Hospitality leaders honored at UH Hall of Honor ceremonyHospitality Industry Leaders celebrated at UH Hall of Honor Ceremony Annual induction applauds Harrah’s entertainment and Starbucks Coffee Company

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Coffee and casinos are lauded in the 2007 Hospitality Hall of Honor Ceremony at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Howard Schultz, Chairman & Chief Global Strategist of Starbucks Coffee Company, and Gary W. Loveman, Chairman, CEO and president of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., are the new inductees for the 12th annual event planned for 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the Hilton University of Houston Hotel Grand Ballroom.

“The Board of Overseers is pleased to honor these industry giants,” said Joseph A. McInerney, CHA, president/CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and a member of the Hospitality Hall of Honor Board of Overseers. “Their considerable contributions to the growth of their companies truly have defined and shaped the multi-faceted scope of the hospitality industry.”

The Hospitality Hall of Honor recognizes excellence in leadership in the hospitality industry. The inductees’ achievements and their business leadership are memorialized in permanent displays in the college’s Hall of Honor, the Leaders Gallery and the Hospitality Industry Archives. The Hall of Honor has been recognizing industry leaders in this way since 1996. The week leading up to the event will be marked by think tank sessions, receptions for current inductees and other Hall of Honor members, plus an industry luncheon and round table discussions.

Gary W. Loveman, a former associate professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, joined Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. in 1998. Since being named CEO in 2003, Loveman has presided over a period of growth and profitability that culminated in Harrah’s 2005 acquisition of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. at $9.4 billion, the largest single transaction in the industry’s history. His extensive background in retail marketing and service-management also led to the development and implementation of the gaming industry’s most successful loyalty program, Total Rewards. Today, Total Rewards boasts more than 40 million customers. Harrah’s performance has earned Loveman the distinction of being recognized as the gaming and lodging industry’s Best CEO by Institutional Investor magazine for four consecutive years.

Howard Schultz wasn't the first person to be carried away by the aroma of a well-roasted coffee bean, but the Starbucks Coffee Company leader was undoubtedly the first to turn that reverie into a billion dollar retail operation.

His adventure started in 1981 when he traveled from New York to Seattle to check out a popular coffee bean store called Starbucks that had been buying many of the Hammarplast Swedish drip coffeemakers he was selling. In 1987, he bought Starbucks for $3.8 million and implemented a series of employee-friendly practices that were unprecedented in retail, including comprehensive health care coverage for employees working at least 20 hours a week and their domestic partners. Starbucks experienced astronomical expansion in the 1990s and today, Schultz believes that Starbucks is “just getting started.”

Again this year, the Hall of Honor activities are being planned and managed by a student board of directors with a focus on increasing the interaction between the new inductees, other industry leaders and students of the college.

“Our college is known for giving students a real world experience of the hospitality industry,” noted Thomas W. Lattin, professor and managing director of the Hospitality Hall of Honor. “Assuming full responsibility for Hall of Honor Week will certainly provide them with a true taste of hospitality management, plus they get to rub elbows with true industry icons.”

Previous Hall of Honor inductees have included Walt Disney, Barron Hilton, Curtis Carlson, Sir Rocco Forte, Howard Johnson, J. W. Marriott, Miguel Alemán Valdés, Colonel Harland Sanders and Ernest and Julio Gallo.

The activities for this year’s Hospitality Hall of Honor culminate in an induction ceremony and dinner that is open to the industry and the friends and associates of the inductees. Black tie is optional. For ticket information, or to make accommodations for persons with disabilities, contact Erin Oeser at 713.743.9482 or ekoeser@uh.edu.

For more information on the UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management and the Hall of Honor, visit our website at: www.hrm.uh.edu/cnhc/ShowContent.asp?c=5194

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.

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