Green     tables at the Cornell School of Hotel Adminis-                                             research agenda. We are delighted that HVS is
         of the Estis Group then kicked off a discussion    tration, please visit                                             renewing its partnership with the Center for
                                                           research/chr/events/roundtables.                                                           Hospitality Research.”

                                                           Roundtable Focuses on Law’s                                                                Inconsistencies Found in
                                                           Effects on Union Organizing                                                                 Bordeaux Wine Classification
                                                           Participants in the School’s seventh annual                                                A test of Bordeaux wine rating services for fine
                                                           Labor and Employment Law Roundtable exam-                                                  vintages shows that the three most prominent
                                                           ined the newly minted “Ethical Code of                                                     authorities are consistent in their ratings. Thus,
                                                           Conduct in Union Organizing for Management                                                 consumers can confidently rely on those ratings
                                                           and Labor.” Developed by union and manage-                                                 if they wish, according to a new wine classifica-
                                                           ment representatives to remedy what both                                                   tion study from Cornell’s Center for Hospitality
                                                           sides see as potential flaws in current practice,                                          Research. At the same time, an examination of
                                                           this code calls for a campaign by both labor and                                           those modern-day ratings found that the exist-
         Gregg Gilman, partner in Davis & Gilbert LLP,     management, followed by an election in which                                               ing French classification of Bordeaux wine
         makes a point during a recent roundtable          employees decide whether to organize. Among                                                châteaux, developed in 1855, is out of date.
         addressing legal issues.
                                                           its provisions, the code establishes new rules                                                 Available free from the center’s website,
                                                           that require access for union, no promises by                                              the study, “An Analysis of Bordeaux Wine
                                                           the union and honesty from both sides.                                                     Ratings, 1970–2005: Implications for the
                                                               Joining the discussion were Rick Hurd, a                                               Existing Classification of the Médoc and
                                                           professor at the Cornell ILR School, and Richard                                           Graves” (
                                                           Bensinger, former organizing director of the                                               research/chr/pubs/reports/2008.html), is
                                                           AFL-CIO and founder of the Organizing Insti-                                               written by the Cornell-based team of Gary
                                                           tute. This was the first year the roundtable has                                           M. Thompson, Stephen A. Mutkoski ’67, ’76
                                                           included participants representing organized                                               PhD, Youngran Bae ’08, Liliana Ielacqua ’08
                                                           labor. In addition to the session on labor orga-                                           and Se Bum Oh ’07. Bae, Ielacqua and Oh are
                  A roundtable participant listens to a
                  presentation on labor organizing.
                                                           nizing, the roundtable examined how employ-                                                graduates of the Master of Management in
                                                           ers can work with the Equal Employment                                                     Hospitality program at the Cornell School of
                                                           Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the                                                      Hotel Administration.
                                                           pitfalls inherent in wage-hour laws.
Both photos by Lindsay France, University

