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October 2016

October 2016 

  Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor Inducts ClubCorp’s Eric Affeldt

ClubCorp CEO Eric Affeldt was inducted to the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor on Oct. 19 at the Hilton University of Houston. Emmy award-winning journalist and meteorologist Khambrel Marshall of KPRC-TV, Channel 2 News served as master of ceremonies for the dinner and induction ceremony. Dean Dennis Reynolds gave the opening remarks and Provost Paula Myrick Short congratulated Affeldt and shared exciting developments about the University and the College. Amidst majestic rose centerpieces and elegant red, black and gold table settings, guests enjoyed a four-course dinner featuring signature dishes from four ClubCorp properties: The Houston Club, The Houston City Club, The Buckhead Club and Center Club Orange County. Chef Jeff Zimmerman, director of culinary development for ClubCorp, led the team of ClubCorp chefs from the Houston area and our student volunteers. Affeldt said he was honored and humbled to be in the company of other hospitality trailblazers, including ClupCorp founder Robert Dedman Sr. who was inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor in 2000. Doug Brooks (’75), who was inducted in 2010 and is the only Hilton College alumnus in the Hall of Honor, presented Affeldt with his medallion and unveiled his portrait. Created by world-renowned portrait artist Ken Turner, Affeldt’s portrait will hang in the Hall of Honor Gallery. A team of student leaders, pictured above with Affeldt, planned and executed everything from the induction ceremony and dinner, to the reception preceding the main event, a VIP dinner and the two days of industry Think Tank sessions held at the College. The Think Tank topics were chosen from students’ suggestions and included sessions on women leaders in hospitality, branding, wedding trends, revenue management strategies, beer brewing, and bed and breakfasts, among others. Students also had the opportunity to meet the inductee for a special Q&A. 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 industry. Congratulations to Eric Affeldt, our student leadership team and their dedicated faculty mentor, Alexis Hoey, on a job well done! (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)


  Coach Herman Burger Goes Viral

Hundreds of shares on social media, a story in the Houston Chronicle, airplay on the radio, a hashtag contest, and more to come – our Coach Herman Burger has officially gone viral! It all began when lecturer Reba Haskell and her students from Barron’s, our student-run restaurant, created a hamburger to honor UH Football coach Tom Herman. “It was the students’ idea: Let’s do a Tom Herman burger! So we started putting it together,” Reba told the Chronicle in this fun story by reporter Matt Young. Reba then called the UH athletic department to make sure all the toppings would be a fit for Coach Herman. A week later, Coach himself stopped by Barron’s to taste his namesake, UH Cougar Football tweeted a photo of his visit, and the rest is history! “It has been so awesome,” said Reba of the burger’s rising popularity. In fact, Reba said Barron’s has been at its busiest and has seen the highest sales since she joined the College in January. The College is also running a hashtag contest in support of our unstoppable H-Town Takeover! Post your favorite photo of the burger on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tell us why it’s awesome (just like Cougar Football), and use the hashtag #CoachHermanBurger. The person with the best photo gets a $10 voucher to Barron’s! No purchase is necessary to win. The Coach Herman Burger comes with a half-pound, all-beef patty, stout cheese sauce, fried onions, sautéed mushrooms and a bourbon glaze. You can get it with fries or with a side of your choice for $8 at Barron’s, open Monday through Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. Barron’s is located on the first floor of the College’s South Wing lobby. Make plans to try the #CoachHermanBurger if you haven’t already! Because when Coach Tom Herman says he enjoys a burger, you know it’s got to be good! (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)


