Hotel Online  Special Report

Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society Names Richard J. Schnieders
2006 Hospitality Executive of the Year
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (September 20, 2006) – Richard J. Schnieders, chairman, chief executive officer, and president of SYSCO Corporation, has been named the 2006 Hospitality Executive of the Year by the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS). Mr. Schnieders will receive the award during the 45th Hospitality Executive of the Year Award Dinner on Sunday, November 12, 2006 at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in New York City. As part of the honor, Mr. Schnieders will also be inducted into the “Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame,” located at the Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus.            
Bert van Hoof, director of the School of Hospitality Management, expressed his delight in the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society’s decision to recognize Mr. Schnieders. “It is a great honor to have Richard Schnieders included in our portfolio of successful and mindful corporate executives who create links between education and business,” he said. “Building these relationships sustains the bridge between academia and business.”
SYSCO, the global leader in selling, marketing, and distributing food products to approximately 400,000 customers who prepare food away from home, operates from distribution facilities throughout Canada and the United States. The company generated sales of approximately $33 billion for its fiscal year that ended July 2006.
“SYSCO Corporation is clearly ‘best in class,’” said David Scypinski, senior vice president of industry relations for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and president of PSHRS.  “We are ecstatic to have a person of Rick’s stature become a member of the Penn State Hospitality Hall of Fame, which celebrates excellence in leadership and service within the hospitality industry – attributes that Rick exemplifies in his position at SYSCO Corporation.”
Mr. Schnieders joined SYSCO's Executive Development Program in 1982. While there, he progressed to a variety of managerial and executive positions including director of supplies and equipment, vice president of merchandising, and executive vice president.  In 1989 Mr. Schnieders was named president and chief executive officer of Hardin’s-SYSCO and subsequently was appointed chairman of that operation.
In 1992 Mr. Schnieders was asked to move to SYSCO’s corporate headquarters in Houston as senior vice president of merchandising services, where he was charged with developing products and programs with SYSCO’s key global foodservice manufacturers and processors. In 1997 he was promoted to senior vice president, merchandising and multi-unit sales, with additional responsibilities for marketing systems and services to SYSCO’s large multi-unit customers in the restaurant, health care, education, and hotel customer segments. Later that year, he was elected as a director of SYSCO Corporation.  
Mr. Schnieders was appointed executive vice president, foodservice operations in January 1999.  In January 2000 he assumed the added duties of chief operating officer, and in July 2000 he was named president and COO of SYSCO Corporation. In January 2003 Mr. Schnieders was named the fifth chairman and chief executive officer in SYSCO’s history.
Under Schnieders’ command, SYSCO has created an environment which develops, implements, and integrates “best business practices” in four distinct, yet related, areas: leadership, workforce, supplier, and community. “Diversity contributes significantly to a competitive advantage and allows us to achieve our mission of helping our customers succeed,” says Mr. Schnieders.
In addition to his responsibilities at SYSCO, Mr. Schnieders holds board positions at Aviall Inc., the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, and the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, the Culinary Institute of America, the University of Minnesota’s Food Industry Center, and the Greater Houston Partnership.  
Mr. Schnieders and his wife, Beth, reside in Houston and are the parents of two grown daughters, Caroline and Margaret.
The Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS) was created in 1948 by alumni and friends of the School of Hospitality Management (SHM) in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development. PSHRS and the school created the Hospitality Executive of the Year Award in 1960 to honor individuals who exemplify the successful leadership characteristics that both strive to instill in students and convey to alumni and colleagues.
“Mr. Schnieders joins an impressive list of Hospitality Executives at Penn State's School of Hospitality Management,” said Harvey Kamp, director of alumni relations of the School of Hospitality Management. 

Previous winners include: 

  • James S. Broadhurst, chairman and chief executive officer, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Pittsburgh, PA. 
  • Robert F. Cotter, president and chief operating officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; 
  • Allan L. Schuman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ecolab, Inc.; 
  • Michel Landel, president and chief executive officer of Sodexho; 
  • Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies, Inc.; 
  • Joseph Neubauer, chairman and CEO, ARAMARK; 
  • Henry R. Silverman, chairman and CEO, HFS Incorporated; 
  • Herman Cain, former president, Godfather’s Pizza; 
  • Raymond Schultz, former president and CEO, Promus Hotel Corporation; 
  • J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and president, Marriott Corporation; 
  • Barron Hilton, chairman and president, Hilton Hotels Corporation; and 
  • Walter J. Conti, a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, retired owner of Conti’s Cross Keys Inn and Pipersville Inn in Doylestown (Pennsylvania), and creator of the distinguished Conti Professorship in the School of Hospitality Management.

Harvey P. Kamp, M.S., R.D.
Director of Alumni & Industry Relations
Executive Director Conti Professorship
School of Hospitality Management
201 Mateer Building
Fischer Road
University Park, PA  16802-1307
Phone: (814) 865-6673



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