Department of Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management

Dept Advisory Board Bios

MICHELE METRINKO ROLLINS

Chair of the Advisory Board

Michele Metrinko Rollins graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Law Center, earning a B.S.F.S. in 1965, a J.D. in 1968, and an LL.M in Taxation in 1970.

She was staff attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Corporate Regulation, from 1968 to 1971. From 1971 to 1972 she did trial tax work at the Department of Justice, Tax Division, in the U.S. Court of Claims. In February 1972, Ms. Rollins joined EPA to serve as a Special Assistant to the Administrator, William D. Ruckelshaus and later Russell E. Train. Following a brief detail to the Federal Energy Office in 1974, she became the first female “Associate Solicitor for Conservation and Wildlife” at the Department of Interior from 1974 to 1977. From 1977 to 1980, she was Sun Company’s Associate Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

Ms. Rollins has been admitted to the DC Bar, the DC Court of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania State Bar, the Delaware State Bar, and is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Ms. Rollins is currently Chairman of Rollins Jamaica, Ltd., the holding company for Rose Hall, Ltd. Rose Hall includes the Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, a 430 room luxury hotel and spa and the Ritz-Carlton White Witch Golf Course, designed by the world renowned Robert Von Hagge. Rose Hall also has the Von Hagge redesigned Wyndham Course, now known as the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, the Rose Hall Great House, an 18th century authentic architectural restoration depicting plantation life under the famed “White Witch of Rose Hall,” Annee Palmer, and the Cinnamon Hill Great House, home of famed country music legends John and June Carter Cash.

She is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the University of Delaware’s Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management, Chairman of the Board of the First State Series–Winning Women, Trustee of Goldey-Beacom College, member of the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Lifetime Partner of the Horatio Alger Association, member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Advisory Council for the Delaware Children’s Theatre.

Ms. Rollins’ background in public relations includes extensive media experience in radio and television. As Miss USA, she represented the United States in the Miss USA-World contest in London in 1964. In 1977, Ms. Rollins married John W. Rollins and had four children, now ages 27-31. Ms. Rollins also has two grandchildren. 

 

ROBERT E. ASHBY

Bob came to the University of Delaware from his hometown of Caldwell, NJ, in 1972 to play football for Tubby Raymond. He majored in Business Administration and worked part time in the city of Newark throughout his college years. Thus began his long association with the city that he has called home for 38 years. He owns and operates three restaurants in Newark and another in Dover, Delaware.

Bob began his restaurant career with the H.A.Winston company where he quickly rose through the ranks. He purchased his first restaurant, McGlynns Pub, in 1983 and added another McGlynns in 1999. They are popular neighborhood restaurants earning numerous accolades and awards. Throughout the years, Bob has owned and operated various other restaurants, including Ashby's Oyster House, Ashby's Grille, and Ashby's Clam Bar. With each of these endeavors, he increased his involvement in the creation of the kitchen, layout of the dining areas and bar, and design of the menu. In 2001, he took on his most ambitious effort to date- the total renovation of the historic Deer Park Tavern, a hotel and restaurant built in 1851. Acting as general contractor, he restored the building to its former glory and it has been hailed as the "gem of Main Street". It is fully updated while retaining the charms of its storied past. Most recently, Bob designed and built another McGlynns Pub on beautiful Silver Lake in Dover and it has quickly become a local favorite.  Cantwells Tavern in historic Odessa, Delaware is a recent addition, with farm-to-table offerings in early 19th Century ambiance.

Mr. Ashby was named the Restaurateur of the Year in 1989 and Delaware's Best Restaurateur in 2005. He has served in all capacities - from board member to chairman- for the Delaware Restaurant Association since 1985. He has also proudly served for nine years on the board of the National Restaurant Association and is currently a Director Emeritus. Bob has donated countless hours on committees too numerous to mention for the betterment of Newark, especially the Downtown Newark Partnership. He received the Cornerstone Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2006 and the University of Delaware honored him with the Renaissance Award in 2007 for his tireless efforts on behalf of the city and the university. He has set up an annual scholarship fund to benefit an HRIM student who has shown promise in the field of hospitality.

 

GEORGE E. BAGGOTT (RETIRED)

George E. Baggott was Chairman of the Board of Cres-Cor, a family owned business founded in 1936. He has over forty-two years of experience in the foodservice equipment business. George began his career with the company in 1957 as a shop floor laborer. After working his way up through several functional disciplines to include accounting, engineering and sales, he was promoted to Vice President of Sales in 1972. In 1981, he was named President, and in 1995, he became Chairman of the Board. In his new capacity George still continues to exert strong influence in sales and marketing where he has directed much of his recent focus on global markets in his new consulting company, Baggott Consulting Ltd, based in Las Vegas/Henderson, Nevada. He was on the US Army (International Foodservice Executive Assoc.) team to evaluate 7 kitchens (Korea, United States and Germany) in 2005 for excellence program.

George was one of the first industry leaders to become a Certified Foodservice Professional (CFSP). In addition, he has achieved numerous industry awards and accreditations. Some of these include NAFEM Honorary Doctorate of Foodservice; IFSEA Industry Award of Excellence; MAFSI Award of Merit; and FEDA Leadership Award. George is a past president of NAFEM (1994) and currently sits on its (HFM) Advisory Board for Healthcare Foodservice Management. He also is a current member of the Advisory Boards for Purdue University, the University of Delaware and UNLV (Las Vegas). He Was the "INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE OF 2008 FOR UNLV". He is Past-Member of the FCSI Educational Foundation, and serves on the Rotary for Green Valley, Henderson NV; Advisory Board member for Nevada Restaurant and Hotel Association; and serves on the International Food Service Executives Board in Las Vegas, NV. Currently, he is Board President for the So. Nevada Leukemia/Lymphoma Society Board of Advisors. He is also the publisher of the Food & Beverage News of Las Vegas. He also belonged to the Society for the Advancement of Food Service Research (SAFSR) 1994.

George attended almost all the major shows/exhibits and trade meetings in the food service industry over the years.

 

L. EDWIN BROWN (RETIRED)

Prior to his current position as secretary general of the World Association of Cooks Societies, L. Edwin Brown was the executive vice president of the American Culinary Federation in St. Augustine, Florida and chief operating officer of the Educational Institute of the American Culinary Foundation. Mr. Brown is also the recipient of many awards, including the Howard B. Meek Award presented by the Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators to the Hospitality Educator of the Year and the American Culinary Federation Educational Institute's Educator of the Year Award, recognizing him as the educator who has made the greatest contributions to the advancement of the culinary arts in America. In 2000, he was awarded a Doctorate in Business Administration by Johnson & Wales University.

In addition, he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the German Chef's Association, and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Toque as a lifetime member. Mr. Brown has served in the past as chairman of the American Culinary Federation's Educational Institute and as a member of the Chefs' and Cooks' Association of Pittsburgh, the Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators, and on the Florida State Vocational Education Advisory Board.

