Toni Knorr named winner of Cornell MMH Outstanding Alumna Award

Aug 16, 2012

Contact: Ashlee McGandy, 607.254.1368, am754@cornell.edu

Antoinette "Toni" Knorr, general manager of the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, has been chosen to receive the 2012 MMH Outstanding Alumna of the Year Award, presented by the master of management in hospitality (MMH) program at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Knorr will receive the award at the 11th annual Cornell MMH Reception on Sunday, November 11, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the Westin New York at Times Square.

"Toni Knorr is the ideal choice for the Cornell MMH Outstanding Alumna Award, and we look forward to honoring her at the MMH reception," said Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor of Hotel Administration. "Toni was chosen from a highly competitive field of industry leaders who have demonstrated exemplary engagement with the school. In addition to being a dedicated Cornell alumna, Toni has enjoyed a tremendous career, managing some of the most iconic hotels in the country with service excellence and innovation."

The award committee selected Knorr, a 1977 graduate of the program, after evaluating MMH and MPS (master of professional studies) graduates on a range of criteria, including academic performance and involvement as a student, career progression, and continued engagement with the school. She is a member of the Cornell Hotel Society, the Tower Club Committee, and the President's Council of Cornell Women. She was a featured speaker during the 2002 Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series on campus.

She has been with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., since 2005. Prior to that she served as director of hotel operations/asset manager for Millennium Partners, where she managed five luxury properties, including the opening of the Ritz Carlton in Boston and Georgetown and Four Seasons in San Francisco. Knorr began her hospitality career with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, where she served as corporate director of catering, corporate director of food & beverage, and general manager at Hyatt's leading properties nationwide, including the Grand Hyatts in New York and Washington D.C. and Park Hyatt San Francisco.

Passionate about San Francisco, Knorr is chair of the city's Tourism Improvement District and past president of the Hotel Council of San Francisco. She previously served as chair of the San Francisco Travel Association, and she has been on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Modern Art Council for 15 years. Knorr is also actively involved with the Hospitality Department Advisory Board at the University of San Francisco McLaren School of Management. She is a member of the International Women's Forum-West and has been recognized for the past six years as one of the Bay Area's 100 Most Influential Women by the San Francisco Business Times. The Hotel Council of San Francisco awarded Knorr with the Peter Goldman Award of Excellence in 2009 and the Lifetime Achievement–Hotel Executive Award in 2012.

In addition to her master's degree from Cornell, Knorr earned an intermediate certificate from LaVarenne, Ecole de Cuisine in Paris.

Previous recipients of the Cornell MMH Outstanding Alumna/us of the Year Award include Kirk Kinsell, president for the Americas at InterContinental Hotels Group; Brian Ferguson, vice president of supply strategy and analysis for Expedia, Inc.; Tim Dick, managing director of G2 Hospitality Associates GP, LLC; and Shonette Harrison Carew, consultant and former vice president of marketing at Valley Forge Casino Resort.

To learn more about the 11th annual Cornell MMH Reception or participate as a corporate sponsor of the event, visit http://sha.cornell.edu/corporations-recruiters/events/receptions/mmh.html or contact Kathleen Bolton, corporate and foundation affairs associate, at 607.255.1204 or ksh11@cornell.edu.

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 www.hotelschool.cornell.edu.