Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity
Within the hospitality industry, manager support for fun is instrumental in reducing employee turnover, particularly for younger employees, according to a team of researchers. However, manager support for fun also reduces employee productivity, which can negatively impact sales performance. Read more about how fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity.
Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society Names Jim Abrahamson 2013 Hospitality Executive of the Year
Jim Abrahamson, chief executive officer for Interstate Hotels & Resorts, has been named 2013 Hospitality Executive of the Year by the Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society (PSHRS). Abrahamson will receive the award during the fifty-second Hospitality Executive of the Year Award Reception, which will take place November 10, 2013 in conjunction with the annual International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in New York. As part of the honor, Abrahamson also will be inducted into the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame, located at The Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.
"Our alumni and industry advisory boards continue to emphasize to us the importance of our developing students’ leadership skills and abilities," said John O’Neill, director of the School of Hospitality Management. "We know that for our students to be successful leaders, they should learn from the hospitality industry's greatest leaders. That's why we're so happy that a seasoned leader like Jim has accepted our invitation to spend time with our students discussing his wealth of leadership experiences."
Abrahamson joined Interstate Hotels & Resorts from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), where he was president of the Americas region, that company's largest operating unit, and was also an executive director of IHG's board of directors. Previously, he held key leadership positions in the areas of operations, development, and franchising with Hyatt Corporation, Marcus Corporation, and Hilton Worldwide.
Abrahamson is active in the hospitality industry and in community affairs. He currently serves as an executive director on the board of directors of Interstate Hotels & Resort. He also serves as national chair of the U.S. Travel Association. In addition, Abrahamson is the secretary/treasurer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and will serve as association chair beginning in 2015. He is a member of the AH&LA Governmental Affairs and HotelPAC Committees, and is on the advisory board of the Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship. He is chairman of the board of directors at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and is on the advisory board at the Emory University Eye Clinic. Abrahamson holds a degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota.
"Recognition as the Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society's Hospitality Executive of the Year is a great honor," said Abrahamson. "The hospitality industry is like no other, where anyone with ambition and initiative, coupled with an outstanding education, can achieve career success. I'm grateful my journey led to Interstate Hotels and Resorts. Through my experience with some of the industry's leading companies, I have been able to successfully guide our global growth strategy and witness it spring to life. Opening the eyes of Penn State students to similar possibilities is what renders this honor a true privilege."
Interstate Hotels & Resorts is the leading U.S.-based global management company operating nearly 360 hotels with more than 69,000 rooms spanning the United States and 10 additional countries.
PSHRS was established in 1948 to strengthen the hospitality profession and to enhance the reputation of the hotel, restaurant and institutional management program in the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. PSHRS and the school created the Hospitality Executive of the Year Award in 1960 to honor individuals who exemplify the successful leadership characteristics that they strive to instill in students and to convey to alumni and colleagues.
Last year’s award recipient was Steve Rushmore, president and founder of HVS. Previous winners include J. W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., executive chairman, Marriott International; Randy Smith, chairman and co-founder, STR; Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer, U.S. Travel Association; Niki Leondakis, former chief operating officer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants; Andrew Kerin, former group president, Global Food, Hospitality and Facility Services, ARAMARK Corporation; Tom Giannopoulos, executive chairman, MICROS Systems, Inc.; and other notable executives in the industry.
Dip, dip, hooray — kids eat more veggies with flavored dips
Many parents have a difficult time persuading their preschool-aged children to try vegetables, let alone eat them regularly. Food and nutrition researchers have found that by offering a dip flavored with spices, children were more likely to try vegetables — including those they had previously rejected. Read more about how kids eat more veggies with flavored dips.
School of Hospitality Management names Frits van Paasschen as Conti Professor
The Penn State School of Hospitality Management named Frits van Paasschen, president and chief executive officer of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. as the Spring 2013 Walter J. Conti Visiting Professor. Conti Professors visit the School of Hospitality Management to interact with students and faculty members, to present guest lectures in hospitality management and to speak at graduate and undergraduate colloquia.
