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June 2012

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A Legacy of Fine Dining
Texas Monthly named Maxim's of Houston the "Restaurant of the Century" in its 1999 Best of the Century issue. Why? According to Dr. Mark Young, archivist for Hilton College's Hospitality Industry Archives, it's because founder Camille Bermann, who emigrated from Luxembourg in 1939 with the renowned French Chef Henri Soule to run a restaurant at the New York World's Fair, taught his customers all about fine dining. For decades, the original Maxim's that opened at the corner of Lamar and Milam in 1949 was Houston's only upscale restaurant. And as Houston grew, so did its appetite for fine dining. Maxim's featured an extensive wine list and its French menu, lavish prices, impeccable service and fin de siècle décor defined fine dining in Houston. Recently, the Archives were the recipient of the Maxim's-Bermann Family Collection, which includes business plans, menus, ledgers and photographs from the restaurant's storied history. Pictured right, Camille Bermann (standing) greets his guests. Pictured left, Dr. Young holds a guest registry, a gift from John de Menil on the opening of Maxim's second downtown location on Oct. 28, 1958. Its pages are browned and tattered with signatures and salutations from the who's who of Houston's society and their prominent guests. Dr. Young has also recorded two oral histories from sons Ronnie and Mark Bermann, who worked with their father, and from wife Lisl, who is now 97. These oral histories recount the rich history of Maxim's and the legendary stories forever linked to it. Camille Bermann died in 1991 and Ronnie Bermann ran the restaurant at its third location in Greenway Plaza for a number of years before selling the business to Pappas Brothers. Though plans to reopen never materialized after the iconic restaurant closed its doors in January 2001, Maxim's stamp on Houston fine dining is indelible and this is a significant contribution to the College's Hospitality Archives.
Eric's Club Spring2012
From the Classroom to the Rainforest
One year ago, Hilton College signed an agreement with the premier hospitality program in South America— Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL), in Lima, Peru, to open the Conrad N. Hilton College South America. One year later, Lydia Westbrook, director of International and External Programs, packed her mud boots, was vaccinated for yellow fever and took anti-malaria pills so that she could visit the Peruvian rainforest after completing her official duties to evaluate the first term of the partnership agreement with USIL. Talk about getting "street cred" from your new academic colleagues! As part of the first site visit, Lydia spent one week in Lima checking on the integration of UH systems like Blackboard and PeopleSoft, and meeting with Peruvian-based faculty and her counterparts in the international office.  She also presented "face-to-face" tourism lectures and met the students (several pictured left) she had been teaching online since the start of the summer term. As part of the program, one course per semester will be taught by Houston-based faculty. Before returning home, Lydia flew to the interior of Peru to visit the Tambopata National Reserve and stayed in a cabana at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica overlooking the Madre de Dios River. (Right) Here she is holding a cacao pod that her guide Glhemm (center) cut down from a cacao tree as they hiked through the rainforest observing exotic birds and monkeys and learning about the lush vegetation and medicinal plants found in what the Peruvians call "The Jungle." This partnership allows our students and faculty to gain international experience while making our degree more accessible to South Americans. But for faculty who add a little vacation time to their teaching agenda, it also means waking up to the sounds of the rainforest and tasting the fruit of the "chocolate tree."
CMAA Panelists

Envisioning the Spa of the Future
How do you know you've become a player in the world of spa education? Well, for starters, you are invited to attend the prestigious Global Spa and Wellness Summit that brings together the top executives of the spa industry in serene getaway places like Bali, Istanbul and Interlaken. This year, the annual summit was held a little closer to home at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colorado, and Hilton College was one of only four schools invited to attend. Themed "Innovation through Imagination," the 2012 summit held June 3-6 featured keynote addresses by renowned speakers and a diverse selection of sessions, presentations and networking events. But the highlight of the summit for Hilton College students (pictured left to right) Armaghan Sadeghbeigi, Kate Sornson, Andyshea Saberioon and Na Zhang, along with their faculty advisor Su Gibson, was participating in the student competition, where they impressed delegates with their vision for a spa of the future. Other student competitors included teams from Cornell University, the University of Denver and Penn State. Another kudo for Hilton College's spa program was its inclusion in the summit's research report for 2012 produced by SRI International. In its analysis of spa management education, Hilton College's Spa Management Emphasis was profiled as a model to emulate and the College was cited throughout the report for spa education best practices. Su Gibson also represented the College well as part of a panel discussion on spa education initiatives and will serve on a new task force dedicated to creating international spa industry standards for education, mentorship and internship programs. These accolades have placed Hilton College in a leadership position within the booming global spa industry. 

Vegas Students Spring
Scholarship Honors Industry Icon
Shepard Exposition Services celebrated its entry into the Texas market with a $25,000 donation to the Jimmie Dee Fore Endowment Scholarship at Hilton College. With matching from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the company's total contribution is valued at $50,000. The gift, which honors industry icon Jimmie Dee Fore, was announced in May during an open house at Shepard's new full-service Houston base. Fore, who died in March 2011, began his career at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau as sales manager after graduating from the University of Houston. He built close relationships with trade associations, convention executives and exhibit managers while running some of the country's major convention facilities, including Chicago's McCormick Place and the New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Fore also served as executive vice president of Houston's Astrodome-Astrohall Stadium Corporation for 15 years. In addition to honoring Fore, Shepard made this generous gift as part of its continuing commitment to invest in hospitality education. Pictured left to right at the check presentation made to Hilton College during the open house are Carl Mitchell, owner and president of Shepard Exposition Services; Dr. Carl Boger, associate dean of Academic Programs at Hilton College; Miguel Cabrera, program manager for Development at Hilton College; Wayne Chappell, vice president of Tradeshow and Portfolio Sales at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau; Darlyne Fore, wife of the late Jimmie Dee Fore; and Richard Maples, vice president of Sales for Shepard. If you are interested in contributing to this endowment, please contact Miguel Cabrera at 713.743.1523.