In Memoriam – Arne Sorenson (Hon)

The Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) mourns the loss of Arne Sorenson (Hon), the late President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, Inc.  In 2018, Mr. Sorenson was elected to be an honorary lifetime member of CHS after receiving the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration 2018 Cornell Hospitality Icon of the Industry Award.

During his tenure Mr. Sorenson supported the continued recruitment, and development, of many Hotelies within the Marriott organization.  In January of 2017, Mr. Sorenson hosted members of the Hotel School faculty at Marriott headquarters and shared his thoughts on the hospitality industry.


Below, Mr. Sorenson receives his Honorary Lifetime CHS Membership from Dean Kate Walsh, Bill Minnock ’79, Cheryl Boyer ’87, and Dexter Wood ’87.


Alumni Trustee Elections – February 2021

In February of 2021, Cornell University alumni will have the opportunity to vote for two alumni to serve on the Board of Trustees.  This year’s nominees are:

  • John Balen ’82 (ENG), MBA ‘86
  • Liv Gussing Burgess ’91 (Hotel)
  • A’ndrea Van Schoick ’96 (CALS)
  • Kim Wagner ’85 (CALS)

To learn more about the candidates and the role of the trustees, please visit Alumni Trustee Elections – 2021.

The Executive Board of the Cornell Hotel Society encourages all alumni to participate in the election.  During February, be on the lookout for emails from the Cornell Department of Alumni Affairs or visit the website link above.

Dubai Lodging Outlook 2021

On November 9, 2020, Cornell Hotel Society, MENA Chapter, hosted the 6th Annual Dubai Lodging Outlook 2021 Seminar virtually in collaboration with STR.  The seminar started off with a macroeconomic overview and forecast presentation by Mohamed Abu Basha, Director, Head of Macroeconomic Analysis, at EFG Hermes, a prominent investment bank in the region.  Abu Basha’s presentation was followed by a presentation by Sarah Duignan, Director of Client Relationships, and Philip Wooller, Area Director, Middle East & Africa at STR.  Sarah and Philip highlighted the region’s key lodging trends in addition to STR’s 2021 forecast of key metrics for Dubai and the GCC.  The seminar was concluded by Emeritus Professor Sheryl Kimes who presented the results of her latest survey addressing the challenges and lessons learned by hoteliers in the region from the COVID 19 pandemic.

Attendance at the event increased by 30% y-o-y, totaling 420 attendees (important to note that over 700 individuals registered for the event).

CHS Finland Dines Italian Style

On Tuesday, October 20, 2020 the CHS Finland Chapter held an Italian feast at the Madonna restaurant in Helsinki.  This was the chapter’s second in-person event during the COVID period.  It was also the fifth time IMHI graduate Ville Relander has hosted the group over the years.

Attending the event (right to left) were L Ville Relander IMHI graduate, Juha Mahonen GMP ’05 / ‘19, Martini Palonpera ’77 and MPS 94, Satu Oksanen IMHI ’94, and Deiv Salutskij ’71.

Pia Adlivankin ’94 Featured In Funworld Magazine

Pia Adlivankin ’94, an icon in the global amusement business, was featured in a cover story in the September 2020 edition of Funworld Magazine.  Funworld is the foremost industry publication published by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.  The article features Pia’s interpretation of “Life is Service” – create an award-winning experience for both your staff and guests.

Please use the following link to view the article:

Atlanta Lodging Outlook 2021

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020 the CHS Georgia Chapter held its 21st annual Atlanta Lodging Outlook seminar.  This year CHS partnered with the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association to produce the conference online.  The virtual event drew roughly 200 hoteliers throughout the state of Georgia.

Representing CHS were chapter Treasurer Liad Hare ’18 who welcomed the attendees, and Mark Woodworth ’77 who moderated the panel discussion.  Attendees received an update on current and future market conditions from Mark Vaughan, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Jamie Lane, Senior Director of CBRE Hotels Research.

Berlin Lodging Outlook 2020

The Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) German Chapter held its first “Berlin Lodging Outlook” at the Hotel Bristol Berlin on August 28, 2020 with 50 participants and thus almost fully booked. All the participants at the Cornell event were thrilled in catching up with industry colleagues in person after a long time, despite the Covid-19 distance rules.

There were high-quality and informative lectures and an exciting panel discussion under the motto “What´s on the horizon?”.

Top-class speakers contributed to the success of this high-level event. Wolfgang Gattringer (Fairmas) and Dennis Spitra (STR) presented the current figures and specific analysis of the market. Markus Luthe, CEO from IHA Germany presented the current outlook including trends and future scenarios. The great cast of the panel discussion facilitated by Andreas Martin (hotelforum management GmbH) with Gregor Andréewitch (Waldorf Astoria), Christian Andresen ( The Mandala Hotel & DEHOGA Berlin), Walter C. Neumann (IHR/Seetelhotels) and Stefan Athmann (Hotel Bristol Berlin) contributed with a lively and informative debate to the success of this event.

Before the event we organized our general assembly with 12 active CHS members. (picture below).

CHS Hawaii Tours Waikiki’s Newest Hotel

On February 27, 2020, 13 alumni and guests were treated to a private tour and reception at the new Halepuna Waikiki hotel with GM, Julie Arigo. Halepuna Wakiki, located across the street from its sister property, the Halekulani, opened in October 2019 and is considered the Halekulani company’s first foray into boutique luxury. Following the tour, we were provided a delicious spread of menu favorites by Chef de Cuisine, Aaron Furuto, and Restaurant Manager, Nicole Mackay. Needless to say, we left happy and full and will certainly be back again soon!

CHS Hawaii Tours the Halepuna Waikiki Hotel.

2nd Annual Cornell Hotel Society Breakfast at Adria Hotel Forum

A group of Hotelies gathered for food, beverage and camaraderie at the Doubletree by by Hilton Zagreb during the 2020 Adria Hotel Forum.  Big thanks to Tobias Brown for getting the gang together again and Silvija Iliskovic Balagovic for organizing and hosting such a lovely event!!

Special thanks also to Marina Franolic, organizer of AHF (and future CHS member!) for pushing the conference schedule back to give us more time!  I loved meeting new members, updating Hotelie news, and sharing updates about Roma 2020, the Annual EMEA Regional Meeting in Rome April 2-5!

CHS AlpAdria Get Together During 2020 Adria Hotel Forum

CHS Japan – 2020 Annual Meeting and New Year’s Party

On February 13, 2020, the CHS Japan chapter held their annual General Meeting and New Year’s Party.  Sixty-nine alumni and their family and friends enjoyed the new Okura Tokyo hotel which just reopened in September of 2019 after four years of renovation.  Participants enjoyed not only the luxurious room at the top floor of the hotel, but the great food made of specially selected ingredients.  No food was left by the end of the party.

CHS Japan Celebrates the 2020 New Year