Several Penn State alumni who work for Starwood accompanied Frits van Paaschen, CEO, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. during his Conti Professorship visit on campus. L-R Front: Daniel Entenberg ('01), Sarah Cannon-Foster ('86), Frits van Paasschen, Brian McGuire ('98), Nan Crouter, Tom Mituzas. L-R Back: Jason Bayona ('05), Bob Pirollo ('92), Tom Martini ('88), Javier Nogales, John O'Neill.
"Frits brings to the school a wealth of cutting-edge knowledge and experience about branding in the hospitality industry based on his tenure at Starwood since 2007 where he has nurtured such esteemed brands as W, Westin, Aloft and St. Regis," said John O'Neill, director of the school. "We are delighted that Frits and several Penn State alumni at Starwood were able to spend time with our students to discuss this dynamic industry and their personal experiences, and to give career advice."
Read more about Frits van Paasschen, Spring 2013 Conti Professor.
International Foodservice Manufacturer’s Association honors two Penn State grads
Two Penn State School of Hospitality Management graduates were recognized by the International Foodservice Manufacturer’s Association (IFMA) on May 20. James Purdum, general manager for Hospitality Services at Penn State, was a Silver Plate recipient, while John Metz Jr., president and CEO of Sterling Hospitality, garnered both the Silver and Gold Plate awards. The pair was honored at the Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration at the Great Hall at Union Station in Chicago.
Purdum is a 1977 graduate of Penn State and earned a bachelor’s degree in food services and housing administration. He was honored in the category of Hotels & Lodging.
“This award is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence by the entire Hospitality Services team,” said Purdum. “It’s also a recognition of the support and commitment our hotels have had from our leadership, our guests and the many colleagues we are fortunate to work with each day to support the mission of this great University.”
Metz Jr., who was honored in the Independent Restaurants/Multi-concept category, is a 1990 graduate of Penn State’s hotel, restaurant and institutional management program.
“I’m proud to accept this recognition on behalf of the 859 employees in our company,” said Metz Jr. “They are spectacular people and unbelievable resources. I wouldn’t be here without them. They are the true recipients of something like this.”
Read more about James Purdum and John Metz Jr. and their IFMA awards.
School of Hospitality Management educational partner at Bisnow BLIS 2013 Lodging Investment Summit
The Penn State School of Hospitality Management was the educational partner for the Bisnow BLIS 2013 Lodging Investment Summit held at the Washington Hilton on April 24-25th.
Over 500 executives representing leading hospitality companies from across the country gathered for this two-day summit which included keynote speakers and panel discussions.
Keynote speakers included Chris Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton Worldwide, Jim Abrahamson, CEO, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Paul Whetsell, President and CEO, Loews Hotels and James Murren, Chairman and CEO, MGM Resorts International. Two of the more than two dozen panelists included PSHRS President, Tom Riley, Vice President, Acquisitions and Development, Kimpton Hotels and SHM Industry Advisory Board Member, Dan Lesser, CEO, LW Hospitality Advisors. Topics were focused on the state of the hotel markets with macro discussions on the economy and micro discussions on future hotel development. Dr. O'Neill kicked off the summit with opening remarks and the introduction of Chris Nassetta.
Hospitality students earn high marks on industry exam
Students in Penn State's School of Hospitality Management have exceeded the national average on a rigorous examination that demonstrates their ability to read, interpret and make decisions about the most widely used monthly report used by hotel managers to track the performance of hotels around the world — the STAR report.