2005 The Pennsylvania Culinary Institute of Pittsburgh dedicated their library and resources center to L. Edwin Brown. 

 

MARVIN CETRON

Dr. Cetron has been identified as one of the nation's foremost futurists in the cover story, "The Next 50 Years", in the 50th Anniversary issue of U.S. News & World Report. He was selected by the Institute of Industrial Engineers as one of the top 10 Industrial Engineers in the U.S., and has been featured in countless magazines and newspapers. He has appeared regularly on every major television network, including "Today", "Good Morning America," CBS Morning News, CNN Newsmaker Sunday, Crossfire and Larry King Live shows. Dr. Cetron is the founder and president of Forecasting International and is one of the foremost forecast-futurists in the world.

As a pioneer in corporate, industry, demographic, and lifestyle forecasting, he has structured Forecasting International to provide industry and government with the benefits and insights of an international group of experts in the fields of management techniques; technological forecasting; corporate strategic planning; technology assessment; R&D planning; project selections; resource allocation; economics; marketing; and the behavioral sciences. Dr. Cetron has authored numerous articles, papers, and publications. He has authored three dozen books. His most popular books are: Encounters With the Future; A Forecast of Life Into the 21st Century; Jobs of the Future; The 500 Best Jobs - Where They Are and How to Get Them; Schools of the Future; How American Business and Education Can Cooperate to Save Our Schools; The Future of American Business; The U.S. in World Competition; The Great Job Shake-Out; How to Find a New Career after the Crash; American Renaissance; Our Life at the Turn of the 21st Century; Educational Renaissance; How to Improve Our Schools by the Turn of the 21st Century; Crystal Globe; The Have and Have Not Nations in the New World Order; Probable Tomorrows; How Science and Technology Will Transform Our Lives in the Next Twenty Years and 2 books just released: Cheating Death; What If People Lived As Long As Trees and Terror 2000: The Future Face of Terrorism.

During his 20 year career in the research and development planning and forecasting with the U.S. Navy, Dr. Cetron was in charge of the design, development, and implementation of the most comprehensive technological forecast in the United States. In his extensive experience with government agencies, foreign governments and industry, Dr. Cetron has been a consultant to more than 150 firms including Apple Computers, B&W Tobacco, Control Data Corporation, First National City Bank, General Motors, GT&E, IBM and Xerox. He has also advised the European Community, the Brazilian Ministry of Planning, and the Kenyan Ministry of Finance and The Indonesian Ministry of Economics. Dr. Cetron has a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, a M.S. degree in Production Management from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Research and Development Management from American University.

 

JOHN C. CINI

Cini-Little International, Inc. is privileged to have been involved in the foodservice programming and design of numerous hotel and restaurant management student training facilities, including the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania; the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, and Napa Valley, California; The Culinary School at Kendall College, Evanston, Illinois; and the James A. Collins Center for Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California. Cini-Little was instrumental in the successful "Gift-in-Kind" program for the new hotel and teaching facility at Cornell University's famous Hotel School and at the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management facilities at the University of Delaware.

John C. Cini is Chairman Emeritus of Cini-Little International, Inc., an international hospitality and foodservice design and business consulting firm with international headquarters located in Germantown, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D. C. With ten regional offices located throughout the United States, Canada, London, U.K., Tokyo, and Sydney, Australia, this highly specialized consulting firm provides assistance in the area of food service, laundry, materials handling and management, waste management, training services, and other business-related services. Cini-Little consultants participate in planning and analysis for a variety of client markets, including owners, developers, and managers of all elements of the hospitality, food service, and related industries worldwide.

Cini-Little International, Inc. is privileged to have been involved in the foodservice programming and design of numerous hotel and restaurant management student training facilities, including the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania; the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, and Napa Valley, California; The Culinary School at Kendall College, Evanston, Illinois; and the James A. Collins Center for Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California. Cini-Little was instrumental in the successful "Gift-in-Kind" program for the new hotel and teaching facility at Cornell University's famous Hotel School and at the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management facilities at the University of Delaware.

John C. Cini is Chairman of Cini-Little International, Inc., an international hospitality and foodservice design and business consulting firm with international headquarters located in Germantown, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D. C. With ten regional offices located throughout the United States, Canada, London, U.K., Tokyo, and Sydney, Australia, this highly specialized consulting firm provides assistance in the area of food service, laundry, materials handling and management, waste management, training services, and other business-related services. Cini-Little consultants participate in planning and analysis for a variety of client markets, including owners, developers, and managers of all elements of the hospitality, food service, and related industries worldwide.

Immediately prior to founding the firm in 1968, Mr. Cini was director of Food Facilities design for the Marriott Corporation. Mr. Cini is a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Mr. Cini's professional affiliations include: Fellow of Foodservice Consultants Society International, and the Cornell Hotel Society. He has been published in many trade magazines and has been a featured speaker for several professional associations. Mr. Cini also serves the community through his participation as a member of the University of Delaware's Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management Advisory Board, and as a member of the Board of Visitors for School of Music at the University of Maryland's Maryland Center for the Performing Arts at College Park, Maryland.

 

JULIE COKER

Julie Coker is Senior Vice President, Convention Division, for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB). Coker oversees a staff of 25 convention sales and services professionals who are responsible for selling the expanding Pennsylvania Convention Center and Philadelphia’s hotel package to customers across the country.

Coker joined the PCVB after serving as General Manager at Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing.   In her role, Coker oversaw all operational aspects of the 350-room hotel, which is the only hotel in the city located on Philadelphia’s revitalized waterfront area.  Among her responsibilities were: directing all hotel and employee operations such as managing the assets and providing monthly profit and loss statements, maintaining legal compliance, assessing financial or product issues, and outlining sales and marketing strategies, while providing guidance, mentorship, and leadership to the employees and managers of the hotel.

A 20-year Hyatt veteran, Coker began her career there in 1989 as a corporate management trainee at Hyatt Regency Columbus and held various positions at the hotel until 1992.  She also held full-time positions, including assistant front office manager, front office manager, hotel assistant manager and assistant executive housekeeper at Hyatt Regency O’Hare.  In 1994, she was promoted to her first room executive position at Hyatt Deerfield (Chicago) and held the same position at Hyatt Regency Cincinnati before being appointed to join the opening team and lead the rooms division at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in March 1998.  In 1998, she was promoted to General Manager at Hyatt on Printer’s Row in downtown Chicago.  From there, she was promoted to General Manager at The Lodge, a Hyatt property in Oak Brook, a suburb of Chicago.

