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 gala.

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 2019 award. Nominations for the 2019 Innovator Award are due by midnight on Friday, October 12, 2018.

2018 Award Recipient

Tim Hentschel '01

Tim Hentschel '01

Co-founder and CEO
Hotel Planner


Past Award Recipients


John Zimmer '06 (2017)

Co-Founder and President

Press Release

Ted Teng '79

Ted Teng '79 (2016)

President and CEO
The Leading Hotels of the World

Press Release

Damian J. Mogavero

Damian J. Mogavero (2015)

Founder and CEO

Press Release

Sandy Solmon

Sandy Solmon (2014)

Founder, President, and CEO
Sweet Street Desserts

Press Release

Steve Ells

Steve Ells (2013)

Founder, Chairman, and Co-CEO
Chipotle Mexican Grill

Press Release

Kathleen “Katie” Taylor

Kathleen “Katie” Taylor (2012)

President and CEO
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Press Release

Drew Nieporent '77

Drew Nieporent '77 (2011)

Founder and Owner
Myriad Restaurant Group

Press Release

Solomon Kerzner

Solomon Kerzner (2010)

Founder, Chairman, and CEO
Kerzner International Holdings

Press Release

Frederic W. Malek

Frederic Malek (2009)

TIG Global

Press Release

Trip Schneck

Trip Schneck (2009)

TIG Global

Press Release

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