Entrepreneur Elizabeth Ngonzi to Speak at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration

Entrepreneur Elizabeth Ngonzi will be the featured speaker in the Conversations with Entrepreneurs series to be presented next Tuesday, April 20, by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Cornell University. Ngonzi will present from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. in 198 Beck Center. She will dine with students after the event and meet with students, staff, and faculty the next day.

A self-proclaimed "world citizen," Ngonzi has built a thriving consulting practice on her global upbringing and her personal commitment to make a social impact. Her mother was a diplomat and women's rights advocate, and her late father was a renowned African playwright and director of the National Theatre in Kenya. Ngonzi graduated from the United Nations International School, which she attended from kindergarten through 12th grade, and spent much of her childhood traveling throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. Later, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Syracuse University and a Master of Management in Hospitality degree from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration.  

In 2001, Ngonzi founded Amazing Taste, LLC, a firm that helps clients achieve strategic objectives through marketing campaigns, high-profile events, and educational outreach efforts that demonstrate a commitment to global sustainability and community investment. Amazing Taste develops and manages strategic alliances, organizes conferences, develops and produces programs, creates and manages fundraising and cause-marketing campaigns, manages VIP and dignitary protocols, and consults on executive lifestyles. Amazing Taste has benefited organizations such as the United Nations, the National Eating Disorders Association, the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, and the North Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Ngonzi has taught and developed numerous special events and management courses for the hospitality industry. One of her best-known courses addresses online fundraising strategies that she developed and is offered through the George H. Heyman, Jr., Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University.

Ngonzi began her career with Digital Equipment Corporation. Later, at MICROS Systems, Inc., she ranked among the company's top ten salespeople. Before launching Amazing Taste, Ngonzi was a business consulting manager for Arthur Andersen, where she directed engagements for clients in the hospitality, telecommunications, and energy industries.

The Conversations with Entrepreneurs series is sponsored by Hotelie Entrepreneurs, Cornell Hospitality Advisors, and eClips.