Contribution highlights Shepard's ongoing commitment to investing in hospitality education
ATLANTA, May 14, 2012 – Shepard Exposition Services, one of the leading events industry general service contractors, celebrated its entry into the Texas market last week with a $25,000 donation to the Jimmie Dee Fore Endowment Scholarship at the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. With matching from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Shepard's total contribution is valued at $50,000. The gift was announced during an open house at Shepard's newly opened, full-service Houston base, which is the company's 10th location nationwide.
Shepard's gift honors trade show legend Jimmie Dee Fore, who passed away in March 2011. Fore began his career at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau as sales manager after graduating from the University of Houston. Over the years, he built close ties to trade associations, convention executives and exhibit managers while running major facilities that included Chicago's McCormick Place and the New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Fore served as executive vice president of Houston's Astrodome-Astrohall Stadium Corporation for 15 years.
"Jimmie had a significant impact on this industry and this business," said Shepard owner Carl Mitchell. "We are honored to be able to contribute to his memory."
The contribution highlights Shepard's ongoing commitment to investing in hospitality education, which includes support of programs at Georgia State University's School of Hospitality and the Rosen School of Hospitality at the University of Central Florida.
"This gift both recognizes the impact Jimmie had on the industry and extends our support of these important programs," said Richard Maples, vice president of Shepard. "Hilton College, a world leader in hospitality education, serves the industry with cutting-edge programs, enhanced experiential learning opportunities and practical research."
"Shepard's endowment is truly great for the hospitality sector in that it helps build a brighter future for the entire industry," said Wayne Chappell, vice president of Tradeshow Relations at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
More than 100 guests attended the open house at Shepard's Houston facility, a regional hub that covers the Texas, Louisiana and Missouri markets.