School of Hospitality Management Names STR President as Conti Professor

May 17, 2010

The Penn State School of Hospitality Management named Mark V. Lomanno, president of STR (Smith Travel Research, Inc.) as the seventy-first Conti Professor. The school hosted a two-day program that included six classroom presentations from Lomanno and an industry reception for students, alumni, and local industry leaders.

“We are pleased that Mr. Lomanno, a leader in the hospitality industry, accepted our offer to join the ranks of seventy other Conti Professors,” said Dr. Bert Van Hoof, director of the School of Hospitality Management. “Mr. Lomanno’s interaction with students greatly enhances their understanding and appreciation of the role that research plays in the lodging industry.”

Conti Professors visit the school to interact with students and faculty, present guest lectures in hospitality and foodservice management, and speak at graduate and undergraduate colloquia.

STR (Smith Travel Research, Inc.) is the parent company that has five companies that make up the STR Family of companies—STR Global, STR Analytics, HotelNewsHow.com, and RRC Associate, and Hotel Data Conference (HDC). In 2008 STR combined its non-North American operations with two international leaders in the benchmarking arena, Deloitte's HotelBenchmark and the Bench, to form STR Global. STR continues serving the North American market that they have been supporting since its foundation in 1985 and STR Global brings the benefits of the well-known STAR reports to a truly global audience.

Walter J. Conti, for whom the professorship is named, is a well-known restaurateur and industry leader from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He is the retired owner and chief executive officer of Conti Cross Keys Inn and the Historic Piper Tavern (formerly Conti’s Pipersville Inn), both located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Conti has held various leadership positions in the National Restaurant Association, including a term as chairman (1981-82), and he is a "diplomat" of the association’s educational foundation. The Conti Professorship Program was established by alumni and friends of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management in 1987 to honor Walter J. Conti for his contributions to the school, to Penn State and to the hospitality profession.

For more information about Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management, please contact Brian A. Black, director of hospitality industry relations for SHM, at 814-865-6728 or bab180@psu.edu.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.