Coker is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI where she received a bachelor of science in Hospitality Management and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is a past secretary and board member of the Illinois Hospitality and Lodging Association (IHLA) and past board member of the Oak Brook, Illinois Economic Development Committee.  She has been a nominee for Hotelier of the Year for IHLA in 2005 and 2006.  Currently, she is Chairman for the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Women in Lodging Networking Group (WIL), 1st Vice Chair for the Greater Philadelphia Hospitality and Lodging Association (GPHA), 2nd Vice Chair for the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) and serves as a Board Member for the Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC), Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and Girls, Inc.  Active within the Hyatt Community, she is a member of the Hyatt Hotels Diversity Council and Women at Hyatt group, with nominations for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts General Manager of the Year in 2004 and 2006.

 

MIREILLE COTTLE

Mireille began her Marriott career 22 years ago as a Front Desk clerk at the Residence Inn, Harrisburg, PA, quickly progressing to Sales Manager, then to Director of Sales/Front Office Manager before becoming General Manager in May 1996. In 1998, she was promoted to Lead General Manager for JF Hotel’s Northeast Region, taking on the responsibility for the Residence Inn in Binghamton, NY and the Comfort Inn in Allentown, PA.

In 1999, Mireille had the opportunity to join Marriott headquarters in Bethesda, MD as a Training Manager for Residence Inn and Towneplace Suites hotels. In this role, she conducted training classes in Fairfax, VA for General Managers and salespeople from across the United States and Canada. Mireille also designed training content and delivered in workshops to managers, owners and franchisees at national conferences.

In 2002, her career shifted again when she joined the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office as Regional Director of Sales & Marketing for the Select Service and Extended Stay brands. After spending 2 years focused on the sales discipline, Mireille became a Regional Senior Director for 16 hotels in PA and DE in the Eastern Region. In 2008, she joined the Eastern Region Diversity & Inclusion Council and is currently the Chair for the organization of 12 members. Mireille is currently the Area Director for 17 Select Service and Extended Stay hotels in PA and DE.

She attended Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, PA and graduated in 1990 with a BSBA in Management. She has received many awards in recognition of her training skills and Leadership abilities. Mireille currently resides in Elizabethtown, PA with her husband, Mike, and 17 year old son, Tyler.

 

ALEXANDER R. DOBERENZ

Alexander Doberenz has served 23 years with the University of Delaware . The first 17 years as Dean of the College of Human Resources, one year as Interim Vice President for Student Life and 23 years as Professor of Nutritional Sciences. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry and Nutrition were completed at the University of Arizona . Before joining the University of Delaware, Dr. Doberenz was on the faculty of the University of Arizona, University of Hawaii and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is an active member of the American Institute of Nutrition, American Society of Clinical Nutrition, Nutrition Society of London and a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. He has over forty scientific publications and has served as a nutrition delegate visiting both China and Russia.

 

LEWIS FADER

As Vice President Americas Operations, InterContinental Hotels Group, Eastern US & Canada, Mr. Fader is responsible for overall operations and performance of all managed and franchised InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Indigo, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express Hotels.

Mr. Fader joined InterContinental Hotels Group in 1980, working at various InterContinental hotels located in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Geneva, Paris and London. Throughout his tenure with the company, Mr. Fader opened seven hotels and has worked as Hotel Manager, InterContinental Sydney; General Manager, InterContinental Los Angeles; General Manager, InterContinental Cleveland; General Manager, InterContinental Chicago and Regional Vice President Operations Midwest and Canada.

Mr. Fader earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Catawba College and master’s degree in professional studies from the Graduate School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

Mr. Fader currently resides in Atlanta with his wife, Melody and two children, Nicholas and Ashley.

 

GEORGE FIORILE

George Fiorile graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1988 with a B.B.A in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

1998 - Present
As the Vice President and General Manager of Hotel Operations at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, George’s responsibilities include oversight of the Four Diamond hotel including the following areas of operation: a conference center featuring 35,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; hotel sales division; bell, valet and concierge services; uniforms department. George also oversees the food and beverage department which encompasses 18 revenue centers. During his tenure at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, he has opened numerous restaurants and bars along with a 268-room hotel tower addition. Most recently, through a partnership with Football Legend Herschel Walker, George developed the Herschel’s Famous 34 Pub and Grill located in Athens, Georgia at the University of Georgia. The state of the art Pub and Grill includes a variety of freshly prepared signature dishes, large screen TVs and IPads, featuring the video clips of Herschel Walker’s career.  The first opened in 2013 with plans to open several more in Georgia.

Other Accomplishments
George is Chairman of the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Board and an Adjunct Professor at Delaware State University. He is the immediate Past Chairman of the Delaware Hotel & Lodging Association and serves on the board of the Delaware Restaurant Association, as well as being an Advisory Board Member of Poly Tech Adult Education. He was the Executive Producer of Dover Downs is Cooking.

George’s has also served as an Honorary Commander for the 512th Squadron at Dover Air Force Base.

 

SKIP FOX

Skip Fox was named President of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in January 2004. He was previously the company's Southwest Joint Venture representative responsible for partner and site selection, construction management, and operation of Fleming's restaurants in the Southwest and Midwest United States.

"Fleming's is a unique steakhouse concept committed to delivering an unparalleled dining experience to our guests," says Fox. "America's diners love their beef and fine wines; and the combination of our exceptional food, an extraordinary wine program, and impeccable service found in our restaurant has poised us to be a leader in the industry."

Fox is a seasoned veteran of the food and beverage industry. Before joining Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in 2001, he served as Senior Vice President/National Director of Food & Beverage for American Golf Corporation. In this position, he was responsible for food and beverage operations at 270 private clubs and public golf courses throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Prior to American Golf Corporation, Fox was Vice President of Operations & New Concepts at La Madeleine French Bakery & Café, with oversight for restaurant operations, development of additional markets, restaurants and new concepts. He began his career in the hospitality industry with ClubCorp, the world's largest owner and operator of private golf, athletic and dining clubs, where he rose through the ranks over his 18-year tenure to become Executive Vice President.

 

PLATO GHINOS

Plato Ghinos, senior vice president of development and franchise relations, has been with the Shaner Hotel Group since 1995. Plato has been involved in acquiring and developing multiple hotels and restaurants. He is also responsible for all franchise relationships and negotiations. In addition, he is involved with Shaner Growth Fund in acquiring hotel notes and mortgages.

He previously served for 10 years as executive vice president for Federated National, a real estate development group specializing in the management and development of more than 25 hotels, resorts, restaurants and apartment complexes.

He has extensive experience in sales and marketing, as well as in hotel and restaurant operations. A native of Athens, Greece, Ghinos came to the United States to attend college, and worked for an international hotel group during graduate school. He received his BA in business administration from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and his master’s degree (M. B. A.) at Thunderbird (American Graduate School of International Management) in Phoenix, Ariz.

Ghinos is also on the faculty staff at Pennsylvania State University School of Hotel, Restaurant and Recreation Management. He also serves as a franchise advisory member of Marriott International’s Fairfield Inn & Suites brand. In addition, he is a member of the University of Delaware’s HRIM advisory board and the Hotel Investment Conference advisory board. He has been a guest lecturer at various Universities and hotel investment conferences. He and his wife, Cassandra, have two daughters.