The 16 Penn State students who took the exam — known as the STAR exam — earned an average of 82 percent, and all Penn State students received a passing grade of over 70 percent. The national average was 72 percent. The students were enrolled in the course, "Hospitality Real Estate," which is taught by John O'Neill, director of the School of Hospitality Management. The students trained for and took the exam as part of the course. They took the exam and learned their scores in late December 2012. Read more about SHM students who took the STAR exam >>
Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society names HVS’s Steve Rushmore 2012 Hospitality Executive of the Year
Steve Rushmore, chairman and founder of the global hospitality consulting organization HVS, has been named 2012 Hospitality Executive of the Year by the Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society (PSHRS). Rushmore will receive the award during the fifty-first Hospitality Executive of the Year Award Reception, which will take place November 11, 2012 in conjunction with the annual International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in New York. As part of the honor, Rushmore also will be inducted into the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame, located at The Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.
“Steve Rushmore has repeatedly shown the entrepreneurial vision to find market opportunities to serve the hospitality industry with excellent and unparalleled services," said John O’Neill, director of the School of Hospitality Management. "He also serves the industry as a frequent speaker and author, and the industry recognizes the HVS brand name as the leader in professional services.”
HVS is a hospitality consulting and services firm with more than 30 offices around the globe. Rushmore founded HVS in 1980, and he continues to direct the worldwide operation of this firm, as well as the firm's ever-growing expansion and new product development. He has provided consulting services for more than 15,000 hotels throughout the world during his 40-year career and specializes in complex issues involving hotel feasibility, valuation, and financing. He was one of the creators of the Microtel concept and was instrumental in its initial public offering (IPO). Rushmore is a partner in HEI Hospitality, LLC, a hotel investment fund.
HVS has provided consulting services for thousands of clients in all 50 states and more than 60 foreign countries. Its professional staff of more than 400 industry specialists offers a wide range of services, including market feasibility studies, valuations, strategic analyses, development planning and litigation support. Through its divisions, HVS supplies unique hotel consulting expertise in the areas of executive search, food and beverage operations, gaming, technology, hotel operations, asset management, marketing, interior design, parking, golf and investment counseling. HVS is the industry's primary source of hotel sales information. Its databases contain information on more than 13,000 hotel transactions and thousands of financial statements. HVS is also the most comprehensive source of hotel compensation data.
"It is an honor for me to receive this recognition, particularly from a hotel school program as renowned as Penn State," said Rushmore. "I take pride in and enjoy working with and teaching the students at Penn State, as I know they are the emerging leaders in our ever-evolving industry."
"The 7,000 alumni and 700 students of Penn State's School of Hospitality Management are proud to honor Steve Rushmore as our Hospitality Executive of the Year,” said Tom Riley, president of the PSHRS. "We recognize his industry leadership and appreciate his commitment to hospitality education."
ABOUT STEVE RUSHMORE:
As a leading authority and prolific author on the topic of hotel feasibility studies and appraisals, Rushmore has written all six textbooks and two seminars for the Appraisal Institute covering this subject. He also has authored three reference books on hotel investing and has published more than 300 articles. He writes a column for Lodging Hospitality magazine and is widely quoted by major business and professional publications. Rushmore lectures extensively on hotel trends and has taught hundreds of classes and seminars to more than 20,000 industry professionals. He is also a frequent lecturer at major hotel schools around the world.
Rushmore received a bachelor's degree from the Cornell Hotel School and a master of business administration degree from the University of Buffalo. He holds MAI and FRICS appraisal designations and is a CHA (certified hotel administrator). He is a member of numerous hotel industry committees, including IREFAC and the NYU Hotel Investment Conference. In 1999, he was recognized by the New York chapter of the Cornell Hotel Society as "Hotelie of the Year,” and in 2010, Penn State recognized him as Walter J. Conti Visiting Professor.
PSHRS was established in 1948 to strengthen the hospitality profession and to enhance the reputation of the hotel, restaurant, and institutional management program in the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. PSHRS and the school created the Hospitality Executive of the Year Award in 1960 to honor individuals who exemplify the successful leadership characteristics that they strive to instill in students and to convey to alumni and colleagues.
Last year's award recipient was Randell Smith, chairman and co-founder of STR. Previous winners include Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer, U.S. Travel Association; Niki Leondakis, chief operating officer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants; Andrew Kerin, former group president, Global Food, Hospitality and Facility Services, ARAMARK Corporation; and other notable people in the industry.