  Smalley Spectrum Leadership Experience Funding Hotel Internships

They have yet to graduate, but seniors Giang Dang (pictured left) and Nicole Krout are already establishing their professional presence through an internship at the Hilton University of Houston. This opportunity comes from the Dave Smalley Spectrum Catering Student Leadership Experience Endowment, which helps fund two paid internships each semester – one in food & beverage and the other in sales and events – for Hilton College juniors and seniors interested in working at our hotel. Under the supervision of Akash Grover, director of operations for Hilton University of Houston, Giang and Nicole have been phenomenal in executing their assignments, and have already started to make valuable contributions to their teams. Giang, our F&B intern, is learning the accounting practices of Hilton Worldwide, University of Houston and Aramark Food Services. “Giang has also been able to identify and introduce best practices to streamline the purchasing and accounting processes in our hotel,” Akash said. Nicole, our sales and events intern, has been working closely with the hotel’s sales team to execute VIP events in Eric’s Restaurant and the Fred Parks Boardroom. “From start to finish, Nicole has been instrumental in every element of the event process,” he added. “She also participated in the Hilton Worldwide Carnival on the Green, where she showcased our hotel and networked with more than 600 Hilton Worldwide team members from properties across the country.” As Giang and Nicole near the end of their internships in December, they will use what they’ve learned to help Akash prepare the curriculum and interview process for their predecessors in spring 2017. And what do these students think about their internships so far? Both contend the experience has definitely helped them grow as leaders and professionals, but their favorite part has been working with the people in our hotel community. Applications for the Dave Smalley Spectrum Catering Leadership Experience spring semester internships are due Dec. 12. Click here to learn more, and help us spread the word about this great opportunity! (Photo: Pearl Cajoles)


  GHRA Helps Fund Futures Through Generous Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association (GHRA) through its endowed scholarship fund, deserving Hilton College students continue to receive financial help in pursuing their hospitality education. Earlier this year, students Bryan Torres and Erin Shier were each awarded $2,500 scholarships during the GHRA President’s Dinner held at Brennan’s of Houston. Both were selected, in part, for their volunteerism with the Texas Restaurant Association Cougar Chapter (TRACC) and their glowing recommendation letters from Dr. Nancy Graves, associate professor and TRACC faculty advisor. After graduation, Erin, who is this year’s TRACC president, plans to open her own line of restaurants with a variety of cuisines. “This scholarship means I can spend more time putting effort into my education rather than working more hours to pay for school,” said Erin, who works part time as a manager at Shasta’s Cones and More in the UH Student Center. Bryan, past-president of TRACC, works as a seasonal outlet supervisor at Galveston’s Hotel Galvez. He plans to go into foodservice management after graduation. Of her students, Dr. Graves said, “Bryan and Erin are great leaders who have motivated their officers and other students to get involved. They really know how to connect with members and show them the many wonderful things happening with TRACC. And when students get involved, they have many opportunities to network and learn.” Also in attendance at the President’s Dinner was Dr. Ki-Joon Back, associate dean for research and graduate studies, who accepted a $10,000 check for the College’s GHRA Endowed Scholarship. Over the years, the GHRA has gifted more than $180,000 to Hilton College, an invaluable investment in the future leaders of the restaurant industry. Cheers to Brian and Erin and to Dr. Graves for her dedicated mentorship of our students. And, of course, to our friends at the GHRA for their steadfast support! (Photo: Courtesy of GHRA)


  Fall Career Fair One of the Best in the Books

Hospitality is the world’s No. 1 employer, and there was no shortage of jobs during our Fall Career Fair and Luncheon. On Oct. 13, more than 70 recruiters from the area’s top hospitality companies set up shop at Hilton University of Houston to meet, interview and network with more than 550 job-seekers, all sharply dressed and with polished resumes in hand. It was especially nice to see many of our graduates back on campus again – this time recruiting for their companies! After the event, attendees joined faculty and staff at the luncheon, which featured guest speaker Jorge Franz, senior vice president of tourism for Visit Houston. Aside from showing attendees why Houston is the best place to live, work and play, Franz talked about the growth of the city’s tourism sector, especially in time for when the Super Bowl comes to Houston in February 2017. Franz was not kidding when he said hospitality jobs will continue to grow, with new hotels and hundreds of other retail establishments getting ready to open their doors to meet the influx of people who will descend upon the city for the game and related festivities. Students Blake Myers, Chandler Yu, Nafiseh Gonabadi, Isaac Ramos and Dezmon Tinsley also delivered remarks and shared their college career stories. Most importantly, Dean Dennis Reynolds gave kudos to the College’s super star staffers responsible for organizing such a successful event – Director of Career Development & Placement Colleen Gleeson and Career Counselor Gloria Ratliff. This Career Fair, by the way, was the first for Colleen in her new position as director and for Gloria as our new career counselor. Congratulations on a job well done, ladies! And thanks to all of our recruiters who continue to make our Career Fair a highlight of the semester for our students!  (Photos: Pearl Cajoles)