 

ROBERT GRIMES

Robert Grimes is Chairman & CEO of CynterCorp and its independent affiliated companies: Cyntergy, CynterCon, CynterPubs, CynterShow, CynterNet and CynterSource. CynterCorp, through its affiliated companies, provides a wide variety of technology integration services to the foodservice, retail and hospitality industries including: global consulting, project management, roll-out implementation & training services, documentation, CBT/WBT materials development, regional training centers, procurement, help desk and technical support services. Headquartered in Rockville, MD, CynterCorp has five US regional offices and international regional headquarters in London and Sydney.

In 1996, Rob co-founded, with Nation's Restaurant News, FS/TEC, the foodservice industry's largest technology tradeshow and conference. In 1999, he launched HOSTEC 2000, a technology-focused exhibition and conference for the hospitality and foodservice industries in the U.K. Rob has been a regular technology columnist for Nation's Restaurant News for the past eleven years and has contributed articles to many other industry publications in the U.S. and abroad as well as co-authored and contributed to a number of books. He has also spoken at over 100 industry shows, conferences and events in the past ten years.

Rob has received many industry and company awards over the years. Most recently, in April 2000, Rob was honored with the Maryland Executive of the Year Award sponsored by the Maryland High Technology Council. The company was awarded the 1999 Deloitte & Touche Maryland Technology Fast 50 Award and the 1999 FastTrack Revenue Growth Award, sponsored by Arthur Andersen. Other awards include The Joseph A. Sciulli Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1996), sponsored the Suburban Maryland High Technology Council; The Greater Washington Entrepreneur of The Year Award (1994), Emerging & Growth Companies; World Young Business Achiever Award (1994), sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh; and The Alumnus of the Year Award (1994), sponsored by the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Recreation Management, Pennsylvania State University.

 

JEAN L. JAKOBY

Jean has over 20 years experience in the foodservice industry. She is currently responsible for leading $1B+ National Account Business Unit in the Travel & Leisure, Convenience Store, Mass Merchandise, and Specialty Retail channels for PepsiCo’s Foodservice Division. In this role she oversees the development of national strategic customer partnerships for PepsiCo’s Beverage, Frito Lay Snacks, Quaker Foods, Tropicana and Gatorade.

Prior to assuming this role, Jean was VP, Business Development where she led the strategy and new business sales efforts including the creation of new partnerships for the Foodservice Division.

Jean serves on the advisory boards for American Hotel Lodging Association as well as the PGA of America. She is an active member of Woman’s Foodservice Forum.

Jean holds a B.S. in Economics from University of Maryland in College Park, MD.

Jean and her husband, Garry currently reside in Annapolis, MD with their daughter Jenna (10) and son Ryan (12).

 

REAS KONDRASCHOW

Reas Kondraschow is a founding partner in 3R Hospitality Partners Ltd. a global advisory firm based in London, UK specializing in hotel management, asset management and advisory services to the hospitality industry. He is also a partner in Aedificium Capital Ltd. a Luxembourg based private equity fund specializing in asset acquisitions and management in Eastern Europe.

Reas Kondraschow was most previously Group Development Director for Whitbread plc, a FTSE 100 company and the largest owner and operator of hotels in the UK. In this capacity he was responsible for the development of economy hotels in the UK and launching the brand in the Middle East and India. During that time he also was a board director of both the Middle East and India joint ventures.

Previously he was Executive Vice President -International Development for Wyndham Worldwide Hotel Group, where he was responsible for the development of five different brands through franchising, JVs, equity investments and management contracts. Prior to joining Wyndham he was Managing Director for Ramada International (1998 –2006) a subsidiary of Marriott International, responsible for all aspects of brand management and development outside North America.

From 1992 to1998 he was with Bass Hotels & Resorts (owners of Holiday Inn) responsible for developing the franchise business format for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to working in international hospitality, Reas had 16 years experience in the branded restaurant sector in the United States.

 

C. FREDERICK LANKFORD

C. Frederick Lankford is President of SYSCO Eastern Maryland, a SYSCO Corporation subsidiary located in Pocomoke, Maryland. He began his career in food service at the founding of the S.E. Lankford, Jr. Produce, Co. in 1964, the company which merged with SYSCO in 1981 and became the present Lankford SYSCO Food Services, LLC. He joined the company full time after completing a B.S. degree from North Carolina State University in 1972. Since that time, he has held positions in operations, merchandising and sales. Mr. Lankford has served on SYSCO’s Merchandising Services Council, SYSCO’s Operation Council, SYSCO’s Director’s Council and SYSCO’s eBusiness Management Council. He also is on the Salisbury University Foundation Board, on the University of Delaware HRIM Advisory Board, the University Of Maryland Eastern Shore Board Of Visitors, the Somerset County, Maryland Economic Development Commission, and the Delaware Restaurant Association. SYSCO Eastern Maryland, distributes food and related services to over 6000 restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments, military and other food service customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Europe. He resides in Rehobeth, Maryland with his wife Pamela.

 

JERRY LEEMAN

Jerry Leeman is the Vice President of Marketing and Operations at Perk Dynamics, Inc. Perk Dynamics a software development company that is focused on the development of technology for the hospitality industry. The first set of products released by Perk Dynamics, Inc. in first quarter 2010 is a set of applications designed to improve coffee operations in coffee shops, hotels, restaurants and university environments. Prior, Jerry was CEO of POS Strategies, Inc. as an independent consultant in the hospitality and restaurant industries. He also spent twenty six years in IBM including the last seven years as the World Wide Food Service and Hospitality Segment Manager for IBM Retail Store Solutions. Jerry has hands-on experience in management of casual dining and pizza parlors in the franchise market space prior to coming to IBM. From 1982 to 2008 he has been a consultant in IBM's Complex Systems Integration group as an expert in Help Desk and IT Operations. He has also worked in IBM's Software group in Channel Marketing and five years in IBM Server Group working with Industry Software Vendors to develop application software for the Food Service & Hospitality and Retail Industry segments. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland UC with a degree in Technology Management. He is currently serving on the Technology Advisory Board at Penn State University, and University of Delaware, Schools of Hotel, Restaurant and Recreation Management.

 

MARK LOMANNO

Mark Lomanno advises several start-up and investment companies in the hospitality and data space, including newBrandAnalytics, Duetto Research and Quest Hospitality Ventures.   In that role he not only serves on company Boards of Directors and Advisors, but also has taken an active role in helping to shape the respective company’s strategic direction, creating and enhancing new research solutions and building relationships with hospitality brands, owners and operators. 

Lomanno is the former President and CEO of Smith Travel Research (STR), the hotel industry’s global lodging authority on current trends in hotel supply, demand, occupancy, average room rates and RevPar.  Under Lomanno’s leadership, the number of hotels sending performance data to and subscribing to the various STR product offerings grew to tens of thousands of hotels globally, representing over 5 million hotel rooms.  During his tenure, STR and its sister company, STR Global, became the world’s foremost and most reliable and accurate sources of historical lodging performance trends, global hotel census databases and hotel development and construction databases.

