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 Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Honors Jay Witzel with the Lifetime Hotelier Achievement Award
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. (Oct. 7, 2005) – Mark Gatley, a 1975 Niagara University graduate and former executive director of the Niagara Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, is one of five people to be honored at the fifth annual College of Hospitality and Tourism Management convocation.  The event will be held Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. in Alumni Chapel.  A reception will follow on the fourth floor of St. Vincent’s Hall.

Gatley, currently the general manager of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center, will receive the Rabbi Porrath Visionary Award.  Gatley is also the chairman of the Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management Alumni Association.

Other honorees include:

Edward Friel, managing director of EFA Tourism and City Marketing Ltd., who will receive the honorary degree of doctor of commercial science.  Friel, a native of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is widely considered the person most responsible for the economic revival in Glasgow, Scotland, after the city lost its manufacturing base.  He is an expert in place marketing, and has spent much of his consulting activities in making cities and destinations competitive.

Jay Witzel will be honored with the Lifetime Hotelier Achievement Award.  Witzel is the president of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, part of the broadly-based Carlson Companies.  It has 190,000 people working in 140 countries under its brands Radisson, TGI Fridays, and Radisson Seven Seas cruises.  Witzel is noted for his depth of management expertise, including financial strategy, capital markets, operational structure and change management.  Carlson Hotels is the ninth largest hotel company in the world.

Peter Yesawich, chairman and CEO of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell, will receive the Tourism Industry Leadership Award.  Yesawich, serves as a featured columnist in several trade publications and has authored numerous articles on marketing and advertising strategy in both trade and professional journals. He is the co-author of the widely acclaimed National Travel MONITOR research series on the travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans. YPBR is the leading public relations agency specializing in serving travel and leisure clients.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame will receive the Sport Organization of the Year Award.  Accepting the award will be Jeff Idelson, vice president of communications and education for the museum.  Opened in 1939, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Cooperstown, is an independent, non-profit education institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture.  A major tourism attraction, the hall’s collections also honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the national pastime.


Gary D. Praetzel, Ph.D.
College of Hosptality & Tourism Management
P.O. Box 2012 - Room #416 St. Vincent's Hall
Niagara University, NY 14109-2012

Also See: Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management to Honor Seven Top Executives from the U.S. and Italy / September 2004
Five Tourism Industry Leaders Honored by Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management / Oct 2002

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