Hotel Design VIP Ian Schrager to Speak at Cornell Student-Run Conference

Nov 18, 2011

Danielle Foster '12, 908.902.7719,

Ian Schrager, chairman and CEO of Ian Schrager Company, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for The 87th Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC 87),  a service-innovation-themed hospitality conference being held April 12-15, 2012 at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA). The launch of Schrager's new hotel venture, the Public, has made major headlines in recent months, and his presence is sure to attract many conference attendees.

"HEC is lucky to have one of today’s most prominent hospitality leaders opening the weekend," said Javier Rodriguez '12, managing director for HEC 87. "It will be fascinating to hear Mr. Schrager talk about his career in innovating the boutique hotel concept."

The HEC 87 "Life Is Service Innovation" conference, which is being planned and executed by SHA students, will celebrate the future of hospitality service innovation and feature educational, leisure, and networking events that highlight industry advancements that exceed customers’ needs and expectations.

"HEC is a fantastic blur, packed with interesting, non-stop events for everyone in the hospitality industry," said Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at SHA. "For 87 years, we have been showing why education is important to our industry, and HEC is the single best reminder of what our education means. It is the embodiment of our entire educational experience, packed into one weekend and put on display for everyone to see."

Schrager will kick off HEC weekend with a presentation on his new line of boutique hotels and on how he has been innovating the hospitality industry for years, with concepts such as turning the hotel lobby into a gathering place and providing ambiance and luxury at affordable prices. Other HEC 87 events will spotlight innovations related to technology and social media, entrepreneurship, mass customization, and trends in the travel sector.
Several hospitality industry leaders will join Schrager in leading presentations and roundtable discussions during the weekend: Raul Leal, president and COO of Virgin Hotels; Frank Byrne, vice president of hotel operations at Royal Caribbean International; and Joe Ziskin, vice president of corporate strategy at IBM.

To learn more about the program of events for HEC 87 Life Is Service Innovation and to register for the conference, visit

About Hotel Ezra Cornell
Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) is an annual student-run hospitality conference that has been an 87-year tradition at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The conference attracts hospitality industry leaders and school alumni, faculty, and students to the Cornell campus and the Statler Hotel for a weekend of networking, education, entertainment, and culinary experiences. More information about the HEC organization and conference can be found at

About the Cornell School of Hotel Administration
The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement. The school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit