Hotel Ezra Cornell announces 2019 theme: Finding Synergy
For the students of the School of Hotel Administration, participating in Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) represents the pinnacle of what it means to be a Hotelie. For the alumni, it is a chance to reconnect with the school, network with other industry professionals (and perhaps even hire an intern or two), and luxuriate in the rare opportunity to be wined and dined by the students of the world’s premier hospitality school.
Hotel Ezra Cornell is a three-day, student-run business conference for hospitality industry leaders and members of the Cornell community from across the globe. A 94-year-old Hotel School tradition, HEC is one of the oldest organizations at Cornell and an unparalleled introduction to the students, faculty, and alumni of the preeminent hospitality program in the nation. Featuring some of the most talented individuals in the business, the conference discusses the latest developments in hospitality and includes leisure events for attendees to network with other professionals and meet the students who will be leading the industry in the future.
In October, HEC held its kickoff event of the semester: the Homecoming Alumni Brunch. The board of directors, a team of 15 Hotel School students specially selected to manage their individual departments, worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the event ordering the food and materials, coordinating with their teams, and eventually executing a wonderful buffet brunch for over 100 faculty, professors, students, and alumni.
During the brunch, a round of speeches was made by the Kate Walsh, dean of the Hotel School, Julie Pizzuti, director of Alumni Affairs, and Michael Baldyga, CHS Cornell chapter president, to welcome the alumni back to Cornell’s campus and preface the exciting news that the HEC board of directors planned to share with the crowd. After the introductions, the HEC 94 managing director, Megan Guefen ’19, stepped up to the podium to reveal the theme of this year’s conference:
Beyond the Lines of Traditional Hospitality
This year, HEC will examine the ways that hospitality infuses itself into other industries and breaks the boundaries of what is considered “traditional.” The program will highlight unexpected mergers, uncommon combinations, and the synergy between service and the rest of the world. It will also explore how the hospitality industry is doing more for its guests, society, and the environment outside of conventional expectations. Leading this conversation as a keynote speaker will be Valerie Ann Wilson, founder, owner, and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel.