Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series


The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) is a long-running Friday afternoon tradition in the School of Hotel Administration (SHA). For nearly 100 years, Hotelies have attended presentations and lectures from first-rate leaders within the hospitality industry to provide insight on career paths, management styles, business strategies, and industry trends. Although lectures are open to the public, some SHA students choose to participate in for-credit DDLS coursework with small, engaged, student-speaker interactions. Journey through the most recent speaker lineup, below.

2021-2022 Speakers

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Speaker: Kate Walsh, Ph.D.,Dean and E.M. Statler Professor

Kate Walsh is Dean of the School of Hotel Administration and E. M. Statler Professor. A professor of management, Dr. Walsh has been a member of the School’s faculty since […]

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Speaker: Kristen McNamara ’10, Executive Director – J.P. Morgan & Ryan McNamara ’10, Managing Director – The Plasencia Group

Kristen McNamara ’10 is an Executive Director in the Chicago office of the J.P. Morgan Private Bank.  In her role, Kristen and her team manage relationships with $100 million+ net […]

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Speaker: Adam Weissenberg ’85, Vice Chairman & Chief Global Officer Audit & Assurance, Asia Pacific Leader – Deloitte & Touche LLP

Adam Weissenberg is Vice Chairman and Chief Global Officer for Deloitte’s US Audit & Assurance practice, as well as the Asia Pacific Leader for the US Global Office. In addition, […]

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Speaker: Gilda Perez-Alvarado ’02, Global Chief Executive Officer – JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group

Gilda Perez-Alvarado is the Global Chief Executive Officer of JLL Hotels & Hospitality, where she is responsible for investment sales, debt and equity placement, strategic advisory and asset management across […]

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Speaker: Elle Simone Scott, Founder & CEO – SheChef Inc.

Elle Simone is Executive Editor/Inclusion Leader at America’s Test Kitchen. She is also a food stylist for Cook’s Country, an on-screen test cook for America’s Test Kitchen, and host of “The Walk-In” podcast. Elle creates media […]

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Speaker: Kutina Ruhumbika, Vice President of Human Resources – Major Food Group

Kutina Ruhumbika is a well-rounded full-service restaurant and hospitality executive with experience within large corporate environments and smaller independent operations. Her past accomplishments include being the Vice President of Human […]

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Speaker: Mark Hoplamazian, President and Chief Executive Officer – Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Mark S. Hoplamazian was appointed to Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s board of directors in November 2006 and subsequently named president and chief executive officer in December 2006. Prior to his present […]

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Speaker: Yvette Thomas-Henry, Regional Vice President & General Manager – Four Seasons Resort Nevis

Yvette Thomas-Henry is Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Nevis. In this role, Thomas-Henry becomes the first female and first Caribbean native to take the helm […]

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Speaker: Dan Leyva ’14, Chief Wing Officer – Wings Over

Dan Leyva was born and raised near San Francisco, CA. In 2010, Dan moved to Ithaca to attend the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. While at Cornell, Dan […]

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Speaker: Cindy Estis Green ’79, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder – Kalibri Labs

Cindy Estis Green started her career in marketing roles with the National Restaurant Association then shifted to the hotel industry in both corporate marketing and senior operations positions for Hilton […]

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Speaker: Warren Fields ’85, President & CEO – Pyramid Hotel Group

Warren Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pyramid Hotel Group, has grown the Bostonbased management firm from three hotels in 1999 to over 120 hotels in the United States, […]

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Speaker: Cecile Belaman ’91, Managing Director – Bain Capital

Cécile Belaman is a Managing Director with Bain Capital, one of the world’s leading alternative investments firm with $130 billion in assets under management. Bain Capital is active in private […]

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Speaker: Kevin Boothe’05, Director, Football Development – National Football League

Kevin was born in New York City and was raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  He graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in 2005 and earned his MBA from […]

Past DDLS Speakers

Journey through years of inspired dialogue, with distinguished thought leaders on the past DDLS speakers page.