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October 2013

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Hall of Honor
Hospitality Hall of Honor Welcomes Newest Members
On Oct. 23, Hilton College board members, faculty, staff, past inductees, students, friends of the College and UH Chancellor & President Renu Khator came together to honor two innovative industry leaders at the 18th Annual Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor induction ceremony and dinner at the Hilton University of Houston. Limited-service hotel pioneer Sam Barshop, founder of La Quinta Inns & Suites, and successful restaurateur Richard Melman, founder of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, were this year’s honorees. The Hospitality Hall of Honor, which is housed at Hilton College, was created in 1995 to recognize the contributions of some of the industry's most influential figures. A team of student leaders (pictured above with President Renu Khator) planned and executed the 2013 event—everything from the induction ceremony and dinner itself, to the reception preceding the main event and the two days of industry Think Tank sessions held at the College. The Think Tank topics were chosen, in part, from students' suggestions and included sessions on entrepreneurship, revenue management, night life operations, club management, social media and even cake decorating! Each session featured a moderator and a panel of experts, giving students the chance to learn firsthand from professionals in very specific areas of the hospitality industry. Congratulations to the latest inductees, to the 2013 Hall of Honor student leadership team and their faculty mentor, Alexis Hoey, on a job well done! (Photo: Michael Scott)
Hilton College Steals the Show at HFTP Conference
The University of Houston and Hilton College were well-represented at the annual HFTP Conference at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas this year, with students taking home two major awards and five faculty/staff presenting. The HFTP-Cougar Chapter won the first-ever Student Chapter of the Year award, which was handed out at the conference on Oct. 18. The Cougar Chapter was selected from a pool of 17 other HFTP student chapters at colleges and universities across the globe. In addition to that award, the Cougar Chapter also received the HFTP Chapter Choice award, which is given to the chapter with the best program over the past year. Current Cougar Chapter President Trung Huynh (pictured above, far right) gave a presentation at the HFTP Annual Business Luncheon about the chapter’s volunteer efforts in 2012-13. Once all the presentations were made, HFTP members voted and selected the Cougar Chapter as the winner. But the students weren’t the only ones making a good impression. Also pictured left to right are Dr. Cristian Morosan, Tanya Venegas, Dr. Agnes DeFranco, Dr. Carl Boger and Lecturer Arlene Ramirez, all of whom presented while in Dallas. Morosan, DeFranco, Boger and Ramirez, the faculty advisor to the Cougar Chapter and secretary of HFTP International, presented at the conference itself. Venegas—HFTP fellow, executive director of the HFTP Research Institute and staff advisor to the Cougar Chapter—presented at the annual HFTP Leadership Summit just prior to the conference. Kudos to the Coogs of HFTP on all of their accomplishments! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)
Hollywood ‘Rushes’ to Hilton College
When Hollywood needs information on hotel history, they know to come to Hilton College and the Hospitality Industry Archives. Art directors for the Ron Howard film, “Rush,” recently contacted Dr. Mark Young, the College’s archivist and historian, for information on the aesthetics of hotel rooms and lobbies in the 1970s. The directors wanted to recreate those retro styles for the movie, which tells the real-life tale of Formula One drivers James Hunt and Nikki Lauda, their legendary rivalry and the famed 1976 championship season. “They were interested in images of the Tokyo Hilton, where James Hunt spent a lot of time, but I also showed them images of the Istanbul and London Hiltons. I sent them all I had,” Young said. And just what did hotel rooms and lobbies look like in the 70s? Well … they weren’t for the faint of heart. “The styles in that period included things like metallic wallpaper; color schemes of aquamarine and brown; sheer, willowy drapes and glass lobby furniture. The Beverly Hilton—a gorgeous hotel—had its lobby done in red plaid in the 70s,” Young said. The Hospitality Industry Archives, established in 1989 and housed at the College’s Massad Family Library Research Center, include more than 3,000 linear feet of material, from advertising and publications, to artifacts and reports. Young has been a resource for other television productions, such as the Emmy award-winning "Mad Men," which featured a story arc on famed hotelier Conrad N. Hilton, and the short-lived series, "Pan Am." (Photo: Ladd Photography)
ISES Award
Gourmet Night 2013 Wins Coveted ISES Award
Hilton College students might not be in the “real” world yet, but their work attracts some very real attention from hospitality professionals. Case in point: The International Special Events Society (ISES) recently awarded Gourmet Night 2013 with a Crystal ICON award for Best Themed Event. The Crystal ICON awards are given annually by ISES to acknowledge extraordinary efforts, performance and contributions to the Houston events industry. The 2013 Gourmet Night student managers submitted a synopsis of their Oz-themed soiree to ISES for consideration this summer. Their work went up against at least eight other themed events, all of which were produced by professionals. ISES members outside of Houston anonymously judged and selected the winners in each of the award categories. The significance of the Crystal ICON award—the first ever won by Hilton College students—was not lost on Erin Oeser, Gourmet Night’s faculty advisor and executive director, pictured (center) at the awards ceremony with past student managers Mehak Adamjee (’13) and Jason Kaminski (’13). “This is just further proof of what Hilton College students can accomplish. The fact that they can put on an event that’s so impressive and compete with professionally produced events is remarkable. I couldn’t be more proud,” Oeser said. An outstanding honor for an outstanding group of students—congratulations all around! (Photo: Mehak Adamjee)
Chef Anthony Chevalier
This Just in From the Dept. of ‘Coogs in the News’
Move over, Emeril! These days, Hilton College has a TV chef of its own. Lecturer Anthony Chevalier, a second-year faculty member and longtime caterer who teaches Food Service Production and Operations, has been making the TV news rounds, sharing Creole-inspired recipes, giving tips on budget-friendly cooking and spreading the word about the College and its mission. Most recently, Chef, pictured above with current student Kristen Brogden, Fox Reporter/Anchor Rita Garcia, and current student Ben Daniels, brought his “Touchdown 20” football feast to the Fox 26 studios for their morning show (Click here for video. Click here for photos). Prior to that, KTRK’s consumer reporter, Patricia Lopez, came to the College to learn firsthand about Chef’s gridiron goodies (Click here for video. Click here for photos). And KPRC Reporter Ruben Galvan and his morning show crew also found their way to the College’s Demo Kitchen for a series of live shots with Chef and his standout student assistants (Click here for video. Click here for photos). Thanks to Chef Anthony and his assistants for sharing their secrets and showing Houston what experiential learning at Hilton College is all about. Go Coogs! (Photo: Taylor Wiley)