                                                                                                                                                                               Cornell Hotel School   17
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Satisfied Customers Means Stronger Revenue                                                                                                                                                                       Pri
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Private or Public?
Restaurant managers have long suspected that satisfied customers are a key to a successful                                                                                                                      Reversing the trend of the 1990s, a host of
restaurant, but until recently, no research study had established this profitable connection.                                                                                                                   public hotel companies were taken private in
A Cornell Hospitality Quarterly article published in August 2007 does exactly that and                                                                                                                          leveraged buyouts during the first years of this
has been named the best article of CQ volume 48. The Cornell Hospitality Quarterly is                                                                                                                           century, including such notable firms as Prime
available by subscription from Sage Publishing (                                                                                                                                                   Hospitality and Hilton. A new hotel research
    “Guest Satisfaction and Restaurant Performance,” by Sachin Gupta, Edward McLaughlin                                                                                                                         report by Professor John B. (Jack) Corgel
and Miguel Gomez, analyzed the performance of three restaurant chains that recorded                                                                                                                             analyzes these transactions to determine why
80,845 customer visits and established the significant connection between customer satis-                                                                                                                       private equity was so active in the hotel indus-
faction (as measured by intention to return) and increased sales.                                                                                                                                               try. The report, “Private Equity Investment in
    The authors found that, for these three concepts, a one percent increase in customers’                                                                                                                      Public Hotel Companies: Recent Past, Long-
likelihood of returning would amount to as much as $1.3 million in extra sales (even though                                                                                                                     Term Future,” is available at no charge from
the daily increase in sales from satisfied customers is small). While the relationship would be                                                                                                                 Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research
different for other restaurant concepts, the principle is the same. When the                                                                                                                                    (
likelihood that customers will return increases, so does revenue.                                                                                                                                               pubs/reports/2008.html).
    The study employs a series of mathematical models to determine the probability that a                                                                                                                          Corgel found that private equity firms have
customer will return based on various measures of customer satisfaction. Those “come-                                                                                                                           more consistent access to capital than do
back” scores and other variables affect restaurant performance, as measured by sales and                                                                                                                        public firms. A distinct advantage in the
entrée counts.                                                                                                                                                                                                  current low-interest-rate environment is that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                private firms can make greater use of debt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                financing than can publicly held real estate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                investment trusts (REITs). Beyond the financial
Reports on Discounting and Turnover Win Industry                                                                                                                                                                advantages, private firms do not face the
Relevance 2008 Awards                                                                                                                                                                                           regulatory requirements that cover public
Research on the dangers of hotel-rate discounting and on the costs of turnover have been                                                                                                                        companies.
named the 2008 Industry Relevance Award winners from Cornell’s Center for Hospitality                                                                                                                              Then there is the bottom line. “In the end,
Research. The studies, published during 2006, are available at no charge from hotelschool.                                                                                                                      private firms have been able to realize consid-                                                                                                                                                                          erable return from their purchases,” says
   The winning reports are “Why Discounting Still Doesn’t Work: A Hotel Pricing Update,”                                                                                                                        Corgel, the Robert C. Baker Professor of Real
by faculty members Linda Canina and Cathy Enz, and “The Costs of Employee Turnover:                                                                                                                             Estate at the Cornell School of Hotel Adminis-
When the Devil Is in the Details,” by Bruce Tracey and Timothy Hinkin.                                                                                                                                          tration. “Blackstone, for instance, repackaged
    In “Why Discounting Still Doesn’t Work: A Hotel Pricing Update,” researchers Linda                                                                                                                          and sold Prime Hospitality’s AmeriSuites chain
Canina and Cathy Enz update their findings regarding hotels’ costly practice of discounting                                                                                                                     to Hyatt. I cannot see how two public compa-
relative to the competitive set. Using data from strong economic times, they confirmed the                                                                                                                      nies could have completed this transaction in
industry’s conventional wisdom that discounting increases occupancy. However, contrary                                                                                                                          the way that it worked for Blackstone and
to what managers may believe, hotels make more money relative to their competitors when                                                                                                                         Hyatt.”
they resist the temptation to discount to fill rooms. In short, hotels charging higher prices                                                                                                                      Although the flow of financing has been
relative to their competitive set had lower occupancy, but they enjoyed higher revenue per                                                                                                                      cut off by the current credit crunch, Corgel
available room (RevPAR).                                                                                                                                                                                        sees reasons why the hotel industry will
   In “The Costs of Employee Turnover: When the Devil Is in the Details,” authors Bruce                                                                                                                         continue to privatize when normal market
Tracey and Timothy Hinkin employed an innovative, Internet-based research method in                                                                                                                             conditions resume, even though approxi-
which hotel managers contributed data regarding employee turnover. They found that the                                                                                                                          mately 80 percent of hotels are already in
number-one cost of turnover is the damage to productivity caused by the inexperience of                                                                                                                         private hands. “Although there’s nothing
new employees.                                                                                                                                                                                                  wrong with public ownership of hotel chains,
   The award winners and finalists were selected based on the number of downloads from                                                                                                                          my study indicates that private ownership
the center’s website (; the results of a survey of those who frequently down-                                                                                                                   might be a better overall fit for the industry,”
load center materials; and input from the center’s advisory board.                                                                                                                                              he concludes.

