Ithaca, NY, October 7, 2016 – Capping off a morning of homecoming celebrations, the Board of Directors for the 92nd Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) announced the theme of this year's conference as "Face the Future, Preserve the Past" during an HEC-hosted brunch for returning alumni. HEC—the oldest tradition at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration (SHA)—will return March 16-19, 2017 at SHA and the Statler Hotel in Ithaca, NY.

Hotel Ezra Cornell is a three-day, student-run business conference for hospitality industry leaders and members of the Cornell community from across the globe. A 92-year SHA tradition, HEC is one of the oldest traditions at Cornell and an unparalleled introduction to the students, faculty, and alumni of the preeminent hospitality program in the nation. Featuring some of the most talented individuals in the business, the conference will discuss the latest developments in hospitality and include leisure events for attendees to network with other professionals and meet the students who will be leading the industry in the future.

This year, HEC will explore change: while shifts in the industry can be unexpected or uncertain, every organization has to evolve to maintain their competitive advantage, while still honoring the values that made them successful in the past. Striking the right balance is of critical importance as HEC enters a new phase in its nearly century-long history, with HEC 92 being the first to be held since SHA became part of the new Cornell College of Business. This year's program will cut through the anxieties of change and look at how HEC, SHA, and the hospitality industry as a whole can maintain their identities—and value—as they navigate the ever-changing business environment.

Leading this conversation will be the keynote speaker for HEC 92, Mr. Sabato Sagaria '97, chief restaurant officer of Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). Conference attendees will hear firsthand how innovation and experimentation have helped USHG remain an industry leader and stay true to their principles of providing the best service experience possible.

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