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Curtis Nelson Awarded the Hospitality Industry Diversity
Institute (HIDI) Lifetime Achievement Award
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Feb. 25, 2003) Curtis Nelson, president and chief executive officer of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide and chief operating officer of the Carlson Consumer Group, was presented with the Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute (HIDI) Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to advancing the cause of diversity in the hospitality industry. 

The Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute (HIDI) is housed at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.  HIDI focuses on diversity education, training and issue resolution affecting the hospitality industry and its workforce. 

"His selection as a 2002 HIDI Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was in large part based on Carlson Hospitality Worldwide's commitment to closing the diversity gap that exists in the hospitality industry," said Dr. Faye Hall Jackson, assistant professor and co-director of HIDI at the University of Houston.  "Nelson has tirelessly championed this cause and as president and CEO of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, which includes hotel, restaurant and cruise ship operations, he has paved the way for opportunities for advancement to all its stakeholders including employees, franchisees, and the community at large.  Carlson Hospitality has also been supportive to higher education in its commitment to create greater awareness and visibility of career opportunities for women, minorities and the physically challenged in the service sector," Jackson said. 

"Commitments like this originate from top leadership," she added.  "Even in the midst of a challenging economy, Carlson Hospitality has managed to leverage its resources in such a way as to generate a positive return on investments both financially and with human resources.  Actions like these are more than good business decisions, they represent the conscience of the company which supports a diverse and multi-cultural work place," she added. 

"It is a great honor to receive this recognition on behalf of the efforts of many in our organization who are committed to embrace diversity in all aspects of our business operations," Nelson said.  "It reaffirms our belief that inclusion is a vital strategy for business success," he added. 

Carlson Hospitality and its parent company Carlson Companies, Inc. have a supplier diversity program and councils to promote diversity in all areas of the business including development, marketing, sales, purchasing, recruitment, training and advancement, and charitable giving.   The hospitality group has been an active member of the MultiCultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD), the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA); the Urban League, and has sponsored numerous student scholarships at many leading hotel schools and through the United Negro College Fund. 

Nelson also launched the Experience Lodging Initiative of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) to implement strategies that attract and retain diverse and talented workers for America's hospitality industry. 

The HIDI award was established in 1996 and the first recipients were named in 1997.

Recipients are selected for their contributions and leadership for the cause of diversity. 

Through the operations of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, the company is a global leader in hospitality services, encompassing more than 1,660 hotel, resort, restaurant and cruise ship operations in 82 countries. 

Contact:
Joan Cronson
763/212-1418
jcronson@carlson.com

Dr. Faye Hall Jackson
Co-Director HIDI
Conrad N. Hilton College
713/743-2428

Also See: University of Houston Hotel School Wins National Travel Award for the Creation of a First-Ever Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute / Oct 1998
NAACP Report Gives Hotel Industry a Grade of B-minus for Diversity / July 2002


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