18   Cornell Hotel School
                            Bruce Dingman                                       on the right                outlined how her experi-
                            ’74 has been                                        track, says                 ence as a student at the
                            chosen by Business                                  Jordan Le Bel               Cornell Hotel School has
                            Week magazine as                                    ’90, MS ’92, a              influenced her life …
                            one of the world’s                                  former associ-              Kira Gailey ’09 has been
                            “Top 100 Most                                       ate professor at            selected to be managing
                            Influential Head-                                   the Cornell                 director for the 84th
                            hunters.” Dingman                                   Hotel School.               annual Hotel Ezra
                            heads the                                           Le Bel suggests             Cornell, to be held in
                            Dingman                                             we can reverse-             April 2009. The human
                            Company, an exec-                                   engineer our                resources director for
                            utive search firm                                   environment to              HEC 83, Gailey is a         Kira Gailey ’09
Bruce Dingman ’74                                 Jordan Le Bel ’90
                            that is a member                                    dial back mind-             member of the Ye Hosts
of Penrhyn International. He was selected         less eating. “Are there things we can do on               Honorary Society and is student front-office
on a range of criteria including individual       the home front, design-wise, layout-wise,                 manager for the Statler Hotel… Jeannette
reputation; the global scope of his recruiting    décor-wise, that can promote greater                      Abate ’09 has been awarded a Statler Foun-
practice; and the visibility his firm has                                        awareness of               dation Scholarship of Excellence. The schol-
attained in the global executive search                                          the greater                arship is bestowed upon outstanding
community. Dingman is one of just 28                                             pleasures food             students planning to pursue careers in the
recruiters based in the U.S. who made the                                        can bring?”                hospitality industry. Abate will receive up to
list ... Toronto developer Tony Dennis                                           (Excerpt from              $20,000 to cover tuition, fees, books and
’86 is rolling the dice on Las Vegas. Dennis                                     The Globe and              room and board for the academic year
leads the residential division comprising                                        Mail, Canada,              2008–2009. “We are grateful to the Statler
four condominiums at CityCenter, a mixed-                                        4/8/08) …                  Foundation for its generous support of the
                                                                                 Tom Kline                  future leaders of the hospitality industry,”
                                                                                 MS ’96 has                 says Michael Johnson, dean of the School.
                                                                                 been                       “Jeannette’s academic achievement, leader-
                                                                                 promoted to                ship and commitment to service make her a
                                                  Tom Kline MS ’96               executive                  most worthy recipient of this scholarship.”
                                                  director of the Office of Executive Educa-
                                                  tion at the Hotel School … Christa Chi ’09
                                                  has won a $500 scholarship from the New
                                                  York State Hospitality and Tourism Associa-               Denison Joins School
                                                                                 tion. She                  Jon Denison has been named associate
                                                                                 earned the                 dean for external affairs at the School,
                                                                                 award for an               effective September 1. Denison will provide
                                                                                 essay she                  strategic leadership for the alumni affairs,
                                                                                                            development, corporate affairs and
Tony Dennis ’86                                                                  wrote about
                                                                                                            communications functions. He brings to
                                                                                 how she works              the position nearly 30 years of diverse
use complex in Las Vegas that is the largest                                     with her                   management experience in higher
privately financed development in North                                          uncle’s                    education. Denison joins the School from
America to date. (Excerpt from the Toronto                                       marketing                  the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Star Newspapers, Ltd. 3/17/08 edition) …                                         team to                    College in Hanover, N.H., where he held
Take a cold, hard look at your kitchen. If it’s                                  promote trips              senior roles in corporate relations,
actually cold and hard, it could be messing                                      from Shanghai              development and alumni services. Earlier,
up your kids’ relationship with food and                                         to New York                Denison held leadership positions at SUNY
cooking, according to new research. But if it     Samantha Henry ’09             City …                     Morrisville, Syracuse University and Utica
has a well-used kitchen table in it, you are                                     Samantha                   College. He holds a BS degree in advertising
                                                                                                            and an AS degree in journalism from Ferris
                                                  Henry ’09 has won the 2008 Staadecker
                                                                                                            State University, and an MS in management
                                                  Family Award of Excellence Essay Contest.                 science from Binghamton University.
                                                  She earned $1,000 for her work, which

                                                  3 photos above by Robert Barker, University Photography

                                                                                                                                   Cornell Hotel School   19

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