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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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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September 11, 2014

LRA Worldwide showcases the power of an SHA education

Where will an SHA degree take you?
For many students, a degree from the School of Hotel Administration is about hospitality operations, as it’s always been. For others, it’s a gateway to a wide array of possible business careers.

Counting among its staff of 300 a number of SHA alums in leadership positions – notably its co-founder, president, and CEO, Rob Rush ’77 – LRA Worldwide is a case study in both the practical value of an SHA education, and the doors it opens to a world of professional opportunity.

LRA Worldwide started in 1980 as Lashner, Rush & Associates, a research, consulting, and auditing firm striving to be “the best at helping great companies and brands measure and deliver exceptionally satisfying customer experiences,” according to Rush. “We look for a hospitality DNA, this common element that infuses different brands and experiences.”

LRA has grown internationally in the past decade, now boasting offices in Austria and Singapore in addition to corporate headquarters near Philadelphia, PA, hometown for both Rush and co-founder/COO Stan Lashner.

We sat down with Rush and several fellow SHA alums on his team, all of whom echoed a common theme, regardless of the path each has taken to get where (s)he is now: the SHA experience is a rock-solid foundation upon which to build a business career.

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