CHS Announces Inaugural Hotelie Hall of Fame Class

It is with immense privilege and honor that we announce the launch of the Cornell Hotelie Hall of Fame and its inaugural class of inductees on behalf of the Cornell Hotel Society.

As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Cornell Hotel School, the recently named Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration, it is also an opportune time to celebrate some of those who have powered the School’s brand for one hundred years.

The mission of the Cornell Hotelie Hall of Fame is to:

  • Celebrate Cornell Hotelie successes
  • Create a library of inspirational stories for applicants, students, faculty, and alumni
  • Bring together an annual reunion of Hotelies to share the fellowship of Hotelie for Life
  • Fortify the School’s brand in the industry by featuring Hotelie successes

This is an annual event to be held immediately after the CHS New York City Chapter’s Annual Reception in November during the Hotel Show. Each year we will induct 10-12 Hotelies into the Cornell Hotelie Hall of Fame along with a Rising Star award to recognize early Hotelie successes.

The Nomination/Selection Committee selects the inductees each year and is comprised of members from different generations, geographic regions, and segments of the industry. The founding committee members are as follows:

  • Deniz Omurgonulsen, ‘00 (Chair)
  • Rohan Gopaldas, ‘02
  • Kristin Sander Urhammer, ‘99
  • Carla Petzold-Beck, ‘95
  • Regan Taikitsadaporn, ‘93
  • Ginny Mariani-Kitt, ‘82
  • Ted Teng ‘79
  • Jan DeRoos, ‘78
  • Rocco Angelo, ‘58

The criteria for nomination/selection are:

  • Contribution to the hospitality industry
  • Contribution to the community
  • Contribution to the Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration

For this inaugural class, the nominations were generated by the committee using many resources such as the two school history books and the 90th Anniversary Hotelie Magazine. We also solicited input from the CHS Global Board, the Council of Young Alumni, and the Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration leadership team. In the future, once this program is established, we plan to have a broader nomination/selection process engaging our CHS members and their local chapters.

The inaugural class of course is the most difficult one to make the selections. Alongside the 100th anniversary, the committee chose to include inductees from every decade for this first class. We literally have hundreds we could have inducted in the first class but that would not provide the proper recognition for each. We have one hundred years of Hotelie successes to celebrate, so it will take us a few years to catch up. I hope you will join us in celebrating this inaugural class and help us recognize many more Hotelies in the years to come.

The committee has chosen a very special inaugural class of 17 inductees representing the breadth of Hotelie successes over the past 100 years. The Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • Dean Howard B. Meek (Founding Dean and Inaugural Inductee) – “Our Founding Father, A Determined Visionary”
  • H. Victor Grohmann ‘28 – “Creator and Promoter of The Wonderful World of Hospitality Marketing and Education”
  • E. Truman Wright ‘34 – “The Beloved Hotelier of The Greenbrier, America’s Resort”
  • Dean Robert A. Beck ‘42 – “The Pioneering Commander Who Led Students in Ithaca to Hotelies of The World”
  • Joseph H. Baum ‘43 – “Culinary Showman and Ringmaster”
  • Margaret “Maggie” McCaffrey Kappa ‘44 – “Keeping The Best Home for All Her Guests”
  • Lilyan H. Affinito ‘53 – “Trailblazer in Her Professional Life and Service to Cornell”
  • Rocco M. Angelo ‘58 – “The Longest Serving Hospitality Educator and Mentor”
  • Charles F. “Chuck” Feeney ‘56 – “First Among Doing the Greatest Good”
  • Vance A. Christian ‘61 – “The Legend of Hospitality Spirits”
  • William V. “Bill” Eaton ‘61 – “Designing the Great Hospitality of Life”
  • Roberto E. Wirth ‘75 – “Making You Feel at Home at the Palazzo of Rome”
  • Drew Nieporent ‘77 – “Ambassador of Hospitality”
  • Philippus “Phil” Miller III ‘83 – “You Need to Meet”
  • Giuseppe Pezzotti ‘84 – “Patron Saint of Service”
  • Liv Gussing Burgess ‘91 – “Leading the Globe Around Luxury Hospitality”
  • Ben Justus ‘08 – “Providing Service through Service”

