2022 Philippus Miller III ‘83 Legacy Award Winners – Jason Ling ‘23

In 2019 the Cornell Hotel Society established the Philippus Miller III ‘83 Legacy Award.  The award was designed to recognize and celebrate Phil Miller’s legacy as a builder of networks and relationships.  For decades Phil was the heart of the Cornell Hotelie for Life® that is the foundation of the Cornell Hotel Society (CHS).  The award is given to students that demonstrate an understanding of the spirit of Phil Miller – the importance of connecting and giving back.

The winners of the award in 2022 were Caleb Trieu ’23, Hailey Nelson ’23, and Jason Ling ‘23.  Below we share Jason’s story.


About Jason Ling ‘23

While in high school in Atlanta, Jason was very active in the Future Business Leaders of America organization.  Jason became a statewide leader, and eventually found himself planning several conferences throughout the year.  One of Jason’s mentors within Future Business Leaders noticed his talent for planning meetings and encouraged Jason to consider the Nolan Hotel School (SHA) at Cornell.  After some research, Jason quickly learned that Cornell was the best place to go to study hospitality and concluded, “Why not be the best!”.

Jason took a tour of Cornell, but he did not have a great experience.  His parents insisted that he visit Ithaca again, and the second time was a charm.  Jason and his family stayed at The Statler Hotel, spoke with several students, and he fell in love with the school.

Upon arrival as a student, Jason was somewhat intimidated by his classmates.  He did not have as strong a hospitality background as others, but that gave him no biases when determining what area of hospitality he would favor over the next four years.  To gain hospitality experience, Jason immediately went to work at The Statler,

Jason credits two professors as having significant impact during his time at Cornell, and development as a person.  Professor Andrew Quagliata (Communications) has helped Jason defined the person he wants to be outside of school, and how to balance his life.  Professor Kasey Tarantino (Advanced Business Modeling and Business Computing) hired Jason as a Teaching Assistant and provided him with an opportunity to connect with his peers and underclassmen.

Jason’s summer jobs have been real estate and finance oriented.  He has spent time with Wells Fargo, HREC, and CKH Group.  Outside of the classroom Jason is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and has been a member of multiple singing ensembles, including serving as President of the Glee Club his senior year.  Upon graduation, Jason wants to combine his understanding of real estate and passion for ESG values.

One of Jason’s first experiences with the Hotelie network was reading an article in Hotelie Magazine. Seeing how important and supportive the Hotelie network is to its members was a major factor that contributed to his decision to attend Cornell versus staying home to attend Georgia Tech.  Jason is considering traveling to the CHS regional event in Vietnam during the fall of 2022, or the CHS regional event in Amsterdam in the spring of 2023.

Picture below:  Jason (left) attends the Cornell Alumni Association of Atlanta new student reception in August of 2022.

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The Cornell Hotel Society and Cornell Hotel Foundation congratulate Caleb, Hailey, and Jason, and welcome them to the Hotelie for Life® network. These interviews were conducted by Robert Mandelbaum ’81.


2022 Philippus Miller III ‘83 Legacy Award Winner – Hailey Nelson ’23

In 2019 the Cornell Hotel Society established the Philippus Miller III ‘83 Legacy Award.  The award was designed to recognize and celebrate Phil Miller’s legacy as a builder of networks and relationships.  For decades Phil was the heart of the Cornell Hotelie for Life® that is the foundation of the Cornell Hotel Society (CHS).  The award is given to students that demonstrate an understanding of the spirit of Phil Miller – the importance of connecting and giving back.

The winners of the award in 2022 were Caleb Trieu ’23, Hailey Nelson ’23, and Jason Ling ‘23.  Below we share Hailey’s story.

About Hailey Nelson ‘23

Despite the fact that Hailey’s older brother attended Cornell, she knew nothing about the Nolan Hotel School (SHA).  What she did know was her passion for cooking.

