From the Director
With the support of the School of Hotel Administration, and thanks to the efforts of many individuals, I am pleased to report to you that the Pillsbury Institute conducted two major programs in the past few months, Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa (EESA) and Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). As you will see from the accompanying items in this newsletter, these two programs combine key elements of the Institute’s mission. In addition to fulfilling identified societal needs, they provide direct learning experiences for program participants, as well as giving them the opportunity to put that learning into practice. For EESA, I want to express my appreciation to our hosts at Stellenbosch University as well as the Cornell University Office of Summer Sessions. We would not have had such a successful program without the support of these two great partners. EBV required an unprecedented commitment of a number of faculty from the School of Hotel Administration and the Culinary Institute of America all who donated their time very generously. I also want to thank Carol Zhe and Shannae Murray, of the Centers and Institute staff, who gave generously of their own personal time to help make EBV a success. Also contributing to our PIHE this year are Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, Nick Bayer ’00, founder and president of Saxbys Coffee, Elizabeth Ngonzi ’98, founder and CEO of Amazing Taste LLC, and Jacob Wright, co-founder and president of Action Companies. These three entrepreneurs make a contribution that is incalculable in terms of providing our students with direct, first-hand knowledge regarding what it takes to start a business. Another way our students learn the realities of the entrepreneurship in the Hospitality Industry is the annual Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition, which is already underway, (see the accompanying article in this newsletter). The competing student teams will make their presentations to industry judges in April, in conjunction with Hotel Ezra Cornell. Finally, I want to welcome and introduce you to Kristen Ciferri, our new program manager. Kristen will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Institute as well as programming and more!
We are always seeking new ways to assist our students to both learn how to become entrepreneurs and to practice that entrepreneurship. We welcome your suggestions and participation, so please feel free to contact Kristen or me in that regard. Above all, we thank those who have helped us bring Hospitality Entrepreneurship to our students in such a meaningful way.