David Cranage named Schreyer Distinguished Honors Faculty Member
David Cranage, associate professor in the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State, has been named a 2012-2014 Schreyer Distinguished Honors Faculty Member by the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. The Distinguished Honors Faculty Program brings together select faculty members and Schreyer student scholars in innovative, interactive programs that extend learning beyond classroom walls. As a Distinguished Honors Faculty Member, Cranage plans to expose Schreyer student scholars to an enhanced learning experience in sustainability business practices and policies as part of a sustainability initiative he has been working on over the past two years. The goal of the initiative is to develop sustainability models for the hospitality industry to use in their policies and practices. Cranage and others involved with the initiative conduct research to examine sustainability in all aspects of the hospitality industry and examine ways to enhance student learning in sustainability issues and practices in the hospitality industry. More >>
Randell Smith named 2011 PSHRS Hospitality Executive of the Year
Randell A. Smith, chairman and co-founder of STR, has been named 2011 Hospitality Executive of the Year by the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society. Smith will receive the award during the 50th Hospitality Executive of the Year Award Dinner, which will take place Nov. 13, 2011 in conjunction with the annual International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show in New York. As part of the honor, Smith also will be inducted into the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame, located at The Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park.
John O’Neill Named Director of the School of Hospitality Management
John O’Neill has been named the director of the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State. He succeeds Bert Van Hoof on July 1, 2011. A member of the Penn State faculty since 2001, his research focuses on strategic management, lodging management and development, real estate valuation, work-life balance in the lodging industry, and hotel branding. “John brings to the job strong ties to industry, an impressive record of research and scholarship, the ability to work well with others, and firsthand understanding of the school,” says Ann C. Crouter, the Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development. Read more about John O'Neill and his appointment.
Students take charge of hotels, build team decision-making skills
Students in one Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management course get a sneak peak at some of the complex decisions they’ll have to make as future hotel managers. In the course, HRIM 480: Advanced Hotel Management, students assume the role of manager through a computer simulation known as Hotel Operational Training Simulation (HOTS).…More
Restaurant customers willing to pay more for local food
Not only are restaurant patrons willing to pay more for meals prepared with produce and meat from local providers, the proportion of customers preferring local meals actually increases when the price increases, according to a team of international researchers.…More
Envious employees can turn hospitality industry hostile
Guest relationships can become collateral damage when hotel employees envy the relationships co-workers have with their bosses, according to an international team of researchers, including Dr. John O'Neill, associate professor of hospitality management at Penn State.…More
School of Hospitality Management names PA Secretary of Health Everette James Conti Professor
The Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) has named Everette James, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as the Walter J. Conti Professor of Hospitality Management in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, starting spring semester 2011. James is the seventy-third Conti Professor.…More
Symposium aims to improve sustainability in the hospitality industry
The School of Hospitality Management (SHM) is holding an event designed to reduce waste and increase sustainability practices in the hotel, waste, and food service industries. The SHM Sustainability Symposium will be held Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at The Nittany Lion Inn, 1:00-5:00 p.m., followed by a light reception.…More
Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society Names U.S. Travel’s Roger Dow 2010 Hospitality Executive of the Year
Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Travel Association, has been named the 2010 Hospitality Executive of the Year by the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS). Dow will receive the award during the forty-ninth Hospitality Executive of the Year Award Reception on Sunday, November 14, 2010, at the Rosenthal Pavilion of the Kimmel Center, New York University. As part of the honor, Dow will also be inducted into the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame, located at The Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.…More
Penn State, government, industry helping children pick healthier foods
Penn State is leading a new initiative to improve children’s nutrition education and increase the amount of healthy foods available in schools. The project is a collaboration among Penn State researchers; Pennsylvania’s Departments of Health, Education, and Agriculture; Pennsylvania food manufacturers and food distributors; and school districts across the state.…More