Leaders of Brinker International and AH&LA are the 2010
Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor Inductees
HOUSTON, August 16, 2010 — Two hospitality-industry visionaries, including
the head of one of the world’s most popular casual-dining companies and
the president of the lodging industry’s largest trade association, are
this year’s inductees into the prestigious Hospitality Industry Hall of
Honor housed at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
at the University of Houston.
Doug Brooks, chairman, president and CEO of Brinker International, which
operates restaurant brands Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little
Italy, and Joseph A. McInerney, president and CEO of the American Hotel
& Lodging Association (AH&LA), will join some of hospitality’s
biggest icons and industry giants in the Hospitality Hall of Honor at the
annual induction ceremony to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct.13, in the
Conrad N. Hilton Ballroom at the Hilton University of Houston.
“These inductees are two excellent leaders and are highly deserving
of this recognition,” said John Bowen, dean of Hilton College.
“Doug Brooks expanded Brinker International and continues to preserve
the positive culture within the company first established by company namesake
Norman Brinker. And Joe McInerney took a struggling AH&LA and turned
it into an effective and efficient organization that is a real asset to
America’s lodging industry, not to mention the rest of his outstanding
career in the hotel industry that spans decades.”
Brooks is chairman, president and CEO of Brinker International, one of
the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies. Brinker’s portfolio
includes Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy. Brinker currently
owns or franchises more than 1,500 restaurants in 30 countries and has
more than 100,000 team members.
Under Brooks’ leadership, Brinker International has won numerous honors.
These awards include the following: one of the World’s Most Admired Food
Services Companies, one of the Top Companies for Women and one of the Top
30 Companies for Minorities, all by Fortune magazine; one of the 400 Best
Companies in America by Forbes magazine; one of the Top 100 U.S. Retailers
by the National Retail Federation; one of the Top 100 Companies for Blacks
in Corporate America by Savoy magazine; one of America’s Most Shareholder-Friendly
Companies by Institutional Investor magazine and a Best Place to Work from
Chain Leader magazine. The company also has won the Alfred P. Sloan Award
for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility from the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce, among other accolades.
Brooks earned a bachelor of science in hotel and restaurant management
from the University of Houston in 1975 and joined Chili’s in February 1978
as a manager at the company’s original location on Greenville Avenue in
Dallas. He rose through the ranks at Chili’s, holding numerous positions
including general manager, area director and regional vice president. Brooks
was named president of the brand in 1994.
In January 1999, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer
of Brinker International. In 2004, he also became CEO and chairman of the
board. Brooks serves on the board of directors for Romano’s Macaroni Grill,
Limbs For Life Foundation, Kenny Can Foundation, Southwest Airlines, Dallas
Citizens Council and the AT&T Performing Arts Center. He also serves
on the professional advisory board of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Brooks won the Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain Award in 2003 and
the Workforce Legacy Award from the People Report in 2009. In 2010, he
was the featured speaker for the Eric Hilton Distinguished Chair Alumni
Series at Hilton College and is now part of this distinguished alumni group
known as Eric’s Club. He is the first Hilton College alumnus to be inducted
into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor.
Beyond the restaurant business and his community activities, Brooks
spends time with his wife, Holly, and their two adult sons, Taylor and
Brooks said he is excited to be the first alumnus inducted into the
Hall of Honor and honored to share the distinction with his mentor, Norman
Brinker, who was inducted in 2004.
“To be included on that list of the most successful and influential
leaders in this industry is incredibly humbling,” Brooks said. “It’s an
impressive list of people. I’m amazed to be in the company of this industry’s
geniuses and to follow in Norman Brinker’s footsteps—I honor and thank
him for any recognition I receive.”
A. McInerney, CHA, is president and chief executive officer of the American
Hotel & Lodging Association (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 in July 2001, 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 also is a Certified
Hotel Administrator via the Educational Institute (EI), an affiliate of
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,”
“It’s a tremendous honor and something I greatly appreciate,” McInerney
said of his upcoming induction into the Hall of Honor. “I am truly humbled
because of all the great people who have been recognized in past years.
I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish at AH&LA and grateful
for this tribute.”
Established in 1995, the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor recognizes
industry leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to American
and international business and society. The inductees’ achievements are
now memorialized in commissioned portraits in the new Hall of Honor Gallery
in the newly renovated Hilton University of Houston’s lobby, and in the
new Massad Family Library Research Center and Hospitality Industry Archives,
which contains archival documents and memorabilia from the companies the
inductees conceived and built.
A Board of Overseers, which includes representatives from the National
Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the
Travel Industry Association of America, the International Hotel and Restaurant
Association and the American Gaming Association, nominate and elect each
year’s Hall of Honor inductees.
The inaugural Hospitality Hall of Honor class of 1996 included four
inductees—J. W. Marriott, Conrad N. Hilton, Vernon Stouffer and Kemmons
Wilson. Since then, nearly 60 industry luminaries, including Ray Kroc,
Howard Johnson, Ernest and Julio Gallo, Walt Disney and Conrad Hilton’s
sons, Barron and Eric Hilton, have joined them.
The 15th annual Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor festivities on Oct.
13 will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the ceremony and
dinner at 7 p.m. Think Tank sessions with industry leaders, who will discuss
a number of current hospitality topics, will be held October 12 and 13.
For more information on Hall of Honor events, or for ticket information,
contact Camille Kapoor at 713-743-2462 or email@example.com.
For more information about the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor visit
About the Conrad N. Hilton College
The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, which
offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in hotel and restaurant
management and hospitality management, has become a world leader in hospitality
education and is consistently ranked one of the top-ranked hospitality
programs in the world. Currently, students from 33 countries study here.
For more information on Hilton College, visit www.hrm.uh.edu.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and
teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes
and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental
entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands
at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 37,000
students. For more information about UH visit the university’s Newsroom