Cornell and AH&LA panel to feature women leaders in the hospitality industry

Apr 08, 2015

Contact:  Meg Keilbach, 607.255.9542,

Ithaca, NY - The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) will co-present the second edition of the Cornell/AH&LA Women in Senior Leadership Luncheon and Panel on Monday, April 13, 2015, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., at the Willard InterContinental in Washington, D.C. Held during the AH&LA Legislative Action Summit, the event will feature senior women leaders in hospitality as they discuss upcoming transformations in the industry. Register to attend the luncheon and panel discussion titled "Women Entrepreneurs & Global Trends in the Hospitality Industry."

"We are excited to collaborate once again with AH&LA. This important event spotlights women whose innovative leadership has put them at the forefront of the current industry trends," said Meg Hardie Keilbach '88, associate dean of alumni affairs and development. 

"The AH&LA Women in Lodging Council (WIL) aims to offer women in the industry opportunities for networking with executives and to develop leadership skills," said Thea Sargent, WIL chair, and director of destination sales, and wholesale and online travel agent for Disney Destinations. "The insight shared by this caliber of panelists will be invaluable."

Mary MacAusland, visiting assistant professor, will moderate the panel, which will include the following speakers:

•    Noël Irwin Hentschel, chairman and CEO, AmericanTours International
•    Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos ’85, founder, president, and COO, Flag Luxury Group
•    Michelle Russo ’87, President, HotelAVE 

The cost is $60 for Cornell alumni and AH&LA members and $75 for non-alumni/members. Visit the website to register

The event sponsor is STR, with special thanks to the Cornell Hotel Society Washington, DC/Baltimore chapter. If you have questions or would like to partner with Cornell on this event, contact Jennifer Macera at