Sweet Street's Sandy Solmon to receive Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award

Contact: Ashlee McGandy, 607.254.1368, am754@cornell.edu

Sandy Solmon, founder, president, and CEO of Sweet Street Desserts, has been named the recipient of the 2014 Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award, an honor given annually by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA). Solmon will receive the award at the sixth annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards, Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

"Passion and creativity are the hallmarks of an innovative company. Sandy Solmon infuses Sweet Street with both, which is why they have remained at the top of the industry," said Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at SHA. "We are proud that Sandy is an active supporter of SHA, where she shares that same innovative spirit through our parent committee and the advisory board for the Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship."

Sweet Street is the largest manufacturer of frozen gourmet desserts in North America. The company bakes for restaurants in more than 60 countries around the globe, and their products are found in all channels of foodservice, from casual dining such as P.F. Chang's and Olive Garden to Barnes & Noble and Starbucks cafes; in contract management, including Aramark, Levy Luxury Suites, and the U.S. Military; and in hotels such as Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. Among Sweet Street's many achievements, the company has received the Sysco Heritage Award and the Quality and Service Award from DOT Foods. They have been named the Berks County Chamber of Commerce Large Business of the Year and the Sodexo Diverse Supplier of the Year. Sweet Street is also in the MUFSO Supplier Hall of Fame.

In 1994, the U.S. Copyright Office awarded Sweet Street Desserts the first-ever copyrights recognizing the design of food products. Since then, the company has received a variety of awards for innovation including the Cognito's Best Foodservice New Product Award for Xangos and the Culinology Top Innovation Award by Research Chef's Association.

Solmon has been recognized by Pennsylvania Senator Judith Schwank and the City of Reading for her dedication to diverse ethnicity employment and her exemplary community service. Solmon was awarded the Berks County Chamber of Commerce Large Manufacturer Leader of the Year Award and was named one of Pennsylvania's Best 50 Women in Business. She is also a member of the Zenith Group, helping minority business women gain a larger piece of the purchasing pie. In addition to leading Sweet Street Desserts, Solmon is the CEO for Café Sweet Street; the Sweet Street Mobile Art Kitchen, Paris; and a biotech company that is tackling Parkinson's disease.

At the awards gala in June, Cornell will also honor the Mariani family, founders and proprietors of leading US importer Banfi Vintners and the Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany, with the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award. Since its inception in 2009, the Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards has grown to be the largest event on the SHA calendar, attracting more than 800 of the most influential leaders and innovators in the hospitality and travel industry from 17 countries. The event raises funds to support SHA's scholarships and programs.

The 2014 awards ceremony already has more than 50 corporate sponsors. Exclusive Media Co-Hosts are Travel + Leisure and USA TODAY; Red Carpet sponsors are Banfi Vintners and  Forbes Travel Guide; Diamond sponsors are Baccarat, Delta Air Lines, Groupe de Louvre, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International; Platinum sponsors are Access Point Financial, Boutique Design, Cipriani 42nd Street, Cleverdis, Cornell Hotel Society, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Hotel Business, HotelPlanner.com, Hsyndicate, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Nobu New York/The Tribeca Grill, PwC, Questex Hospitality Group, Stonebridge Companies, Sweet Street Desserts, Thayer Lodging Group, The Lodging Conference, Veolia Transportation; Gold sponsors are Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Denihan Hospitality Group, Duetto, Fairmont Raffles Hotels & Resorts with Hotel Capital Advisers, FRANCE 24, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Horizon Beverage Company, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Jones Lang LaSalle, PAR Springer-Miller Systems, RLJ Lodging Trust, PhoCus Wright, Inc., The Leading Hotels of the World, Wells Fargo, Wyndham Hotel Group; Silver sponsors are American Hotel & Lodging Association, Cornell Hotel Society - New York City chapter, Cornell School of Hotel Administration Centers & Institutes, Empire Merchants, Sack Family Foundation, Southworth Development LLC, SpencerStuart, and Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. Do More Good | CSK is directing strategic brand marketing and design.

To partner with the school on this premier event, please contact Kathleen Bolton, manager of corporate affairs at the SHA, at ksh11@cornell.edu. For additional information, please visit the event webpage.

About the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship
An operating unit of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the PIHE advances the study and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation in the hospitality industry. Through our network of faculty, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs, we give students the knowledge and skills they need to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. To learn more, visit www.pihe.cornell.edu.

About the Cornell School of Hotel Administration
The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement. The school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit www.hotelschool.cornell.edu.