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Students in Michigan State University Chapter of Club Managers Association of America
Attend CMAA World Conference and Bring Home Two Awards

Club of the Future Competition for Event Planning and Student Membership
Growth Award for the Highest Percentage of World Conference Attendees

(March 2012, East Lansing, Michigan) - Students in the MSU chapter of Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) have something to celebrate after a record number of its members attended the 85th World Conference of CMAA in New Orleans Friday, February 24 – Monday, February 27.  The chapter took home not one, but two awards:  Club of the Future Competition for Event Planning and Student Membership Growth Award for the Highest Percentage of World Conference Attendees.

Dr. Bonnie Knutson, professor and the chapter advisor, was certainly proud, as was School Director and Professor Dr. Ron Cichy (BA ’72, MBA ’77), who traveled with the students.  They made it to the world conference despite rough travel conditions, leaving as they did in the midst of a snowstorm. But they made the best of the conditions, and the students were high profile at the conference, attending numerous educational sessions and workshops, including the keynote speech by football great Archie Manning; networking with private club executives and managers; and attending The School of Hospitality Business’s MSU Alumni/Student breakfast on Tuesday morning before all the competing chapters received their awards at the CMAA Student Achievement Breakfast/Orientation later in the morning.

A student networking event got everything started for the group on Friday evening, where dozens of hospitality programs were represented across the U.S.  The MSU students were most impressed with a session titled “What?  I’m a Brand?” on Saturday morning, presented by School Alumnus Gary Hernbroth (BA ’79), president of Training for Winners.

“It was a fascinating seminar,” says Luke Magnini (BA ’12), MSU’s CMAA chapter president.  “We all know that products have ‘brands,’ and that people make decisions everyday over which brands to choose, based on a wide variety of things.  But Gary talked about people, too, having brands, and little things go into which ‘brand’ a company will hire.  It gave us a lot to think about.”

Gary was just as impressed with the students, saying, “It was great seeing the Spartan students at CMAA.  I was proud to see our contingent there, and the fact that they took two major CMAA awards back to East Lansing was great, too. I was also so proud of them when they sang the fight song the loudest among the other hundreds of CMAA student attendees during my session.  All this, along with the recent PCMA chapter of the year award last month - and I'd say that The School is on a major roll!”

“I think the students always benefit from our alumni, whether it’s through a session like Gary’s or through our Alumni/Student breakfast,” says Dr. Cichy.  “The alumni are wonderful mentors, and I cannot say enough about the professionalism and maturity of our students this year.  It was a pleasure attending the conference with this group of remarkable individuals.”  And their two awards support Dr. Cichy’s contention.

Each student’s travel and registration expenses were covered with scholarship funds in The School designated for this purpose. “I was grateful to be able to apply for the travel money,” says Natalie Fort (BA ’13).  “The experience and the contacts are invaluable, especially as I prepare to pursue a career in the private club industry.”


“WE” includes students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners.  “THE” reflects our 85-year expertise in Hospitality Business management and operations, and the addition of a real estate understanding and thinking like an owner throughout our curriculum.

About The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University:  We are The School

Recognized as the top-ranked hospitality business school, The School has a unique and industry-specific position within the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.  Celebrating its 85th anniversary year in 2012, The School has almost 10,000 graduates worldwide, including a number of leading academicians and industry executives who have earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  Founded in 1927, The School offers an exceptionally well-crafted curriculum, taught by innovative professors who are leading textbook authors, sought-after consultants, and respected researchers.

The mission of The School is
  • to INSPIRE continuous learning by empowering present and future managers to ACQUIRE knowledge, skills, and global Hospitality Business leadership positions
  • to CREATE knowledge by engaging in collaborative theoretical and applied research for the benefit of undergraduate and graduate students, Hospitality Businesses, and the community of hospitality management scholars
  • to ENGAGE our Hospitality Business partners through outreach and service, and to ENHANCE global Hospitality Business economic, community, and academic development and
  • to CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE The School's global leadership position in Hospitality Business operations, development, ownership, and management.
The First, The Original, and STILL The Leader…The School of Hospitality Business.  We are The School™.

For more information, please visit us at

Lena Loeffler

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Also See: Hans Schuler, Chairman and CEO of Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub in Marshall, Michigan, Named National Restaurateur of the Year by Independent Restaurateur Magazine / January 2012

Dr. Ray Schmidgall of The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Honored with the University of Delaware Michael D. Olsen Research Achievement Award / January 2012

The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Names the 2011-2012 Scholarship Award Winning Students / January 2012

The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University Honored Industry Leaders at its Annual Celebration of Leadership; Bob Habeeb Named Industry Leader of the Year, and Ed Watkins Inaugurated as Spartan Hospitality Business Champion / November 2011

Michigan State University Research Website: 2011 Lodging Market Potential Index Available; Facilitates a Relative Comparison of the 25 Largest Lodging Markets Along Ten Dimensions / November 2011

The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association at Michigan State University Honors Two Alumni with Lifetime Achievement Awards; Hospitality Educators Dr. H.A. “Andy” Divine (BA ’60) and Professor George Alley (BA ’59) Recognized / August 2011

Students at The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Produce 60th Annual Les Gourmets Evening of Fine Dining for 200 Guests / April 2011

The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Establishes a Real Estate Development Institute to Focus on Hospitality Business Real Estate Development and Ownership / February 2011

Spring 2010 Graduates of Michigan State's School of Hospitality Business Hear Kellogg Hotel's General Manager Joel Heberlein Speak; Student Remarks Given by The School’s Outstanding Senior Alexandra Clark / May 2010

Richard Farrar, VP of Owner & Franchise Services for Marriott International, Captures the Attention of MSU Students in The School of Hospitality Business / February 2010

The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University Receives Initial Grant from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation in the Amount of $1.3 million for the $5.8 million Culinary Business Learning Lab Revitalization Project / August 2008

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