Restaurant innovator and healthy-eating advocate to speak at Cornell student-run conference

Mar 10, 2014

Contact: Justine Doiron, communications manager for the 89th Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell, jed275@cornell.edu

Lawrence Williams, president and CEO of the United States Healthful Food Council, is a scheduled speaker at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration's student-run 89th annual Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC), which is being held March 20-23, 2014, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

This year's conference is themed around "Food for Thought," focusing on how to live and conduct business smarter and healthier. The students are excited to host Williams because of his innovative work in the restaurant industry and his personal view on the ethics of food production and consumption.

"We have an incentive structure that has led the industry away from the types of food that are generally recognized as best for us, which are moderate portions of real, whole foods, with a large percentage of vegetables and fruits," said Williams. "It is imperative that we make serving healthful and sustainable food good for business."

As an entrepreneur who has spent most of his career solving problems, Williams is now taking on one of America's most prominent issues: health and wellness. The USHFC has already implemented its Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership certification program, which is designed to recognize food and beverage operators for the use of sustainable and healthful practices.

The non-profit is also working on providing more tools and incentives that will help restaurant operators become more aware of health and sustainability. Fighting to change America's perceptions about food is a challenge, but, as a three-time Iron Man Triathlete with a passion for healthy living, Williams appears to be up to the task.

"I'm interested to hear what he says about food to a group of people who are basically 'foodies'" said Chloe Chan, a sophomore at the School of Hotel Administration, "but that's also why I'm so excited for this year's HEC. It will make us really think differently about what we eat."

HEC 89 is excited to host Lawrence Williams along with many other leaders in the hospitality industry. For more information or to register for this year's conference, log on to www.hotelezracornell.com or download the free HEC Mobile App.

About Hotel Ezra Cornell
Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) is an annual student-run hospitality conference that has been an 89-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 www.hotelezracornell.com.

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.