Ithaca, NY, January 28, 2015 – Damian J. Mogavero, CEO and founder of Avero Inc., has been named the recipient of the 2015 Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award, an honor given annually by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA). Mogavero will receive the award at the 7th Annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

“It is a true honor to recognize Damian’s educational and entrepreneurial contributions to the culinary arts, wine, coffee, and hospitality sectors. His successful development of innovative restaurant software solutions is an inspiration to our students and the industry,” said Michael D. Johnson, the Bradley H. Stone Dean and E.M. Statler Professor.

A restaurant CFO turned entrepreneur, Mogavero recognized the restaurant industry’s need for a revolutionary tool to help owners and managers run their operations more efficiently. Avero launched in 1999 to provide simple-to-use software that would empower food and beverage operators to make faster and more profitable decisions while providing outstanding hospitality to their guests. Fourteen years later, Avero is now the leading restaurant software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider for restaurants, hotels, and casinos-operating in over 5,500 restaurants and 47 countries worldwide.

Mogavero’s diverse achievements prompted him to receive America’s Entrepreneur Award in 2002. Mogavero has been featured in publications and media outlets such as Fast Company, Heritage Radio Network, the Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, Fortune Small Business, WIRED, Nation’s Restaurant News, Casino Journal, Global Gaming Business, Food Arts, and Sante. A passionate oenophile and coffee fanatic, he passed the WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Wine and Spirits with Distinction in 2008 and is currently studying for his Barista certification through Counter Culture.

Mogavero contributes to the industry with speaking engagements at hospitality and technology conferences, such as the NRA Show and G2E Global Gaming Expo. He recently visited the Cornell campus to speak to the Class of 2017 as a part of the School of Hotel Administration’s Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Additionally, he supports non-profit associations including the Epicurean Charitable Foundation, the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), and Share our Strength, among others.

At the awards ceremony in June, SHA will also honor Barry S. Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, with the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award. Since its inception in 2009, the Cornell Hospitality Icon and Innovator Awards has grown to be the largest event on the SHA calendar, attracting more than 700 of the most influential leaders and innovators in the hospitality and travel industry from 17 countries. The event raises funds to support SHA’s scholarships and programs.

Current sponsors are the Icon Benefactor Scholarship sponsor Barry S. Sternlicht, the Sternlicht Family Foundation; exclusive Media Host USA TODAY; Diamond sponsors Baccarat, Banfi Vintners, Delta Air Lines, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Sweet Street Desserts; Platinum sponsors Access Point Financial, Cipriani 42nd Street, Cornell Hotel Society, Deloitte, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Harney and Sons Fine Teas, Hilton Worldwide,, Hsyndicate, the Leading Hotels of the World, Preferred Hotel Group, PwC, Questex Hospitality Group, Southworth Development, Stonebridge Companies, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Thayer Lodging Group; Gold sponsors Duetto, Eastdil Secured, Fairmont Raffles Hotels and Resorts/Hotel Capital Advisers, Hersha Hospitality Trust, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, PAR Springer-Miller Systems, RLJ Lodging Trust, Wells Fargo.

For details about the 7th Annual Cornell Icon & Innovator Awards Dinner or sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Mark Depew, director of development, at [email protected] or 607.255.3275.