News for the Hospitality Executive
Gary W. Loveman, Chairman of Harrah’s
and Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks
Inducted into Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel
and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston
|HOUSTON, Oct. 22, 2007— More than
200 guests were on hand as two giants of the hospitality industry were
inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor at the Conrad N. Hilton
College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston
on Oct. 17, 2007.
The Hospitality Hall of Honor, now in its 12 year,
recognized Gary W. Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Harrah’s Entertainment,
Inc., and Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company. Bob
Ravener, senior vice president of U.S. Partner Resources for Starbucks,
accepted the honor for Schultz.
“The Board of Overseers is pleased to honor these industry pioneers,” said Thomas W. Lattin, professor and managing director of the Hospitality Hall of Honor. “Their significant contributions have truly shaped the landscape of our industry.”
Gary W. Loveman, a former associate professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, joined Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. in 1998. Since being named CEO in 2003, Loveman has presided over a period of growth and profitability that culminated in Harrah’s 2005 acquisition of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. at $9.4 billion, the largest single transaction in the industry’s history. His extensive background in retail marketing and service-management also led to the development and implementation of the gaming industry’s most successful loyalty program, Total Rewards. Today, Total Rewards boasts more than 40 million customers. Harrah’s performance has earned Loveman the distinction of being recognized as the gaming and lodging industry’s Best CEO by Institutional Investor magazine for four consecutive years.
Howard Schultz wasn't the first person to be carried away by the aroma of a well-roasted coffee bean, but the Starbucks Coffee Company leader was undoubtedly the first to turn that reverie into a billion dollar retail operation. His adventure started in 1981 when he traveled from New York to Seattle to check out a popular coffee bean store called Starbucks that had been buying many of the Hammarplast Swedish drip coffeemakers he was selling. In 1983, he bought Starbucks for $3.8 million and implemented a series of employee-friendly practices that were unprecedented in retail, including comprehensive health care coverage for employees working at least 20 hours a week and their domestic partners. Starbucks experienced astronomical expansion in the 1990s and today, Schultz believes that Starbucks is “just getting started.”
The Hospitality Hall of Honor recognizes industry leaders who have made great contributions in their fields. It includes the Leaders Gallery, a hallway lined with the portraits of past honorees, and the Hospitality Archives, artifacts provided by the inductees that memorialize their achievements and leadership. The college has been recognizing industry leaders in this manner since 1996.
“The Hospitality Hall of Honor has evolved from
a small gathering of friends and associates of a given year's inductees
to a week of events managed by a student board of directors from Hilton
College,” Dean John Bowen said. “Not only do we honor two of our industry's
most worthy recipients, but we also provide our students with the opportunity
to showcase their knowledge, skills and passion for the hospitality industry.”
The ceremony was the culmination of a week of events, including receptions for inductees, an industry lunch and two days of “think tank” sessions that offered students an opportunity to learn first-hand about the changing hospitality industry. Seventy industry experts from across the country served as panelists for 16 sessions. Among the topics discussed were: how independent boutique hotels were competing with major brands; how marketing strategies for casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Louisiana differ; what’s new in food & beverage trends; how the latest technology is affecting the hospitality industry; how the green movement is impacting hospitality; plus discussions on revenue management, labor challenges of the 21st century, diversity issues, and women in leadership roles, among others.
Starbucks also hosted a session on how the small Seattle café has grown to become one of the largest and most profitable hospitality companies in the world. In addition, Eric Hilton, a 2006 Hall of Honor inductee, met with students to talk about his career with Hilton Hotels and his memories of the Hilton family legacy.
Among those attending were Claudine Williams, a pioneer for women in gaming and the first woman in Nevada to head a major casino; Jan Jones, former mayor of Las Vegas and the senior vice president of Communications & Government Relations for Harrah’s Entertainment, as well as several other executives from Harrah’s, partners from Starbucks and Houston area industry leaders.
As is now tradition, a student board of directors planned and managed all Hall of Honor events. “Our college is known for providing students a real-world experience of the hospitality industry,” Lattin said. “Assuming full responsibility for Hall of Honor Week certainly provided them with a true taste of hospitality management.”
Previous Hall of Honor inductees have included Walt Disney, Barron Hilton, Eric Hilton, Curtis Carlson, Howard Johnson, J. W. Marriott, Robert Dedman, Steve Bollenbach, Kemmons Wilson, Michael Leven, Ray Kroch, and Colonel Harland Sanders.
About the University of Houston
|Also See:||Brinker, Hammons, Leven, Rose and Winegardner to be Inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor / August 2004|