The Rising Star award recognizes early Hotelie successes and this year the award goes to:

  • Rob Karp ‘19 – “Starting in high school, parlayed a passion into a customer acquisition strategy by developing expertise in an uncontested space”

I have no doubt a sense of sorrow came over you when you read the name Roberto E. Wirth as he passed away suddenly. A month ago, I had a video call with him to inform him of this induction and sought his acceptance. He was very happy and honored. I did the video call with him so he was able to read my lips and I was able to see his smiling face. I hope you are comforted to know that he knew how highly he was regarded in the CHS community to be inducted into the inaugural class.

We will be sharing the inspiring stories of these inductees over the coming months before their induction at the November event.

Our sincere gratitude to the Nomination/Selection Committee members for their tireless work in composing an incredible inaugural class of inductees.

Save the Date! The inaugural 2022 Cornell Hotelie Hall of Fame event will be held on Sunday, November 13, from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. at the Pierre Hotel right after the CHS New York City Chapter Annual Reception (5:00 – 7:30 p.m.).



Third Annual Berlin Lodging Outlook and 100th Anniversary Dinner

On Friday July 1, 2022, the German Chapter of CHS held its third annual Berlin Lodging Outlook conference at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski.  The event consisted of four professional presentations and a panel discussion.  Topics included a market overview, labor shortages, and leadership diversity.

Following the seminar, the CHS chapter held a dinner celebrating the SHA 100th anniversary.  A silent auction was held to benefit the CHS EMEA scholarship fund.










Cornell Hospitality Icon and Innovator Awards After Party

Following the 2022 Cornell Hospitality Icon and Innovator Awards Banquet, Hotelies continued celebrating Cornell Nolan Hotel School’s 100th anniversary at the New York chapter’s After Party.

The event was held at the 1920’s Themed Flûte Bar Midtown.  Worlds away from the bustle of Midtown Manhattan, Flûte Midtown operates in a space that was once a speakeasy run by the notorious Texas Guinan.  Texas Guinan was infamous for her brazen disregard of Prohibition.  Flûte Midtown’s speakeasy history is preserved in its subtle lighting, cocktail menu and honeycomb of intimate booths.

CHS Rocky Mountain Chapter: Cornell vs. the Rest of the Wine World

On Sunday, May 22, 2022 thirty members of the CHS Colorado Rocky-Mountain Chapter gathered at alumni Juliette Boone‘s (‘93 & ‘97) house to taste 5 varietals grown by Cornell Alumni winemakers against the same varietals grown elsewhere in the world.  The tasting was guided by certified sommelier Kate Sequeira ’11.  Co-host included Kubs Lalchandani ‘99 & ‘04, Erik Nylen ‘81, Kate Sequeira ‘11, Raina Taillon ‘11 and Melissa Triplett ‘85.

The Hotelies in attendance were transported back to “Wines” class.  They tasted each wine and learned about the Cornell alumni involved with producing them.  Attendees enjoyed appetizers, a raffle, and gathering with fellow Colorado Hotelies again in person!


NYC Chapter Kicks Off 100th Anniversary Celebration

On May 19, 2022, the CHS New York City Chapter had a great 100th Year Anniversary Kickoff Happy Hour in the Panorama Room of the Graduate Hotel on Roosevelt Island.  The Panorama Room is located on the 18th floor of the hotel and offers breathtaking 360-degree views of New York City.  The group enjoyed light bites and a cash bar.

ROMA 2022 – EMEA Regional Meeting

The CHS ALPADRIA & Eastern European chapters hosted the 2022 annual EMEA Regional Meeting in Rome on April 7 through 9.  As always, the event was full of insightful educational events, great food and beverage, and lots of Hotelie comradery and fellowship.  This year’s theme was Vision, Hospitality, Leadership.

The event kicked off with a Thursday night reception on the iconic rooftop terrace of the Hotel Hassler overlooking the Spanish Steps.  Special thanks to host Roberto Wirth ’75.