Hailey wanted to pursue a career in food and beverage, so she looked into attending a culinary program after high school.  Knowing Hailey had an entrepreneurial streak in her, her parents recommended that she look at business schools as well.  After Googling “business and food”, Cornell appeared as an answer that offered two potential solutions – The Food Industry Management program at The Dyson School, and the Hospitality Management Program at The Hotel School.  After visiting the campus, it was her conversation with an SHA Ambassador that convinced her to apply The Hotel School.

While at SHA, Hailey has taken advantage of several F&B related classes, clubs and jobs.  Ironically, it was a Food Science course in the Ag School that kicked off her culinary journey in Ithaca.  After that Hailey especially excelled at her beverage courses and eventually became a Teaching Assistant for Professor Doug Miller (beers) and Professor Cheryl Stanley (wines).  Outside of the classroom, Hailey founded the Food and Beverage Society, a social media driven club that attracted guest speakers to address students online during COVID.  During the summer Hailey has worked at Wings Over, the Button Grove Winery, and EJ Gallo, as well as holding a remote internship with Lettuce Entertain You.

Hailey has taken full advantage of the Hotelie network and has thoroughly enjoyed her experiences with alumni.  She was fortunate enough to attend the CHS EMEA Chapter event in Rome, Italy during the spring of 2022, and then traveled to New York to attend the SHA 100th Anniversary Banquet.  At the 100th anniversary event she was very impressed seeing the hundreds of Hotelies that traveled to NYC to honor one of their own – Elizabeth Blau ’97.  All these experiences have motivated her to continue her connections with SHA after graduation, and return to Ithaca to share her knowledge in the future.

Picture below:  Hailey (far left) attending the CHS EMEA annual regional meeting in Rome, April of 2022.

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The Cornell Hotel Society and Cornell Hotel Foundation congratulate Caleb, Hailey, and Jason, and welcome them to the Hotelie for Life® network. These interviews were conducted by Robert Mandelbaum ’81.

2022 Philippus Miller III ‘83 Legacy Award Winner – Caleb Trieu ’23

In 2019 the Cornell Hotel Society established the Philippus Miller III ‘83 Legacy Award.  The award was designed to recognize and celebrate Phil Miller’s legacy as a builder of networks and relationships.  For decades Phil was the heart of the Cornell Hotelie for Life® that is the foundation of the Cornell Hotel Society (CHS).  The award is given to students that demonstrate an understanding of the spirit of Phil Miller – the importance of connecting and giving back.

The winners of the award in 2022 were Caleb Trieu ’23, Hailey Nelson ’23, and Jason Ling ‘23.  Below we share Caleb’s story.

About Caleb Trieu ‘23

Growing up in Bakersfield, CA it was only natural that Caleb would consider a STEM career in the oil or agriculture industry. Accordingly, most of his college applications were for industrial engineering programs.  Ultimately Caleb was accepted to the prestigious engineering program at the University of California, Berkeley.

Caleb always enjoyed exploring the world beyond Bakersfield.  He held a deep-seated love for travel and found the Nolan Cornell Hotel School (SHA) as a highly attractive alternative to studying engineering.  After being accepted to Cornell, Caleb had to make the difficult decision to follow the traditional route and attend UC Berkeley or follow his passion for travel and enroll at SHA.

It was at this point in life that he got his first taste of the Hotelie network.  Professor Sean Rogers connected with Caleb and ultimately convinced him to travel across the country to Ithaca, versus upstate to Berkeley.  Caleb was so impressed that Professor Rogers would take the time to speak with an applicant and help him with one of the most important decisions he would make in life.

Caleb’s experience at SHA has served to boost his passion for the hospitality industry.  While Caleb entered school thinking about a career in the airline business, multiple classes have exposed him to all facets of the hospitality industry.  His summer and COVID gap year experiences reflect the diversity of his interests.  Away from Ithaca Caleb has worked at United and American Airlines, HREC in Denver, Hilton in San Francisco, and EY in Miami.  Outside of the classroom Caleb is a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, has served as a leader of the Cornell Real Estate Consulting Club and the Air & Sea Hospitality Club, and follows his faith by joining The Chesterton House, a Christian residential community.

