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August 2016

August 2016 

  ClubCorp’s Eric Affeldt to Join Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor

The Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor is pleased to announce its newest inductee: ClubCorp CEO Eric Affeldt. ClubCorp is a world leader in private golf and country clubs, owning or operating more than 200 clubs in the United States and abroad. As CEO since 2006, Affeldt is responsible for all aspects of the company’s domestic and international operations. He believes in challenging the status quo, in encouraging curiosity and hiring intelligent people who are passionate about creating unforgettable guest experiences. On October 19, Affeldt will become the Hall of Honor’s 68th inductee, joining the ranks of industry innovators and icons who represent the world’s most successful and recognizable brands. He follows in the footsteps of the company’s Founder and past Chairman Robert Dedman Sr., who was inducted into the Hall of Honor in 2000. Since 2006, all aspects of the event have been planned and executed by a team of student managers and volunteers. In addition to the induction ceremony and dinner, students will plan and host a series of Think Tanks featuring Affeldt and other expert panelists representing all sectors of hospitality. Tickets for the 21st Annual Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor induction ceremony and dinner will go on sale after Labor Day. Table sponsorships are also available. For more information, contact Alexis Hoey, event director and faculty advisor. We look forward to seeing you in October! (Photo: Courtesy of ClubCorp)


  Celebrating a Champion Chef!

Calhoun’s Rooftop Bar and Grill was packed earlier this month for a viewing party organized in honor of our very own Tyler Henderson, a senior who showcased his cooking prowess in an episode aired on the Food Network’s Chopped. Tyler (pictured with his mom, Roki; sister, Hailey; and dad Wes) is the only Hilton College student to have ever made it to this or any other Food Network cooking show, so this was a BIG deal! Friends and family, many of whom came to Calhoun’s from Pearland where Tyler grew up, had nothing but praise for his performance – he made it all the way to the final round! Tyler’s appearance on Chopped is just one part of his journey to conquer the culinary world, something which he is well on his way to doing. In February, Tyler moved to Durango, Colorado, to open Plate, a fine-dining restaurant with a revolving menu and hints of Tyler’s Texas roots. Tyler was blessed with the opportunity to open Plate after he served investors an 11-course meal inspired by the Titanic’s first-class passenger menu. The investors were impressed and, soon enough, Tyler received keys to the kingdom – a restaurant where he has full control of the menu. After only two months, it is reservations only. “Running the restaurant is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it has also been the most rewarding,” he said. “I intend to finish school, and will be taking online classes while I’m in Colorado.” And does Tyler have plans to move back to Houston? Perhaps. “We would love to open a new place, maybe in Houston or Pearland. We’ll still call it Plate,” he said. For Tyler, being on a hit TV show, receiving recognition for his craft, having his own restaurant, and being able to make plans for a future in the culinary world that he loves is truly a dream come true. “I knew I’ve wanted to cook since I was 4, and all of my friends and family know I’ve wanted to be a chef forever,” said Tyler, who passed up full-ride UH football and band scholarships to attend Hilton College. At just 22, he will surely be making more headlines in the years to come. Way to go, Chef Tyler! (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)


  Around the World in Three Semesters!

They’re here! After having spent their first semester at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, their second semester at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and their summer semester working on their capstone projects with partner companies all over the world, the first cohort of our new global master’s program has arrived at Hilton College for their third and final semester of what has been a truly global experience. This first-of-its-kind tripartite Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business provides students with an extensive understanding of world markets and firsthand experience of local cultures across three continents. In December, they will graduate here with a degree from the college of their choice and a certificate from all three institutions. On August 9, a special luncheon was held to welcome these 27 global master’s students from 22 countries. In addition to faculty and staff, Provost Paula Myrick Short was on hand to welcome the students personally and the luncheon’s keynote speaker was Jorge Franz, senior VP of tourism for HoustonFirst Corporation and the Greater Houston CVB. The next day, before barely settling in, they were off to Washington, D.C. and New York City for tours and meetings with our capstone partners, as well as industry leaders. Accompanied by Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Ki-Joon Back and Jennifer Glickman, director of International Programs, the first stop was a visit to Hilton Worldwide Headquarters for a hotel tour, a working lunch, and lessons about brand development, marketing and sales. Students met with Charles Gremillion, senior director of brand performance; Gregg Rockett, VP of corporate hotel development; Brian Waters, senior director of B2B marketing; and Jonathan Wilson, VP of product innovation and brand services; as well as Wei Syn Tan (’16), who now works for Hilton’s campus recruitment. Then it was on to USA TODAY Headquarters, where students learned about travel journalism and saw the newsroom in action. They spoke with Karli Hannan, director of sales operations and resources for Travel Media Group, as well as with reporter Nancy Trejos. Wrapping up their D.C.-area trip, students visited the American Hotel & Lodging Association where they were treated to presentations by Blair Clemente, senior manager of member services, who gave them a glimpse of AH&LA’s role in the industry. They also spoke with Foundation Manager Bethany Perryman about community service and scholarships, as well as VP of Government Affairs Craig Kalkut, who talked about government initiatives and legal issues in the hospitality industry. In the Big Apple, students toured the Waldorf-Astoria with David Mammina, HR manager, and Laura Walkom, director of public space/heart of house. Other stops included the Marriott Marquis and CitizenM Hotel in Times Square and Shake Shack. Not a bad introduction to North America and the start of what will be an eventful final semester at Hilton College! (Photos: Courtesy of Jennifer Glickman


  Raise a Glass to Our Brewmaster!  

Lecturer and 8th Wonder Brewery Co-founder and Brewmaster Aaron Corsi really knows his stuff when it comes to the art and science that goes into making good beer. In fact, he’s got the accolades to prove it! During this year’s U.S. College Open Beer Championship, the University of Houston was named the Third Best Brewing School in North America based on flavor, thanks to the brews created by Aaron and his students, who also took home the gold in the IPA category with their Shasta IPA, and silver in the Imperial Stout category with their Agron the Destroyer. The U.S. College Open Beer Championship also gives awards for professional breweries, and 8th Wonder took home the silver in the American Cream Ale category for its Dome Feax’m. “We entered these pilot recipes for the purposes of getting feedback, and ended up winning,” said Aaron, who has taught Alcoholic Beverage Production classes at the College since 2011. He especially loves working with the students who were once in his shoes; Aaron also studied at Hilton College, earning his MS and BS degrees here. Currently, he’s wrapping up his Ph.D. in Molecular and Environmental Plant Science at Texas A&M. As a student, Aaron worked as the lab assistant for Dr. Glenn Cordua’s Alcoholic Beverage Production class. That experience helped fuel his passion to work in the industry and open 8th Wonder, where he hires Hilton College students, including Cellarman Patrick Duffy (pictured right). Between Running 8th Wonder and teaching at Hilton College, Aaron says he “has won the lottery” when it comes to his career. And with the recent awards that have helped put the University of Houston in the brewery big leagues, he now has more to add to his winnings! Cheers! (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)