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Agenda Set for Cornell Hotel School’s Student-Run Conference; Three Hundred
Hospitality Leaders Expected at 83rd Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell,
April 3-6, 2008 in Ithaca


Ithaca, N.Y., March 3, 2008 –Three hundred hospitality industry leaders will converge on Cornell University’s campus in April for Hotel Ezra Cornell, a weekend of hospitality, education, and collaboration held at the School of Hotel Administration— a conference unlike any other. 

The students planning this year’s conference, to be held April 3-6, are committed to delivering on their mission of ‚Showcasing Hospitality Education Through Student Leadership.? The highlights of this 83rd annual event are: 

  • An industry update entitled Setting the Hospitality Scene (Friday, April 4, 2008) will open the weekend with a grand overview of the current state of the hospitality industry, presented by Mark Woodworth ’77, Executive Vice President of PKF Consulting; Mark Lomanno, President of Smith Travel Research; and Peter Yesawich ’72, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Y Partnership. These leaders will share their expert opinions on the industry’s present state and explore future trends we can expect to see. 
  • Equity in Hospitality (Friday, April 4, 2008) is a panel discussion that will take a look inside of private equity’s current place in the hospitality industry featuring Michael Cahill ’84, President & Founder of Hospitality Real Estate Counselors; Robert Kline ‘84, President & Co-Founder of Chartres Lodging Group, Inc.; Joy Hou ’98, Director of Barclays Capital; Allen Smith ’80, Managing Director & Senior Portfolio Manager of Prudential Real Estate Investors; and Simon Turner ’83, Principal of Hotel Capital Advisors.
  • With the Games of the XXIX Olympiad right around the corner, HEC will explore the impact of such a large-scale sporting event on the local economic climate at the Hospitality and the Olympics panel discussion. Guests will see how the Olympics has affected host cities: After the crowds have disappeared, are they left in a dire economic situation with far too much room supply, or does their tourism industry boom long after the flame goes out? Ira Cohn, President of ARAMARK; and others will address this very question and explore other issues relating to how the Olympics and other widely-attended events impact our industry. 
  • Hospitality in Emerging Markets will take an in-depth look at hospitality development around the world. Featured panelists are James Chappell, Managing Director of The Bench; Vincent Joyner, CEO of Accor Southern Africa; and Paul Sistare, CEO & President of Atlantica International Hotels. 
As a new addition to program items this year, two top seniors from the Class of 2008 will deliver their year’s worth of research and analysis and will defend their thesis in front of a live audience during the Latin Honors Thesis Defense—Student Research Symposium. These presentations are sure to be attention-grabbers as they will address the Global Affect of ADR and Terrorism Reactions to the Hospitality Industry. 

In addition to the more formal educational events, throughout the weekend guests are encouraged to stop in on the many information technology-related Interactive Lessons that will be offered by Hotel School students. With the recent release of Microsoft® Office 2007, guests will have a chance to interact with current students and brush up on their Microsoft Office skills, as well as learn about how they can use these applications to enhance the efficiency of their own operations. 

While HEC is educationally-rich for both students and guests, numerous food & beverage and leisure events accent the weekend and set this conference apart from others. Some weekend highlights to look forward to include, the Welcome Cocktail, the HEC Afterglow, a Power Lunch, the Dean’s Brunch hosted by Dean Michael Johnson, The 5th Annual Culinary Mystery Box: Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville®, a wine tasting, a honey tasting, and an extravagant Gala Dinner. 

Bees & Teas: A Sweet Tasting

The newest addition to this year’s line-up will be something a bit sweeter: a Honey Tasting. On Saturday, April 5, 2008, at 4:15 pm in the Amphitheatre of the Statler Hotel beekeeper Glenn Card will give guests an exclusive look at the mysterious world of beekeeping and honey making. Card is a professional beekeeper whose family has been in the industry for fifty years. His family founded Merrimack Valley Apiaries, which provides a honeybee pollination service and raises bees to supply beekeepers nationwide. The company operates over 12,000 colonies.

Guests will taste different honey varietals harvested by Merrimack Valley Apiaries. The honey will also be paired with a variety of teas from Harney & Sons. Harney has been a generous donor to Hotel Ezra Cornell for over five years and will be featured at several events throughout the weekend.

"We are a world-class school with world-class students, and I guarantee you a world-class experience," stated Managing Director Geoffrey Gray ’08, 

For additional information on The 83rd Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell or to reserve your place, please contact Brett Rubin ’08 at 

Hotel Ezra Cornell is an annual, weekend-long educational conference hosted by the students of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration for leaders of the hospitality industry. Comprised of educational seminars, leisure activities, and food and beverage events, the weekend strikes a thoughtful balance between education and entertainment. The purpose of the weekend is for students to practice the skills they have learned in the classroom and to showcase their talents to industry professionals. This year’s overarching objective is “Showcasing Hospitality Education Through Student Leadership.” 


Jessica Powell ‘10 
Public Relations Director 

Also See: Agenda Set for Cornell Hotel School’s Student-Run Conference Showcases Leaders in Innovation and Sustainability, April 12-15, 2007 / March 2007
Leland Pillsbury, Chairman and CEO of Thayer Lodging Group, Keynote Speaker at 82nd Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell, April 12-15, 2007 / February 2007


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