University Park, Pa.-- The Penn State School of Hospitality Management named Bill Fortier, senior vice president of development at Hilton Worldwide, and Plato Ghinos, president at Shaner Hotel Group, as the 74th and 75th Conti Professors. Conti Professors visit the School of Hospitality Management to interact with students and faculty members, to present guest lectures in hospitality and foodservice management, and to speak at graduate and undergraduate colloquia.
Fortier and Ghinos both visited the
School of Hospitality Management during the fall 2011 to lead a program
classroom discussion with over 200 students about hospitality real
development from both the franchisor and franchisee perspectives.
hosted 40 students for a day at the Hilton Worldwide headquarters in
Virginia. There, Hilton executives joined Fortier in presenting real
case studies, giving tours of their concept rooms and reviewing
practices at the nearby Hilton McLean. Ghinos and executives from
Group are working with the School of Hospitality Management to create
international internship for their new property, Renaissance Il Ciocco
Resort and Spa in the Tuscany region of Italy. This will be the first
international addition to internships already offered to many students
Shaner properties in the local region.
“We are pleased that Bill Fortier
and Plato Ghinos, leaders in the real estate sector of the hospitality
industry, accepted our offer to join the ranks of over 70 other Conti
Professors,” said John O’Neill, director of the School of Hospitality
Management. “Hospitality real estate and development is an area of
interest to our students and this educational program provided a unique
opportunity for them to get industry perspective from these executives.”
Hilton Worldwide is a leading
global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious
full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced
Its brands are comprised of include more than 3,800 hotels and
properties, with 630,000 rooms in 88 countries.
Shaner Hotel Group is based in
State College, Pa, and has a portfolio of over 30 owned and managed
is part of the Shaner Companies, a diversified, privately held company
owns and operates investments in the lodging, energy and professional
Walter J. Conti, for whom the Conti
Professorship is named, is a well-known restaurateur and industry
Doylestown, Pa. He is the retired owner and chief executive officer of
Cross Keys Inn and the Historic Piper Tavern (formerly Conti’s
Inn), both located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Conti has held
leadership positions in the National Restaurant Association, including
as chairman from 1981 to 1982, and he is a “diplomat” of the
educational foundation. The Conti Professorship Program was established
alumni and friends of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management
to honor Walter J. Conti for his contributions to the school, to Penn
to the hospitality profession.