Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award

The Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award is a tribute to the extraordinary leaders who have developed new approaches to hospitality industry enterprises. The School of Hotel Administration presents the award at the annual

Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards.

Press Release

We are currently accepting nominations for an extraordinary innovator in the hospitality industry. Please fill out the nomination form to recommend an entrepreneurial or corporate innovator for the 2018 award. Nominations for the 2018 Innovator Award are due by midnight on Friday, October 13, 2017.

2017 Award Recipient


John Zimmer '06

Co-Founder and President
Press Release

Past Award Recipients

Ted Teng '79

Ted Teng '79 (2016)

President and CEO
The Leading Hotels of the World
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Damian J. Mogavero

Damian J. Mogavero (2015)

Founder and CEO
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Sandy Solmon

Sandy Solmon (2014)

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Founder, President, and CEO
Sweet Street Desserts
Steve Ells

Steve Ells (2013)

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Founder, Chairman, and Co-CEO
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Kathleen “Katie” Taylor

Kathleen “Katie” Taylor (2012)

President and CEO
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
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Drew Nieporent '77

Drew Nieporent '77 (2011)

Founder and Owner
Myriad Restaurant Group
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Solomon Kerzner

Solomon Kerzner (2010)

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Founder, Chairman, and CEO
Kerzner International Holdings 
Frederic W. Malek

Frederic Malek (2009)

TIG Global
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Trip Schneck

Trip Schneck (2009)

TIG Global
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Bob Alter '73

Bob Alter '73 (2008)

Sunstone Hotel Investors

Gary Mendell '79

Gary Mendell '79 (2007)

Chairman and CEO
HEI Hotels and Resorts

Stephen Mendell '82

Stephen Mendell '82 (2007)

Executive Vice President
HEI Hotels and Resorts

Jay H. Shah '90

Jay H. Shah '90 (2007)

Hersha Hospitality Trust

Chuck Mund '51

Chuck Mund '51 (2006)

Mega Management

Bruce Reinstein '79

Bruce Reinstein '79 (2006)

Fresh City

Larry Reinstein '77

Larry Reinstein '77 (2006)

Fresh City