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Five Tourism Industry Leaders Honored by Niagara University’s
College of Hospitality and Tourism Management
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY (Oct. 8, 2002) – On Thursday, Nov. 7, Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management will host its second annual convocation. Five national and international tourism industry leaders will be honored at this gala event, which is sponsored by the Maid of the Mist Corp. 

Curtis Nelson, president and CEO of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, will accept the Company-Of-The-Year Award for his organization; Paul McManus, president and CEO of The Leading Hotels of the World Ltd., will receive an honorary doctorate of commercial science; George Justus, president of Capital Hospitality Corp. of Rochester, N.Y., will be honored with the Rabbi Porrath Visionary Award; Edward Friel, chief executive officer of Scotland’s Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourism Board, will cross the Atlantic to accept Niagara’s Lifetime Tourism Achievement Award; and Dhansukh “Dan” Patel, president of DSA Enterprises, will accept the Outstanding Hotelier Award.  The convocation will be held at Niagara University’s Alumni Chapel at 4 p.m., and will be followed by a reception on the fourth floor of St. Vincent’s Hall, home of NU’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Curtis Nelson was recently honored with a doctor of commercial science degree at Niagara University’s undergraduate commencement ceremonies in May 2002.  His company will be recognized at the convocation for its leadership, superior customer service, and international success.  Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., is a global hospitality services organization that includes more than 1,330 hotel, resort, restaurant and cruise ship operations in 77 countries.  For example, Carlson Hotels Worldwide includes Radisson Hotels and Resorts, the rapidly growing Country Inns and Suites, Regent International Hotels, and vacation ownership and lifestyle living communities.  Carlson Restaurants Worldwide includes the 650-unit T.G.I. Friday’s brand.  In recent years, Carlson Cruises Worldwide launched its seventh cruise ship under its Radisson Seven Seas Cruises’ flag.

Niagara University alumnus Paul McManus, ’65, serves as the head of one of the world’s premier organizations of international luxury hotels, which represents over 395 of the finest five-star hotels and resorts in 77 countries. Appointed to his current post at The Leading Hotels of the World Ltd. in New York City in 1998, McManus has successfully re-engineered his company from a typical hotel representation model into a prestigious luxury marketing organization.  He earlier served as the president of Reservation Systems Inc., and previously worked in sales and marketing positions with Regent International Hotels, Rockresorts and Princess Hotels International, in addition to on-property positions at The St. Regis and The Waldorf-Astoria hotels in New York City. McManus is a noted industry speaker and serves on the advisory boards of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Travel Administration at New York University and The College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University.

This summer, McManus spearheaded the launch of a new joint venture organization, The Leading Hotel Schools of the World, in conjunction with NU and a number of additional consortia members. The new organization will provide a variety of services, including program development and cutting-edge education for students seeking a career in hospitality and experienced managers who wish to continue their education. Dr. Gary Praetzel, dean of Niagara’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, said of the program, “The potential benefits to our students and graduates are phenomenal, and we’re grateful to Paul McManus for his leadership in offering Niagara the opportunity to participate as a founding member.” 

George Justus is also being honored with the Rabbi Porrath Visionary Award for his industry leadership and for his advocacy on behalf of Niagara’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The late Rabbi Porrath started the nation’s first baccalaureate program in tourism at Niagara University in 1968.

Prior to his current position at Capital Hospitality Corp. of Rochester, N.Y., Justus served as president of both Paramount Capital’s Lodging Division and the Microtel Franchise and Development Corp. Justus effectively worked towards the development of the Microtel lodging concept, bringing this idea to the stature of a nationally recognized franchise company. In the 1980s, he served as a vice president of development and director of land acquisition for Cardinal Industries, a company which was ranked as the second largest builder of apartments, retirement villages, and hotel chains in the U.S. at that time. Justus is a respected leader, guest speaker and trade journal contributor in today’s lodging industry. He also serves on the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Council of Inns and Suites and NU’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management advisory board.

Edward Friel has served as the chief executive officer of Scotland’s Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourism Board since 1983.  During his tenure in this position, he has helped transform Glasgow from a declining industrial city to a vibrant, major tourist attraction, culminating in its designation of “Cultural Capital of Europe” in 1990.  A native of Northern Ireland, Friel has worked for over 30 years in the public and private sectors of the tourist industry. During his career, he has received numerous awards and honors, including the UK Tourism Marketing Award, the Best UK Regional Tourism Board, the Best UK Convention Bureau, and several Scottish marketing and advertising awards.  A friend of Niagara’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Friel was a guest speaker in the dean’s distinguished speakers’ forum in April 2001. 

Dhansukh “Dan” Patel will receive the college’s Outstanding Hotelier Award for his impressive accomplishments in the lodging industry.  Not only is he president of DSA Enterprises, he also serves as chairman of the board for Athena Companies, the result of a recent merger between two prominent hotel companies. A member of the board of directors of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) since 1996, Patel was elected chairman of AAHOA in 2001, and currently serves as its ex-officio director at large.  The organization represents more than 6,000 members who own more than 17,000 hotels in the U.S.  Patel was born in India, and immigrated to the United Kingdom in 1965. After relocating to the U.S. in 1978, Patel purchased his first motel in Tennessee.  Today, he and his brother, Sunil Patel, co-own and operate numerous hotels across Tennessee and Kentucky. 

College of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Dr. Gary Praetzel, Dean 
(716) 286-8272

Also See: Michael A. Leven, John Homik and Mario P. Perillo Honored by College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University / November 2001
Curtis Nelson, President and CEO of Carlson Hospitality, Awarded Honorary Degree by Niagara's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management / May 2002

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