November 26, 2014

Keith Barr ’92: IHG executive, and cultural brand ambassador

The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) brings prominent industry professionals to speak at SHA most Fridays during the fall semester. For 2014, students work in pairs each week to research, meet, and profile featured speakers, and then guest-blog here about the experience.

This week’s student authors are Nikol Limaduran ’15 and Patrick Tan ’16.

Mr. Keith Barr ’92 is chief commercial officer of InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG).

Mr. Barr’s visit as a DDLS speaker was comprehensive and overall extremely positive. His extensive experience as a global hotelier has given him a broad perspective on the hospitality industry, and framed his forward-thinking mindset.

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November 19, 2014

The Turano brothers: Alumni and leaders in the family business

The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) brings prominent industry professionals to speak at SHA most Fridays during the fall semester. For 2014, students work in pairs each week to research, meet, and profile featured speakers, and then guest-blog here about the experience.

This week’s student authors are Gabby Maurer ’16 and Ben Peters ’15.

This past week we had the pleasure of welcoming the Turano brothers from the Turano Baking Company to Cornell. From the dinner Thursday night to the post-lecture discussion Friday afternoon, the Turano brothers made us feel like we were part of their family—a tribute to how great they are at building the brand of their family business. The dinner featured–of course!–a bountiful variety of fresh-baked Turano breads, all of which we had the luxury of trying!

Each brother offered great insight into what has made the family business so strong through the years.

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November 13, 2014

Maribeth Bisienere: Behind the magic of Disney

The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) brings prominent industry professionals to speak at SHA most Fridays during the fall semester. For 2014, students work in pairs each week to research, meet, and profile featured speakers, and then guest-blog here about the experience.

This week’s student authors are Gabrielle Maurer ’16 and Maguire Parsons ’15.

The School of Hotel Administration welcomed Ms. Maribeth Bisienere back to campus recently to speak about her career path, as well as her long-standing tenure with the Disney company. Currently, she is senior vice president of Downtown Disney, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Water Parks & Mini Golf Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

We prepared a research packet about our guest to enlighten other students as to her accomplishments, both in and outside of Disney, mainly focusing on her most recent efforts as the senior vice president of the massive Disney Springs project as well as previous achievements that helped advance her career. It was a pleasure to research and eventually hear firsthand stories about her adventures within the Disney empire.

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November 12, 2014

Cornell student benefits from building a new measurement tool for company

By Sherrie Negrea

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. (LHW) describes itself as a company that “offers all kinds of one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and spas.” The 430 independent hotels that are part of the consortium, however, all use the same marketing, sales network, and reservation system as part of their membership in the New York-based company.

The benefit of the membership can be optimized if the hotels take advantage of the services provided by LHW, which includes support in 25 cities around the globe. To gauge how the hotels were using its offerings, LHW decided that creating a hotel engagement scorecard would be one of its four goals for 2014.

Ted Teng ’79, president and chief executive officer of LHW, suggested the company work with the Leland C. and Mary M Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at SHA to research how a measurement tool could be created to evaluate the member hotels’ engagement. Teng, who has led the company since 2008, is a member of the advisory board of the Pillsbury Institute.

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November 5, 2014

Kevin Jacobs ’94: An accomplished professional and inspiration to fellow Cornellians

The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) brings prominent industry professionals to speak at SHA most Fridays during the fall semester. For 2014, students work in pairs each week to research, meet, and profile featured speakers, and then guest-blog here about the experience.

This week’s student authors are Tucker Iida ’16 and Tripp Plamondon ’15.

It was a busy and exciting week overall, as Mr. Kevin Jacobs ’94 returned to Cornell to speak in the 87th Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Mr. Jacobs, now executive vice president and CFO of Hilton Worldwide, said he had been looking forward to this weekend ever since Dean Johnson invited him to speak back in December of 2013.

Mr. Jacobs arrived in Ithaca on Thursday, accompanied by his family, and excited to speak with current students at his alma mater. Before he arrived, we prepared a research packet to help other students understand his background more fully. We enjoyed researching and reading about all of the exciting ventures he has pursued throughout his career.

