Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations welcomes new industry advisors

Feb 27, 2014

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.254.8987,

Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations welcomes new industry advisors

Ithaca, NY, February 27, 2014 - The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations at the School of Hotel Administration recently welcomed four new hospitality industry leaders to its advisory board. In this role, they will provide financial support to the institute and engage in the development of CIHLER programming and research.

New advisory board members:

Paul Ades is senior vice president for labor relations for Hilton Worldwide, where he is responsible for global labor relations at the company and its owned and managed properties. He also negotiates collective bargaining agreements and provides counsel on labor matters. Prior to joining Hilton, Ades was general counsel for labor and employment at MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas. He has also served as associate general counsel for Harrah's Entertainment and as counsel for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas. He was a trial attorney for the National Labor Relations Board's Enforcement Division and an associate for the Washington D.C. law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. Ades received a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree in political science from Williams College.

Bob Alter is chairman emeritus and founder of Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc., which owns, develops, and renovates upscale hotels in 15 states and owns interests in 41 hotels operated under such brands as Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and Fairmont. He is a past president of the Holiday Inn Franchise Association and former member of the Marriott Franchise Board. He served as past president of the IAHI and is on its Board of Directors. He was on the Board of Directors of MINA, served as Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and is currently Chairman of AHLA PAC. Alter is a graduate of Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

Ilene Berman is the chair of Taylor English's Employment, Labor & Immigration Group. She is dedicated to counseling and defending private employers in employment law matters, and she has successfully litigated cases in numerous state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout the country. Berman also counsels and provides in-depth training to her clients on a wide range of employment-related issues. When providing such advice, she focuses on developing practical solutions that minimize legal risks without losing sight of the client's business and operational considerations. Before joining Taylor English in 2006, Berman practiced employment law on behalf of management with Fisher & Phillips LLP and Proskauer Rose in New York City.

Debbie Brown has enjoyed over thirty-five years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Human Resources leadership. She has served in her current role as vice president of human resources for the Americas since 1997. Brown is responsible for the human-resources function at the company's forty-two hotels and resorts located in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, as well as the properties that are currently under development in those regions. Four Seasons is a leader in the luxury hospitality business with ninety-two hotels located in thirty-eight countries.

"With the support and expertise of our advisory board members, CIHLER fulfills its mission of improving traditional union-management relations in the hotel industry and serving as a source of information, innovation, and cutting-edge knowledge concerning employer-employee issues," said David Sherwyn, academic director of CIHLER and the John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources at the School of Hotel Administration.
About The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations
The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations was established in 2013 as a platform for students, employers, employees, unions, and their advocates involved in the hospitality industry. The institute's mission is to support educational programs, sponsor and disseminate research, and hold conferences and roundtables dedicated to the modernization of labor and employment relations, labor and employment law, human resource management, and leadership in the hospitality industry. To learn more about the institute and its projects, visit

Partners: Barnes & Thornburg LLP • Commune Hotels • Davis & Gilbert LLP • Epstein Becker Green • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts • Fox Rothschild LLP • Hilton Worldwide • Jones Day • Kane Kessler, P.C. • Littler Mendelson • Loews Corporation • Paul Hastings LLP • Proskauer • Regan Development Corporation • Seaview Investors LLC • Starwood Hotels and Resorts • Taylor English Duma LLP