In 2011, Lomanno co-authored “Distribution Channel Analysis: A Guide for Hotels”, which is believed to be the most comprehensive study on the lodging industry’s on-line environment.  This study was the culmination of research on distribution practices, the distribution landscape and hotel performance based on booking channel mix.  Specific attention was focused on various aspects of hotel Internet bookings including rooms booked through the various OTC sites.  In addition, the study also focused on the nature of the search process that consumers undertake prior to booking hotel rooms, and the price they pay for the room.  Prior to distribution, study results were delivered at two leading hotel industry conferences, The International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show (“IHMRS”) held in New York, NY in November 2011 and the Americas Lodging and Investment Summit, held in Los Angeles, CA. in January 2012.  Thereafter, over 20,000 copies of the over 200 page report were downloaded in the first 2 weeks of availability.

Mr. Lomanno serves on the advisory boards of the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University, The School of Tourism & Hospitality Management at Temple University, The School of Hospitality at The Pennsylvania State University and University of Delaware’s school of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional management.  Mr. Lomanno is an active member in the Hotel Development Council of the Urban Land Institute and is a named Conti Professor at Pennsylvania State University.  Because of his in-depth understanding and knowledge of current industry issues Mr. Lomanno is asked to give numerous speeches at industry conferences, industry seminars and company meetings throughout the year.  He is also a frequent lecturer at School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. 

Mr. Lomanno holds an MS degree in Marketing from LaSalle University and an MBA from Temple University.  He lives in Cape May, NJ with his wife and is an avid runner and Philadelphia Phillies baseball fan.

 

JOSEPH MCINERNEY

Joseph A. McInerney, CHA, is president and chief executive officer of AH&LA. As the head executive of the largest trade association representing the U.S. lodging industry, McInerney implements and directs AH&LA's services as well as provides leadership to association members. He also works directly with the volunteer officers, board of directors, and partner state associations in determining the direction of the industry.

 

Since his appointment, McInerney has reorganized the association to streamline efficiency and strengthen its core operations, including consolidating its two affiliates to form the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation - the only educational dollar-dispensing, not-for-profit premier organization for scholarships, professional certification, and instructional material as well as funding for key industry research. Additionally, McInerney spearheaded the changing of the membership structure from a federation to a dual membership format, streamlined the board of directors, and clarified the organization's mission.

 

With nearly 50 years of experience in the hospitality industry, McInerney is well versed in the various skills needed to operate in association, corporate, and lodging environments. Prior to AH&LA, he was president and CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association; Forte Hotels, Inc.; Hawthorn Suites; and ITT's Sheraton franchise division.

 

McInerney is an honor graduate of Boston College. He is also a Certified Hotel Administrator via the Educational Institute (EI), an affiliate of AH&LA.

 

McInerney has been recognized with several industry awards, including the 2009 J. Patrick Leahy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association; 2007 "Above and Beyond Award" at The Lodging Conference; "Tourism Man of the Year" award by the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association; the 1999 Stephen Brener, Silver Plate Lifetime Achievement Award from Hospitality Magazine; Travel Agent Magazine's 1998 Pacific/Asia Person of the Year, and the 1994 Economy Lodging's "Person of the Year," by AH&LA.

 

GARY PRICE

Gary Price, a dynamic restaurant executive with over 20 years of fast-track leadership experience, joined Corner Baker Café as president in October 2013.  Under Gary’s leadership, Corner Bakery Café will continue its fast-paced growth track, with plans to double its footprint in the U.S. over the next four years through a combination of franchised and company-owned cafes.

Most recently, Gary served as head of food service operations at Pilot Flying J, a national chain of travel centers where he was involved in helping the company grow its revenues from $4 billion to $35 billion.  In that position he served on franchise advisory boards for several of Pilots’ 12 franchise concepts, which include Subway, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Huddle House and Denny’s.

Gary’s success has been driven by his intense focus on operational execution, service excellence and ensuring a strong talent pipeline.  He has a deep understanding and appreciation for the importance of best-in-class technology in today’s business and marketing strategies.

Gary financed his undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware on any Army ROTC scholarship, fulfilled his work requirement as an Army Ranger for six years and completed an Executive MBA from Fayetteville State University as an Army Officer.  In 1992, PepsiCo restaurants hired Gary as a fast-track operations leadership candidate.  Within a short time he moved from Area Manager to District Manager, gaining significant restaurant opening expertise and improving sales and profit with each assignment.  His passion for restaurants and drive for success had been ignited. 

Gary and his wife, Stacy, have three children.  All actively enjoy sports and travel, and are excited to become part of the Bakery family.

Favorite Corner Bakery Café Menu Item:
“The BBLT is my favorite.  Why?  Bacon is the candy bar of meat!”

 

THOMAS RUFF

As Senior Vice President of The Biltmore Company, Thomas B. Ruff oversees the estate's guest operations areas including Biltmore House and Gardens, Food, Beverage and Retail Operations and the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Since joining The Biltmore Company in 1996, Ruff has overseen the growth of the estate's food and beverage operations, including the property's four restaurants, catering and banquet services and the design, development and opening of the Inn on Biltmore Estates.

A National Historic Landmark, Biltmore Estate is the private home of the late George W. Vanderbilt now owned by his grandson, William A. V. Cecil. The estate, which is completely self-sufficient and receives no outside funding, is open to the public and welcomes over 900,000 guests annually. Biltmore Estate includes America's largest private residence, Biltmore House, designed by renowned 19th century architect Richard Morris Hunt and the surrounding gardens and forests, landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted. The estate also features the most visited winery in the United States. Housed in the restored dairy complex, this state-of-the-art winery produces approximately 80,000 cases of award-winning wines each year.

The Inn on Biltmore Estate, which overlooks Biltmore Estate Winery and the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the only accommodation located on the property. The 213-room property offers a variety of guest rooms and suites, as well as banquet, board and meeting rooms. The Inn on Biltmore Estate will also incorporate a full-service, 150-seat fine-dining restaurant, a library, a lobby bar, an exterior swimming pool and a fitness room.

Prior to joining Biltmore Estate, Ruff worked as an independent hospitality consultant. He has also held key food and beverage management positions with Marriott Hotels and Resorts and Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Ruff is a Certified Food and Beverage Executive and Certified Hotel Administrator with the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He serves on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer of the North Carolina Restaurant Association, the Boards of the North Carolina Tourism and Travel Coalition and the North Carolina State Tourism and Travel Board and is also a member of Southern Innkeepers, "Americas Oldest Lodging Association." Ruff is also a member of the Hospitality Education Advisory Committee at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and is an HRIM Advisory Board Member at the University of Delaware. He is also Bailli d'Asheville, La Chaine des Rotisseurs. Ruff holds a degree in Food Service and Housing Administration from Pennsylvania State University.

