Updates from the Directors

The Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship typically publishes updates from its directors a few times each year. You can view all past updates below. Additionally, you can see all of PIHE’s news and features on BusinessFeed.

Linda Canina

Linda Canina

Academic co-director of the Pillsbury Institute; professor of finance 607.255.8051
David Sherwyn

David Sherwyn

Academic co-director of the Pillsbury Institute; John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources 607.255.1711

November 2020

As one of the strangest semesters in Cornell history winds down, we are pleased to report on the recent activities of PIHE. First, we would like to give a shout out to Cornell — Cornell has done an incredible job managing the pandemic. With robust testing and students understanding, and complying with social distancing rules, we were consistently testing at .01% positivity rate – a testament for all involved!

As for PIHE, with most of the classes remote, with many students residing outside of Ithaca, and with those in Ithaca limited by social distancing, it was certainly a challenge to maintain our level of engagement. We believe that we did so – in fact, we are offering even more opportunities for engagement than we did last year.

First, we resurrected our Conversations with Entrepreneurs Class. With the incredible effort of Board member Jacob Wright, we changed the class’ structure such that students needed to come up with a business idea and then each speaker took the students through the phases of business development. From idea, to first source of financing, to legal structure, to pivot, growth, to exit (and all the other steps in between) our Board members and other friends of PIHE provided the students with an incredible learning experience.

With the help of members Stacy Silver, Bob DeVries, Warren Leeds, and Chad Crandall, we kicked off the  Experiential Networking Program, where 16 industry mentors and 80 students have teamed up in an effort to expand student’s life and networking skills so they can further develop their knowledge to help them succeed in business and life.

Despite the limitations of being remote, we ran an incredibly successful pitch-deck competition. With 25 teams entered, Andrew Quagliata worked with Judges Bob Alter, Warren Leeds and Monica Digilio to analyze the final four teams. Our winners were: 3rd place ($500) Team Life After Life; 2nd place ($1,500) Team Ultraviolet Transactions; and 1st place ($3,000) Team WEET. We look forward to our business plan competition where we have 33 teams registered!

The Entrepreneurs in Residence Program has been another success. This fall we had 10 EIR’s including Board Members: Michael Frenkel, Allison Page, Danny Stein, Fred Singer, and Jacob Wright. Our Board Members held over 30 meetings with students. Thank you!

The Spring semester looks like it will continue to be remote, but we hope to be back to a live semester in the Fall. In the meantime, with the help of our Board and our students, PIHE will continue to foster the entrepreneurial spirit that has been the hall mark of the Hotel School for over 90 years!

Linda and Dave


PIHE co-directors' previous updates

Below are previous messages from the current academic directors of the Pillsbury Institute.

Linda Canina and David Sherwyn, current co-directors


Previous Director's Updates

Below are previous director’s messages from academic directors of the Pillsbury Institute.

Neil Tarallo, former director


Susan Fleming, former interim director


Mona Anita K. Olsen ’04, former director


Neil Tarallo, former director