Four Seasons and Cornell SHA partner in new strategic corporate alliance

Feb 26, 2013

Contact: Ashlee McGandy, 607.254.1368,

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is the latest hospitality industry leader to join the strategic corporate alliance program at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA). Through the alliance, Four Seasons will continue as a partner of the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) and will become a new corporate member of the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship (PIHE). Susan Helstab, executive vice president of marketing, will maintain her seat on the CHR advisory board, and Chris Hunsberger, executive vice president of product and innovation, will become a PIHE advisory board member.

In addition, Four Seasons will donate data for a CHR research project titled "Customer Preferences for Signature Restaurants in Luxury Hotels and Resorts." The strategic alliance also includes Four Seasons sponsorship of the Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards, the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit, the Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition, and the Innovation Network.

"Four Seasons is an iconic luxury hospitality company and a leader in our industry. For the past 11 years, we have been fortunate to have them as a research partner, and we are delighted that they are extending their support to our entrepreneurship program and four of our most important events," said Joe Strodel, Jr., executive director of corporate affairs at SHA.

"This alliance creates new opportunities to share knowledge and expertise within the hospitality industry, bringing together corporate and academic perspectives in a way that fosters greater industry collaboration," said Hunsberger.
"It is a privilege to join the PIHE advisory board and play an active role in the sharing of ideas and insights to further strengthen this important alliance."

Other SHA strategic corporate alliance members are Accenture, American Express Publishing/Travel + Leisure, ASAE Foundation, Carlson Rezidor Hotels, GROUPE DU LOUVRE, Hilton Worldwide, Hotel Business, Hotel Management/Questex Hospitality Group, Hsyndicate, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, IDeaS: A SAS Company, Lily Jack, Marriott International, National Restaurant Association, PwC, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, STR Global, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, USA TODAY, White Conveyors, and Wyndham Hotel Group.

For more information about the strategic corporate alliance program, please contact Joe Strodel, Jr., at 607.255.4646 or

About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. From elegant surroundings of the finest quality, to caring, highly personalized 24-hour service, Four Seasons embodies a true home away from home for those who know and appreciate the best. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees - people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Founded in 1960, Four Seasons has followed a targeted course of expansion, opening hotels and residences in major city centers and desirable resort destinations around the world. With 90 properties in 37 countries, and more than 50 projects under development, Four Seasons continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding. For more information on Four Seasons, visit and follow on Twitter at @FourSeasonsPR.

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