Ruff is also Immediate Past Chair of The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association and NC Travel and Tourism Board and an AH&LA Board Member and member of the AH&LA Resort Committee.

 

JOHN RUSSELL

Mr. Russell has a Bachelor of Science, General Engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point (1969) and an Executive Master of Business Administration Marketing from Trinity Southern University (2001). After graduation from West Point, Mr. Russell spent 1969-1973 in the U.S. Army as a Captain in Germany, Vietnam and Ft. Benning. Upon completion of military service, Mr. Russell was an executive recruiter with Lendman Associates from April 1973 to March 1974.

In April 1974, Mr. Russell began his hotel career with the Sheraton Corporation where he stayed until January 1980 serving in several positions, including:

•  April 1974 - June 1976 tour & travel sales manager, Sheraton Park Hotel, Washington D.C., a 1,500

    room convention hotel. Promoted to director of sales, was DOS of the year (1976) for the Sheraton

    Corporation.

•  June 1976 - January 1980 Director of Sales & Marketing, Sheraton Boston Hotel, a 1,400 room

    convention hotel, awarded the Director of Sales and Marketing for the year 1978 for the Sheraton

    Corporation.

•  February 1980 - September 1983 Area Director of Marketing for Sheraton Corporate Hotels, East

    Coast and Director of Sales & Marketing for the new Sheraton Washington Hotel, a 1,500 room   

    convention hotel.

In September 1983, Mr. Russell joined Days Inns of America where he stayed until March 1987. Mr. Russell initially joined as Senior Vice President of Marketing, and later became Senior Vice President of Operations for Days Inns of America, both during the period the company was privately held and during the period when Henry Silverman acquired the company and subsequently took it public.

From April 1987 to August 1988, Mr. Russell became a principal in the management company “RRALE”, which managed 3 hotels and provided marketing services for 27 hotels. From September 1988 to September 1991, Mr. Russell served as the President and CEO of Colony Hotels & Resorts while simultaneously serving as the Executive Vice President, Radisson Resorts for the Carlson Companies. From October 1991 to August 1992, Mr. Russell became Vice President of Benchmark Management Company and General Manager of the world-class Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, California.

In September 1992, Mr. Russell returned to HFS, and later, Cendant where he stayed until October 1988, serving in several senior level positions at Cendant, including:

•  From September 1992 - 1994 President of Days Inns of America, Inc., where Mr. Russell oversaw the

    expansion of the Days Inn brand to a chain of 1,500 hotels in his three years with Days Inn.

•  From December 1994 - June 1995 Executive Vice President for Franchise Sales-Century 21.

•  From June 1995 - August 1997 President and CEO, HFS Hospitality Division and later became Chairman

    and CEO Cendant Hotel Division. In this position, Mr. Russell oversaw 6,500 hotels under eight hotel

    brands; Days Inns, Ramada, Howard Johnson, Super 8, Villager, Knight’s Inn, Travelodge, and

    Amerihost.

•  From September 1997 - October 1998 Vice Chairman of Cendant’s Travel Division and President and

    CEO of Resort Condominium International, LLC (RCI) Global operations. Since his departure from

    Cendant, Mr. Russell served as the CEO of Hospitality Artists, LLC, and a senior level consulting firm.

•  Mr. Russell was also a partner at Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell, an international marketing

    company specializing in the hospitality discipline for advertising, public relations, marketing research

    and interactive marketing with six offices worldwide.

Mr. Russell’s successful 30-year career in the hospitality industry has earned him several accolades including:

•  Initiated to Hall of Fame of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Assoc. Int’l and served two terms as the

    President of HSMAI.

•  Albert E. Koehl Lifetime Achievement Award in Hospitality 2000.

•  Above and Beyond Award Lodging Conference 2000.

•  1998 Cecil B. Day Community Service Award from AAHOA.

•  2001 Chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

•  Sits on the Board of Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

•  Member of the University of Delaware’s Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management Advisory

    Board.

Mr. Russell, recognizing the unique opportunity that NYLO presented, joined NYLO Partners in January 2005 and currently serves as CEO, NYLO Hotels. He is also a partner in two free full service restaurants in Georgia and a partner in six branded hotels other than NYLO Hotels.

 

AMAR  T. TAILOR

Amar Tailor, CHA graduated in 1992 from the University of Delaware’s Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management Program. Amar resides in Middletown, Delaware with his wife Yashica and their sons, Ayan and Dhruv.

During his years at the University and after graduating, Amar was involved in operating his family’s motel in New Castle, Delaware, which they’ve owned since 1977. Having grown up around the hospitality industry, Amar decided a formal education in the industry would be the perfect compliment for his years of practical experience. He was the General Manager of the family owned motel from 1992 to 2003.

In April of 2001, Amar purchased two hotels in partnership in Williamsburg, Virginia. He serves as President and Managing Member of those two hotels. In addition to the hospitality business, Amar and his family are also involved in commercial real estate development.

In 2003, Amar purchased a retail liquor store in Dover, Delaware. The liquor store carries a wide variety of fine wine and spirits as well as beers from all over the world. Amar found himself learning a completely new business and continues increasing his knowledge about wines and spirits. The store is the largest in the area and has an increasing customer base due to the growth of Kent County.

Amar is the first Chairman and a founding member of the Hospitality Alumni Association.

 

XAVIER TEIXIDO

Xavier Teixido was born in Asuncion, Paraguay and moved to the United States as a child with his family. While attending the University of Delaware where he studied agriculture, Xavier began his restaurant career as a cook with the Harry M. Stevens Company at the Brandywine Racetrack in Wilmington, Delaware. From there, he went on to positions of Chef and General Manager at the Frog and Commissary restaurants in Philadelphia and served as Managing Director in New Orleans at Ella and Dick Brennan's Commander's Palace (it was here that he worked with Chef Emeril Lagasse). Xavier returned home to Wilmington in 1984 where he co-founded the 1492 Hospitality Group which included Harry's Savoy Grill, which he purchased outright in 1993. In 1998, Harry's expanded to include Harry's Savoy Ballroom and in 2003, Xavier opened Harry's Seafood Grill in partnership with Chef David Leo Banks on Wilmington's Riverfront.  Harry’s Hospitality Group added the casual bar/restaurant Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House and Saloon in September 2010, again partnering with Banks as well as company general manager Kelly O’Hanlon.

Teixido has served as the Chairman of the National Restaurant Association (2002-2003), is former president of the Delaware Restaurant Association and serves as immediate past Chair of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Board of Trustees (2011-2012). In 1999, he was named the Delaware Restaurateur of the Year and was recipient of Delaware's first Cornerstone Award in 2003. Xavier also serves at the pleasure of the Governor of Delaware on the state's Tourism Advisory Board and is a member of the University of Delaware's HRIM Advisory Board. Past service includes acting as the NRA/NRAEF's representative to the Multi-Cultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance Board of Directors and serving the Riverfront Development Corporation.

