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 Hotel Ezra Cornell, a Student-run Hospitality Conference, Set for April 6-8 in Ithaca; 
Hospitality Media Leaders to Make Up Keynote Panel
Ithaca, N.Y., February 6, 2006 - Who better to answer the hospitality industry's urgent questions than the media leaders who are among the industry's most knowledgeable insiders? Attendees at the 81st Hotel Ezra Cornell will find out on April 7, when these leaders convene a panel to address pressing issues in the industry. 

Hotel Ezra Cornell is a student-run hospitality conference - an 81-year tradition at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. This year's keynote panel will feature Nancy Novogrod, Editor-in-Chief, Travel + Leisure and Editorial Director of American Express Publishing; Maria Puetz-Willems, Editor-In-Chief,; and Christina Binkley, Senior Special Writer, The Wall Street Journal. The panel will be moderated by Barbara Talbott, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. It will be held Friday, April 7, at 8:45 a.m. in the Alice Statler Auditorium of the Hotel School. 

Together, these leaders will discuss the impact of recent events and how these events are shaping the future - and trends - in the hospitality industry. 

Nancy Novogrod, a veteran award-winning editor, is the Editor-in-Chief of Travel + Leisure, the world's leading travel magazine. Novogrod also serves as the Editorial Director of American Express Publishing Corporation, the company which publishes Travel + Leisure, as well as: Departures, Travel + Leisure Golf, Travel + Leisure Family, and five international editions of Travel + Leisure. Novogrod has received numerous editorial and business accolades, including being named one of MIN magazine's "21 Most Intriguing People" in publishing in 2003. Before joining Travel + Leisure in 1993, she was Editor-in-Chief of Conde Nast's House and Garden. She also worked as a book editor for Clarkson Potter Publi shers, ultimately ascending to Executive Editor. In addition to her many editorial responsibilities and world travels, Novogrod is engaged in numerous charitable and community endeavors. 
Maria Puetz-Willems works in a range of media - from the leading hotel and travel trade magazines to leading business travel publications, economics magazines and newspapers, and travel magazines published primarily in Germany and Switzerland. In 2002, Puetz-Willems published her first book, in German, through her newly founded publishing company. The book's title - "Spas + Economy: Professional and Profitable" ("Wellness + Wirtschaft: Professionell und Profitabel" in German) - indicates her work's new focus on the prospering spa and health industry. Her second book about spas is in progress. In March 2005, Puetz-Willems launched the online magazine, a purely editorial, bilingual (German/English) weekly magazine for top executives of the hospitality industry. 
Christina Binkley is a senior special writer with The Wall Street Journal in Los Angeles. Binkley joined The Wall Street Journal in 1994 and has been writing about travel, hotels, and casinos since 1997. She is currently on leave from her job, writing a book about Las Vegas. Prior to working for The Wall Street Journal, she was a reporter at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. Binkley is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 
Barbara Talbott (moderator) oversees marketing for the world's most honored hotel company, ensuring that Four Seasons deeply instilled service values are brought to life in every representation of the brand at its 70 properties in 31 countries. Overseeing advertising and public relations; direct sales, worldwide reservations and e-commerce teams, Talbott is responsible for building a coveted global brand that is synonymous with the best in service, surroundings and quality of guest experience. Talbott began her career with the management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company. Prior to joining Four Seasons she served as Vice President Marketing for the luxury cruise company, Royal Viking. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and currently serves on the board of Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research. 

Program HEC 81
81st Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell

Thursday - April 6th

Welcome Cocktail

Opening Remarks
A message from your hosts Interim-Dean Sherri Kimes and Managing Director Doug Leuthold

Friday - April 7th

“What's News? Three Media Leaders on Today's Consumer and the Business of Hospitality”
Media executive forum moderated by Barbara Talbott and featuring Christina Binkley, Nancy Novogrod, and Maria Puetz-Willems

“CHR Research Presentations: The Forefront of Hospitality”
Undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research presentations hosted by The Center for Hospitality Research

Power Lunch

“Asian Development: The Land of Opportunity”
Executive forum focusing on Asian development featuring Marc Falcone, Robert Hecker and Patrick Imbardelli

Student Business Concept Fair
Poster session of student business concepts and a brief restaurant concept presentation by Michael Beam

Bi-annual Cornell Hotel Society Board Meeting

Awards Banquet

Charity Auction

Saturday - April 8th

“Equity Research: The Hospitality Lodging Industry”
Equity research executive forum featuring Sean Hennessey, John Arabia, and Bob LaFleur

“A New Era of Leadership”

Session with Dr. Michael Johnson, Dean-Elect

Student Showcase
Showcase of student projects from courses at the Hotel School

Dean’s Brunch
Traditional Brunch with Interim Dean Sherri Kimes

3rd Annual Culinary Mystery Box Competition
Culinary competition featuring guest and student interaction

Olive Oil Tasting
Olive oil tasting and pairing guided by Caryl Simpson

A Pairing Experience
A dinner inspired by independent breweries

Culinary Institute of America Dinner
Cuisine by guest student chefs from the Culinary Institute of America

Closing Cocktail

Hotel Ezra Cornell dates back to 1925, when Dean Howard Meek took a group of students to New York City to manage the Hotel Astor for a day. Upon returning to Ithaca, the students decided to hold a "hotel for a day" to invite industry pioneers to Ithaca to see the new program. On May 7, 1926, the first Hotel Ezra Cornell was held at Risley Hall, which was a women's dormitory at the time.

HEC provided a unique opportunity for Hotel School students to demonstrate to industry leaders the benefits of an education in the field of hotel administration. As a result, E.M. Statler donated the funds to construct Statler Hall and the Statler Hotel. From its earliest beginnings, HEC has played a significant role in the Hotel School's history.

Today, HEC offers a unique experience for the hospitality leader. Highlights include dynamic seminars that address pressing issues in the hospitality industry, an awards banquet celebrating research and academic achievement, and leisure activities that take advantage of Cornell's campus and the surrounding Finger Lakes region.

Now in its 81st anniversary, HEC strives to create an atmosphere where industry professionals, academics, and students can gather and share their passion for hospitality. Our dedication to service and culinary excellence is complemented by our commitment to quality educational seminars featuring some of the industry's most respected leaders. Please join us as we celebrate this industry and prepare for the promising years ahead. 

For more information on HEC 81, to be held April 6-9, 2006 on the Cornell campus, visit

The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement. The School provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell Hotel School is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit


   Cydney Peters
Acting Director, Communication Strategy
[email protected]

Also See: Students at The Cornell Hotel School Take Over the Statler Hotel to Host 200 Industry Executives for Annual Conference, Known as Hotel Ezra Cornell / April 2001

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