Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Director to Emcee Cornell Icon & Innovator Awards Dinner

May 05, 2011

Contact: Ashlee McGandy, 607.254.1368,

James R. Galbraith, a member of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Board of Directors, will serve as master of ceremonies at the third annual Cornell Icon & Innovator Awards Dinner. The Hilton Family, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, are the 2011 recipients of the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award, and Galbraith was selected by the Hilton family and Cornell University due to his extraordinary leadership roles at both Hilton Hotels and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Steven M. Hilton, president & CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, said "Jim was already an invaluable asset to the corporation when he was tapped to join the foundation board of directors in 1989. He had received awards for his many contributions to government and public policy initiatives, and he has applied his professional skills and knowledge to bring perspective and judgment to our foundation's global philanthropic work."

Hilton also pointed out that "the establishment of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the world's largest at $1.5 million, was Jim Galbraith's idea, exemplifying his deep commitment to honoring and preserving the Hilton philanthropic legacy." Galbraith currently serves on the international jury that selects the recipient of the annual Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

Galbraith is former senior vice president of corporate affairs at Hilton Hotels Corporation, a position he held for 13 years, following a long career that included major positions in news, government, and corporate affairs. He currently serves on the board of directors for the BEST Foundation for a Drug-Free Tomorrow.  Before working with Hilton, he served as vice president of corporate communications for Ticor, a financial services company, held a number of positions in Washington, D.C., and was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1993.

The Cornell Icon & Innovator Awards Dinner will be held on June 7, 2011, at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. The event will serve to honor the recipient of the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award as well as the Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award, which will be presented to Drew Nieporent '77, owner and founder of Myriad Restaurant Group. The dinner will also raise funds to support the school's scholarships and programs.

Current sponsors include: Title Sponsor – Hilton Worldwide; Exclusive Media Partners – Travel+Leisure and USA TODAY; Strategic Marketing and Event Consultant – Amazing Taste, LLC; American Hotel Register, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Banfi Vintners, BBG-BBGM, Baccarat, The Bernstein Companies, Boutique Design, Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association, C3/CustomerContactChannels, Inc., Deloitte, FRANCE 24, GROUPE DU LOUVRE, Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Hospitality Architecture + Design, Hospitality Design, Hospitality Style, Hotel Business, Hotel Management,,, HOTELS, HotelYearbook, InterContinental Hotels Group, International Hotel Investment Forum-Berlin, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Ithaca Beer Company, Madison Square Garden, Richard H. Kennedy '56, The Lodging Conference 2011, Marriott, Nobu New York, Oneida, On The Mark Graphics, Parasol, PAR Springer-Miller Systems, PhoCusWright, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Quaker Steak & Lube, Quest Hospitality Ventures, RCI, Southworth Development, Spasso, SpencerStuart, Stonebridge Companies, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Sweet Street Desserts, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Thayer Lodging Group, The Leading Hotels of the World, Thompson Hotels, TravelCom, Travelzoo, Tribeca Grill, Veolia Transportation, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Wells Fargo, Wyndham Hotel Group, Ypartnership, and YOTEL New York.

For more details about the third annual Cornell Icon & Innovator Awards Dinner, please visit or contact Joe Strodel, Jr., director of the School of Hotel Administration's corporate and foundation affairs, at or 607.255.4646.