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November 4, 2014

Pillsbury Institute adds new programs to increase entrepreneurship engagement

By Sherrie Negrea

Every three weeks, Dajana Gjoza ’16 calls Anne Loehr ’90, a leadership development consultant in Washington, D.C., and over the next hour, they talk about entrepreneurship and how Gjoza can start her own business.

Three months after their conversations began, Gjoza has already started creating a business plan for her proposed wedding planning company. “It’s just been really great to learn from Anne, because she’s had so much experience in entrepreneurship,” says Gjoza, who plans to meet Loehr when she visits campus this fall to speak in a course called Conversations with Entrepreneurs.
The Connect Entrepreneurial Hotelies Mentor Network is one of several new initiatives launched by the The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at SHA. This fall, the institute will sponsor a Faculty Fellows Program funded by a grant from the Coleman Foundation, which will enable three professors at Cornell to introduce entrepreneurship training education in their courses.

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October 29, 2014

Teddy Zhang and Da Dong Ma: Two of China’s most prominent industry leaders

The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) brings prominent industry professionals to speak at SHA most Fridays during the fall semester. For 2014, students work in pairs each week to research, meet, and profile featured speakers, and then guest-blog here about the experience.

This week’s student authors are Sean Lee ’15 and Robert Wie ’15.

As class assistants in HADM 4100: Hospitality Management Seminar, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Teddy Zhang and Mr. Da Dong Ma — two of China’s most famous industry leaders — and learning from their experiences.

Mr. Zhang is chairman and CEO of HUBS1 Interactive Corporation, the leading global distribution system (GDS) in China, and is regarded as one of the most successful School of Hotel Administration alumni in his country.

Mr. Ma, president of the Shanghai Gui Yin Real Estate Company, has dedicated his life to preserving and upholding ancient Chinese culture through the relocation of thousand-year-old trees and dynastic homes.

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October 22, 2014

Stacy Fischer-Rosenthal: Upholding the family legacy with a passion for service

The Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series (DDLS) brings prominent industry professionals to speak at SHA most Fridays during the fall semester. For 2014, students work in pairs each week to research, meet, and profile featured speakers, and then guest-blog here about the experience.

This week’s student authors are Cathy Aronin ’15 and Leigh Heidelberger ’16.

When we started our first semester at the School of Hotel Administration, we met Max Rosenthal in many of our classes. As time went on, other students would mention his mother’s job. They explained how it was “the coolest job ever.” We had the privilege of meeting this mystery woman just last week, when she was a featured speaker in the 2014 Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

From doing the research, we knew some basic facts. We knew Ms. Stacy Fischer-Rosenthal had a high-end travel service. We also knew there was a very high fee to join the service and then an additional fee to continue the membership every year. Ms. Fischer-Rosenthal leads an extraordinary lifestyle business for a very prestigious and wealthy clientele. The business started with her father, Mr. Bill Fischer, and Ms. Fischer-Rosenthal worked her way up the ladder, knowing that nothing would be handed to her.

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September 4, 2014

New course teaches students to keep up with technology

On the first day of class, students in HADM 4180: Technology for Bootstrapped Entrepreneurship write down every technology system they use at least weekly. Blackboard. Microsoft Office. Email. Google Docs. CULibrary. Text messages. YouTube. Facebook. LinkedIn. Twitter. Snapchat. The list gets long quickly.

The point? “I challenge them to think about what being a ‘techie’ means. Today all students are ‘techies.’ It isn’t about whether they can create code. They leverage technology every day to be successful in their educational journey at Cornell,” said course instructor Mona Anita K. Olsen ’04, visiting assistant professor and assistant academic director of the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship.

Technology is everywhere—from major hotel corporations to start-up ventures—and the systems are constantly changing. Technology is also driving innovation through new platforms, like AirBnB, that are shaking up the industry. Since most students in HADM 4180 plan to launch their own companies, they need to have a clear understanding of this ever-evolving world.

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June 9, 2014

Class of 2014 pays it forward

Hotelies are known for their heart. Everything they do—both professionally and personally—is infused with a spirit of hospitality, service, and giving. The Hotelie Class of 2014 put its generosity on display this year as 63 percent of graduating SHA students made a gift to the Senior Class Campaign. Out of all the Cornell schools and colleges, SHA had the highest percentage of participation.

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