A Hospitality Summit took place on Friday at the Hotel Quirinale.  The morning was full of multiple informative sessions:

  • Italian Market Snapshot
  • Operations Panel: “Hospitality & Lifestyle: The Future is Full-Touch”
  • Presentation: “Lessons Learned, Lessons to Follow: Family Business in Italy”
  • Presentation: “The Great Resignation: Where are the leaders in these challenging times?”
  • Presentation: “Natural Yeast, Natural Growth, Natural Partnership”
  • Development Panel: “All Roads Lead to Rome 2025”

The afternoon featured multiple specialty workshops:

  • Mani in Pasta: Get Your Hands Dirty the Italian Way
  • Beyond the Forecast: Discriminating Data to Sharpen Focus
  • BMS, RMS, and IMS: How Blastness uses Big Data & AI to Boost Direct Bookings
  • Appreciating Italian Wine

Friday ended with a special Industry Dinner at Domitian’s Stadium.  This unique venue is hidden below Piazza Navona, among the ruins of Stadio Domiziano, one of ancient Rome’s largest, central chariot racing tracks.

Saturday started with the annual CHS Regional meeting followed by an afternoon of sightseeing throughout Rome.

The conference ended with the traditional Saturday night Gala Dinner and Scholarship Auction.  The banquet was held in the Salone Ritz at the St. Regis Rome.  The Salone Ritz was the first public ballroom, opened in 1894 by legendary hotelier Cesar Ritz himself.  This famous room has hosted heads of state, royalty, and international glitterati for more than a century.

A very special thank you to event organizer Jonathon Dominic Spada BS ’10 and his organizing committee:

  • Roberto Wirth BS ’75
  • Palmiro Noschese GMP ’19
  • Sarah Livingston BS ’10
  • Elena Benedetti PDP ’15

A special video capturing the essence of the event can be found here:

Roma 2022 | Cornell Hotel Society Annual EMEA Regional Meeting – YouTube


New York Chapter Happy Hour

New York Hotelies gathered on April 28, 2022 for a happy hour event at the Peter McManus Café.  Justin McManus, SHA ’03 hosted the event.  He is the current member of the family guiding the historic restaurant that has been featured in many movies and television shows: Highlander (1986), starring Sean Connery; Radio Days (1987), directed by Woody Allen and starring Mia Farrow; Keeping the Faith (2000), directed by Edward Norton; The Other Guys (2010) starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg; Seinfeld, Law and Order, Saturday Night Live, and Broad City.







DC/Baltimore Chapter Celebrates the New Year in March

Hotelies in the Washington DC/Baltimore area gathered at Anchovy Social in the Thompson Hotel to kick off the new year, and enjoy drinks, appetizers, networking, and a hotel property tour.  The indoor/outdoor rooftop venue offered great views of the Navy Yard and beyond!

Picture 1:  Rebecca Flemming ’04, Amy King ’96, Kevin Jacobs ’94, Andrea Foster ’96, Ross Bierkan, Lan Elliott ’90

Picture 2:  Isha Janjikhel ’21, – , Shalinder Singh ’04

Picture 3: – ,  – , Kelly McGuire ’01, ’07, Becca Vredeveld ’12

Picture 4: Nicolas Beliard ’90, Anna Chung ’03, Erica Killam ’08

Picture 5:  Lynn Morgan ’89, Guy Cook ’15, Anna Chung ’03

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CHS Presidents Gather

On Sunday, December 19, 2021, three past CHS Presidents gathered at the home of incoming CHS President Mark Woodworth ’77 to celebrate the holidays and offer their advice.

Left to right:

  • Bill Minnock ’79 – CHS President 2018
  • Mark Woodworth, MPS ‘78 – CHS President 2022
  • Tim Dick MPS ‘88 – CHS President 2006
  • Robert Mandelbaum ’81 – CHS President 2016

Happy Hour – 2021 CHS Annual General Meeting

The CHS New York City Chapter had a great CHS/CHS_NYC HH after the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday Nov 15th!  The AGM was held at the Cornell Club of New York, followed by a Happy Hour at the Marlin Bar at Tommy Bahama.  Happy 90th birthday to Rocco Angelo ’58.  Thanks to all who joined us, and to Joe Lavin for his hospitality!