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Robert Morse, COO of Interstate Hotels, Addresses
Students at Johnson & Wales on How to
Grow their Careers
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – March 4, 2004 – Knowing the hospitality industry alone will not make you a success, according to Robert Morse, chief operating officer for Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc. The key, Morse told nearly 500 hospitality students at Johnson & Wales University, is balance.
During a recent lecture, where Morse was honored by The Hospitality College at Johnson & Wales University as a Distinguished Visiting Professor, he told students: “You need to understand how to run a business.” This includes not only the day-to-day hotel operations, but also sales and marketing, finance, human resources, and all other aspects of the business. 

“We have to think like owners. We have to act like owners,” Morse said. “If you don’t spend every dollar like it’s your own, you are not going to be successful.”

Morse, who previously served as president of hotel operations for Interstate, is responsible for overseeing the company's portfolio of more than 300 managed properties, which are operated under some of the world's most prestigious hotel brands, including Marriott, Radisson, Hilton and Starwood. Interstate is the nation's largest independent hotel management company.

Dick Brush, dean of The Hospitality College, praised Morse as a great inspiration to Johnson & Wales’ students. “We’re a career university,” Brush said. “And it’s really companies like Interstate that provide jobs for our kids.”

While talking to the students, Morse also advised them to think strategically about

Walter Isenberg Named to Corporate Board at Johnson & Wales University

March 4, 2004 – Walter Isenberg, co-founder of Sage Hospitality Resources LLC, has been named as a corporate board member at Johnson & Wales University, furthering its position as “America’s Career University”.

“We are pleased to invite Walter Isenberg to join the University as a member of the corporate board,” says Dr. John A. Yena, university president. “His community relationships and proven commitment to our Denver Campus, along with his vast experience in the hospitality industry, will be of tremendous benefit to the institution as a whole.”

Isenberg serves as the company's president and chief executive officer, directing all company operations, including hotel development, asset management, and property management. The company's management history includes the turnaround of dozens of distressed properties, asset management of luxury hotels, program development as developer and manager, and the restoration of historically significant buildings located in large urban centers that were converted to hotel use.

Isenberg, chair of the Treat Hall restoration campaign on J&W’s Denver Campus, he also serves as president of Marriott's Fairfield Inn Franchise Advisory Council, and has served as a board member of the HFS Management Company Advisory Board and Holiday Inns Franchise Council. He also serves on the executive committees and boards of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau; University of Colorado Foundation; The Downtown Denver Partnership; Colorado Concern; Historic Denver Inc. and Mile High Child Care. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

how they want to grow their careers. “Whether you want to work for a hotel, a cruise line, a restaurant, you need to build a plan for yourself,” he said.

Before joining Interstate in 2001, Morse was president, the Americas and executive director of Millennium and Copthorne Hotels plc, where he oversaw a $100 million renovation and rebranding program. Morse has also served as executive vice president of operations for Interstate Hotels & Resorts’ predecessor company, MeriStar Hotels & Resorts; president of the Homestead Guest Suites extended-stay brand; president of the franchise division of ITT Sheraton Corp.; and president of Four Points Hotels by Sheraton. He received a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and travel administration from the University of Massachusetts. He is a Founding Fellow of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation and an advisory board member of the UMass Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration Department.

During Morse’s visit, Maria Cecilia Monti, a sophomore in the Hotel Management program, was awarded a Distinguishing Visiting Professor scholarship from Johnson & Wales. Monti, a native of Argentina, is the daughter of Nelida Isabel Pettigrew.

The Distinguished Visiting Professor (DVP) program draws top executives from both the hospitality and business fields to Johnson & Wales to share their knowledge with students. The DVP Hall of Fame includes: Joseph A. McInerney, president and chief executive officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association; Milt Gossett, former chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide; William Tiefel, chairman emeritus of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company; Stephen M. Wynne, executive vice president of PFPC Inc., and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, vice chair and chief executive officer of Carlson Holdings Co.

The Hospitality College at Johnson & Wales boasts the largest enrollment nationally of students preparing for careers in international hotel and tourism management, hotel management, food and beverage management, sports/entertainment/event management and travel-tourism management. Students are currently enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in hospitality.

Johnson & Wales — America’s Career University® — was founded in 1914. It is a private, non-profit, accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, food service, hospitality and technology. With an enrollment of nearly 16,000 students, Johnson & Wales maintains campuses in Providence, R.I., Charleston, S.C., Norfolk, Va., North Miami, Fla., and Denver, Colo. A new Charlotte, N.C., campus opens in September 2004. 


Jodi Hoatson

Also See: Robert J. Morse Promoted from President of Hotel Operations to Chief Operating Officer of Interstate Hotels & Resorts / November 2003
Joe McInerney Addresses Students at Johnson & Wales on Lodging's Future / Oct 2002

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