Xavier chairs annually the Harry's Hospitality Scholarship Golf Outing benefiting the Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management Department at the University of Delaware and with David Leo Banks is co-chair of Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation in Delaware since 1989, which to date has raised over $900,000 for area childhood hunger relief organizations.

 

FREDERICK M. TIBBITTS, JR.

Fred Tibbitts Jr., grew-up in his family's wholesale food business in Albany, New York, moving to NYC in October of 1974 to find fame and fortune in the foodservice business. He joined Joseph E. Seagram & Sons as a Regional Manager for National Accounts in June of 1979 and was promoted to Director of Sales-East, National Account Sales when the department was expanded. In February of 1990, he was named Director of National Accounts for Kobrand Corporation. In April of 1992, he founded his own National Accounts consulting agency which he took global in September of 1998.  Fred is a member of numerous industry, university and hereditary advisory boards, including the University of Delaware’s Department of HRIM.

Fred is a Fellow of the School of Hotel & Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and the Founding Member of the Advisory Board of the School of Hotel & Tourism Management, Florida International University, Tianjin University of Commerce, P.R.C.  Fred has just been named an Honorary Fellow for the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

He has traveled the world attending some of the top wine expositions and hospitality fairs & conferences from Cape Town Santiago to Wellington to Sydney to London, Paris & Bordeaux to Tokyo and Hong Kong; and attended the annual School of Hotel Administration “HEC” Weekend festivities at Cornell University no less than twelve times; and the annual Hotel School Weekend at The School of Hotel Hospitality Business, Michigan State University; and between January of 1975 and April of 1979 audited many of the School of Hotel Administration classes upon repeated trips to Ithaca.  He has "Day Professored" at hotel and culinary schools for over 30 years across the U.S. and internationally.  He gave the Commencement Address at the Fall 2004 Commencement  of the Bachelor of Professional Studies Program graduates at The Culinary of America at Hyde Park, NY.

Fred has been featured in many hospitality industry as well as hotel and culinary school magazines and newspapers over the years, including Food Arts with “World Wide Fred” in September of 1999; EHITE, The Magazine of the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne; and Director Magazine (Thailand) in October of 2010.  He has written monthly wine as well as spiritual & romance articles for two of the top entertainment and hospitality magazines in China, since 2004 for LifeStyle Magazine and since 2009 for New Western Cuisine Magazine, both of which translate his pieces to Mandarin.

Today Fred has converted his global wine consulting agency to (in effect) an “NGO”   (Non-governmental agency), keeping all expenses to a minimum and donating all profits to those less fortunate in the U.S. and Asia Pacific through UNICEF and Habitat for Humanity International; plus doing direct humanitarian relief projects in Thailand and Cambodia; and providing seven annual USD$5,000.00 scholarships for worthy students at schools of higher hospitality education.  He holds ten annual hospitality industry humanitarian “Communion of Hospitality Souls” dinners across Asia Pacific (from New Delhi to Beijing); and at New York City Spring & Fall to unite all sectors of the hospitality channel (Educators, operators, press, industry VIP’s and suppliers) to recognize Hospitality Excellence, in the names of those honored present the scholarships and to make charitable contributions.  The revenues from the dinner sponsors as well as individual contributions from sympathetic Souls across the globe provide “FTA” (Fred Tibbitts & Associates, Inc.) with the necessary funds for the benefit of all those helped.

Fred works from offices at Albany, NY for the U.S.; and Bangkok, Thailand and Phnom Penh, Cambodia for Asia Pacific.  He resides at Phnom Penh with his Cambodian family: Toeng Ly (wife), Mom (12 year old daughter), Heang (6 year old son) and Heng (2 & ½ year old son.  He is a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, having lived from January of 1996 to June of 1997 at the KTD Buddhist Monastery at Woodstock, New York, when he gave away his person possessions and committed to living a life in service for others worldwide.

 

URSULA GEHBAUER TICHLER

Dr Ursula Gehbauer Tichler assumed the leadership of the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality in 2011. She is both CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and also responsible for the academic program as CAO (Chief Academic Officer).

Ursula Gehbauer Tichler has long-standing experience and an excellent network in the tourism industry, in the educational as well as in political sectors. Before being appointed CEO of SSTH, she was Director of Samedan's College for Higher Education in Tourism (Engadine, St. Moritz) and Municipal Councilor of the community of Madulain.

She is very committed to maintaining the competitive edge in education and tourism as well as those involved in these fields. With determination she follows the business developments of her surroundings, pursues trends and integrates these in her exchange with internal and external partners. Ursula Gehbauer Tichler continuously fosters a culture of innovation.

She studied in Zurich and Utrecht (Netherlands) and graduated with a PhD in German and English language and literature. She also completed an MBA at the University of Zurich (exchange programs at Fudan and Yale universities included) with a focus on intercultural management.

 

JOHN TIMMERMAN

John Timmerman, Ph.D., Gallup’s Senior Strategist in Customer Experience and Innovation, is a renowned expert in creating outstanding customer experiences by building and integrating business cultures, systems, and technologies. Prior to joining Gallup, he served as the vice president of operations and quality for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and most recently served as the global vice president of guest experience and rooms operations for Marriott’s portfolio of 18 brands and more than 3,700 hotels worldwide.

A recognized thought leader in the science of service, John has presented hundreds of lectures and consultations worldwide on designing customer-centric organizations across a diverse range of industries. He also enjoys developing new leaders by serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware.  John is chairman of the American Society for Quality, which serves more than 70,000 quality professionals in 140 countries, and he is a a former senior examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

John received his bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management with honors from the University of Delaware and his master’s degree in service leadership and innovation from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He received his doctorate in hospitality management from Iowa State University. Prior to starting his career in the hospitality industry, John served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a 2nd Force Reconnaissance Marine.

 

HENRY TOPEL

Mr. Henry Topel is a Founding Director of the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau 30 years ago and has served as its Chairman. In October 2008, the Board unanimously elected Henry Topel as a permanent Honorary Director. In 1995 he was the recipient of the Governor’s Tourism Award and is in the Delaware Tourism Hall of Fame.

Henry Topel is a former Vice-Chairman of Beneficial National Bank where he served on its Board for over 15 years. He received a Presidential Appointment during the Carter Administration to the National Advisory Community Investment Board. He served as Delaware’s Real Estate Commissioner for 13 years and is also former Democratic Party State Chairman of the State of Delaware. He holds an Honorable Discharge from the U. S Navy.

Mr. Topel has written a book known as “BRANDYWORLD” on establishing a theme park in the Greater Wilmington area, harnessing and packaging tourism under one banner, coupled with a transportation loop stopping at all hotels in the city and county on a given time schedule to all museums and attractions in this market, and further establishing an art and antique district in center city Wilmington.

