Paula Zahn to emcee Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards gala

Feb 20, 2012

Contact: Ashlee McGandy, 607.254.1368,

The Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA) has announced that eight-time Emmy Award winner Paula Zahn will serve as master of ceremonies at the fourth annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards on June 5, 2012 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. At the gala event, Zahn will help honor the Tisch family as the 2012 recipients of the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award.

"We are delighted to welcome such a luminary of the broadcasting industry to the Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards program," said Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at SHA. "Ms. Zahn is a personal friend of the Tisch family, making her participation at the event all the more special."

Zahn is the executive host and executive producer of On the Case with Paula Zahn, Investigation Discovery's primetime series that ducks beneath the police tape for an unflinching look at today's most fascinating crime investigations. An accomplished cellist who has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Zahn also co-hosts NYC-ARTS, WNET's weekly delve into New York's vibrant cultural scene.

Zahn anchored for CNN, where she was based in the network's New York bureau and hosted the primetime show Paula Zahn Now. Before joining CNN, Zahn was the host of The Edge with Paula Zahn, a daily news program on Fox News Channel. She joined Fox in 1999 as anchor of its evening news program, The Fox Report. Previously she spent ten years at CBS News, where she co-hosted CBS This Morning and anchored the CBS Evening News Saturday Edition. Earlier, Zahn served as co-anchor of World News This Morning and anchored news segments of Good Morning America on ABC.

Throughout her career, Zahn has interviewed dignitaries and newsmakers, including former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford, Cuban President Fidel Castro, former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, first lady Betty Ford, civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael, and human rights activist Winnie Mandela. In addition to receiving eight Emmy Awards, Zahn has won the National Commission of Working Women Broadcasting Award and an American Women in Radio and Television Award for reporting on gender bias in education.

Since its inception in 2009, Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards has grown to be the largest event on the SHA calendar, attracting more than 800 of the most influential leaders and innovators in the hospitality industry. The event raises funds to support SHA's scholarships and programs and also celebrates the recipients of the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award and the Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award.

Current sponsors include: Exclusive Media Co-hosts–Travel + Leisure and USA TODAY; Strategic Marketing and Event Consultant–Amazing Taste, LLC; Strategic Brand Marketing & Design–The CSK Group; American Hotel & Lodging Association, American Hotel Register, Banfi Vintners, The Bernstein Companies, Bench Events, Boutique Design, Carlson, Choice Hotels International, Cleverdis, Deloitte, FRANCE 24, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Hilton Worldwide, Hospitality Design, Hotel Business, Hotel Management,, HOTELS, Hsyndicate, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, The Lodging Conference, Marriott, Oneida, PAR Springer-Miller Systems, PhoCusWright, Inc., Questex Hospitality Group, SchellingPoint, Southworth Development, SpencerStuart, Stonebridge Companies, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Sweet Street Desserts, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Vantage Strategy, Veolia Transportation, The Wall Street Journal, Wells Fargo, Wyndham Hotel Group, and Ypartnership.

For more details about the fourth annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards, please visit or contact Joe Strodel, Jr., P '11, director of communications and corporate affairs at SHA, at or 607.255.4646.

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