 

EDGAR L. JARAMILLO-VASCONEZ

Edgar L. Jaramillo-Vasconez was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, South America in 1962. He immigrated to the United States in 1970 and grew up in New York City, (NYC). He attended the NYC public school system and after graduating with a regent’s diploma entered active military service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1981. In 1983 he joined the New York Air National Guard and continued a record of military service that has lasted 28 years in the areas of Administration, Personnel, Recruiting, Retention, and currently Emergency Management.

In 1986, he was selected as an Air National Guard (ANG) Recruiter and began the Human Resources stage of both his military and civilian careers. In 1989 he left active military service and joined Trump Marina Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ as an Employment Specialist. In 1996, the Trump Organization decided to consolidate all of its Atlantic City properties’ Human Resources divisions into one corporate entity. Mr. Vasconez was selected to be the first Corporate Staffing Supervisor under the new parent company, Trump Casino Services, LLC. At this time the Trump Organization employed over 15,000 employees in its Atlantic City operations and was also the second largest employer in the state of New Jersey.

In 1997, Mr. Vasconez joined Olive Garden Italian Restaurants as the Divisional Employment Manager for the Northeast region of the United States. In this capacity he was accountable for recruiting operations in 11 states encompassing 74 restaurants that generated over 250 million dollars in sales; he also provided support and guidance to a Senior Vice-President of Operations, one Senior Director of Operations, 10 Directors of Operations and 74 General Managers.

In 2000, Mr. Vasconez was selected to be the first Concept Employment Manager for Olive Garden Italian Restaurants and relocated with his family to Orlando, FL headquarters for both Olive Garden and its parent company, Darden Restaurants, Inc. In this role, Mr. Vasconez was accountable for many different facets of national recruiting operations than encompassed University Relations, Internet Recruiting Strategies, and Diversity Recruiting Initiatives for over 590 restaurants than generated over 2.7 billion dollars in annual sales.

In 2006, Mr. Vasconez was promoted to his current role as Manager, Staffing for Darden Restaurants, Inc. In his current role, Mr. Vasconez is accountable for the professional recruitment of Darden Restaurant Support Center (RSC) positions up to the Director level in the areas of Finance, Field Human Resources, Information Technology, Purchasing, Supply Chain, Total Quality and Facilities. Darden Restaurants, Inc., (DRI) is the largest full-service dining restaurant company in the world with almost 6.7 Billion in annual sales and approximately 180,000 employees. Darden Restaurants, Inc. is a Fortune 400 Company that owns and operates nearly 1,700 restaurants including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.

In 2008, Mr. Vasconez received his certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute, and affiliate of the Society of Human Resources Management and the credentialing body for Human Resources Certification. He presently continues to serve in the Florida Air National Guard as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO) in the Emergency Management Flight of the 125 Civil Engineer Squadron, Jacksonville FL. He is a graduate of both the USAF ANG Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy and the USAF Senior NCO Academy. He is a member of the University of Delaware’s Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management Advisory Board. Mr. Vasconez resides in Orlando FL with his spouse and three children.

 

RALPH O. WILLIAMS

Mr. Ralph O. Williams is the former executive director of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau. Formerly a senior financial analyst at Mobil Oil Corporation, Mr. Williams pursued a long administrative career in financial institutions. As a banker, he served on three different bank boards and as chief executive of two of those institutions. He served on the "National Board" of the U.S. League of Savings Institutions for 3 years during his extensive and varied banking career. He has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the Christiana Development Corporation.

A graduate of the University of Delaware and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, he has been an active member of the Delaware Bankers Association, Wilmington Clearing House Advisory Board, and the U.S. League of Savings Institutions. He has been a long-standing member and a past chairman of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors.

 

PAUL E. WISE

Professor Paul E. Wise is the Founding Director and a Professor of the University of Delaware's Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program and serves as the program's Ambassador. He graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. degree in Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management and later received his M.B.A. from Michigan State University in Food Marketing. Professor Wise has operated restaurants and clubs in Pennsylvania, Panama and Alaska and has taught club management for Army and Air Force club managers at Fort Lee, Virginia. During the last ten years of his association with the military, he was responsible for the operation of 670 Army clubs and hotels that produced annual revenues of over $300 million.

Professor Wise is active in numerous hotel and restaurant associations. Currently he serves as Vice Chairman of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau and as a member of the Delaware Restaurant Association's Board of Directors. He is designated by the American Hotel and Motel Association as a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) and as a Certified Catering Executive (CCE) by the National Association of Catering Executives. In 1988, he was chosen as the Pennsylvania State University Hotel and Restaurant Society Alumnus of the Year and was inducted into the International Military Club Executive Association Hall of Fame. The Educational Institute's Lamp of Knowledge award, in the "Outstanding Educator--Four-Year School" category was given to him in 1992 for his efforts to help the Institute better serve the needs of educators. He currently serves on the Certification Commission and Education Committee of the Educational Institute, American Hotel & Motel Association and is a member of the Institute's Board of Trustees. Professor Wise has also served as a consultant and speaker to numerous corporations and associations.

 

DALE E. WOLF

Governor Dale E. Wolf has combined a successful career in the DuPont Company, where among other positions he was Group Vice President of Agriculture Products and Chairman of the Board of their Pharmaceuticals business, with many achievements in the state government of Delaware.

Throughout his career, he has been active in many civic organizations and projects with special interest in education and tourism. As Lieutenant Governor, and then Governor of the State of Delaware, from 1989 to 1993, he was President of the Senate, Chairman of the Pardons Board, the first Chairman of the Adult Literacy Council and the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council. While he was Lt. Governor, he established the first annual Conference to award Outstanding Tourism Enterprises throughout the state for their effective contributions to tourism. Now, as the Governor's Tourism Awards, continues to be an important annual event.

Governor Wolf is a native of Nebraska, with a B.S. from the University of Nebraska and a PhD from Rutgers University. Governor Wolf is now Chairman, Daynel International; Vice Chairman, WSFS Bank; Vice Chairman, Emerald BioAgriculture Corporation and serves on a number of committees at the University of Delaware and community organizations. He travels extensively in China and Europe in the interest of his businesses.

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.5 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Club, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Lerner College faculty - like Meryl Gardner, whose research on foods and moods was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

All Lerner College departments offer discovery learning experiences and emphasize data-based analytics to enrich the student experience. Here, students at Vita Nova, our award-winning restaurant run through HRIM, joined professional chefs and winemakers in hosting a 2014 Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food Festival event.

The Institute for Financial Services Analytics is a collaboration between the Lerner College, UD's College of Engineering and JPMorgan Chase, and hosts events for academics and the business community designed to address consumer analytics and industry applications.

Undergraduate scholarships, made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends, enable us to support promising scholars. Here, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his mother, Leni Markell, join recipients of the William Markell Scholarship (center), which benefits students in Accounting and MIS.

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