While Caleb has yet to decide on his career path after graduation, he wants to show his gratitude and appreciation for all the relationships he has made that have contributed to his exceptional Hotelie college experience.  He is amazed at the commitment Hotelie alumni have to help each other, students and faculty and aspires to be an active alum that gives back after graduating.

Picture below:  Caleb (center) spends time with friends during his night managing at Establishment.

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The Cornell Hotel Society and Cornell Hotel Foundation congratulate Caleb, Hailey, and Jason, and welcome them to the Hotelie for Life® network. These interviews were conducted by Robert Mandelbaum ’81.


Benjamin Nelson ‘22 – Philippus Miller III ‘83 Hotelie for Life® Prize Winner

“Make people happy!” – This is the life lesson Ben Nelson ’22 learned from neighbor and comedian Esther Goodhart while growing up in New Jersey. This mantra has guided and inspired Ben throughout his academic and professional life and influenced his desire to establish a career developing technologies that enhance the guest experience in the hospitality industry. His passion for “making people happy” led him to the Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration where he earned the 2022 Philippus Miller III ‘83 Hotelie for Life® Prize.

In 2020, the Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) Hotelie for Life® Senior Prize was named in honor of Philippus Miller ’83, longtime director of alumni affairs at The Hotel School and founder of the executive search firm Philippus Miller III and Associates. Phil was famously known for facilitating relationships among Hotel School students, faculty, and alumni. He was the consummate Hotelie – a people-person dedicated to serving others.

Ben’s first exposure to hospitality was a high school summer job at the Alpine Country Club in Demarest, New Jersey. Despite being hired as a busser, his first assignment was making pancakes at the breakfast buffet. He loved meeting and interacting with the members and convinced his boss to promote him to a wait staff position. As a server, Ben flourished and thoroughly enjoyed providing great service.

Impressed with Ben’s performance, his manager suggested that Ben should study hospitality management. Upon investigation, Ben quickly learned that Cornell was the place to go. However, in a similar college admissions story to that of Phil Miller’s, Ben was initially rejected from Cornell University. He enrolled in the hospitality program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and despite enjoying his freshman year at UMass, Ben reapplied to Cornell and enrolled as a second-year transfer. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to continue his hospitality education at The Hotel School.

At Cornell, Ben embraced his operations-oriented courses. A class on the cruise industry exposed him to a segment of hospitality that he did not know anything about, and it quickly became one of his favorite courses in The Hotel School. Ben also excelled in the Introduction to Hotel Operations class, and eventually became a teaching assistant for the hotel practicum portion of the course. Being a teaching assistant (TA) for an operations course during COVID presented a challenge since the class had to be taught online. Ben assisted the professor by reworking the previous in-class experience to be ‘Zoom-friendly’, including clips and interviews from his time working at the Conrad New York Downtown in Manhattan during the summer before entering Cornell. Outside of The Hotel School, Ben also took an introduction to American Sign Language course, proving to be one of his most challenging yet favorite courses.

When the Statler Hotel re-opened to the public after COVID, Ben was able to TA the Introduction to Operations course in person. It was during that time that Ben befriended a newly-hired deaf housekeeper from The Statler Hotel. When assigning students to pair with The Statler Hotel, Ben asked if anyone in the class knew American Sign Language. Sure enough, one first-year Hotelie had experience with ASL, which then enabled the deaf housekeeper to participate in the class and mentor a student for the first time.

In addition to his first summer college internship at Conrad New York Downtown, Ben’s other summer jobs complimented the operations courses he enjoyed and incorporated his desire to meld guest experience and technology. After his sophomore year, Ben worked remotely for the digital marketing department of Six Senses Hotels and Resorts. His assignment was to transform existing videos to highlight the brand’s key pillars and showcase the luxurious guest experience in a post-COVID era. During the summer following his junior year, Ben worked as a Digital Product Management Intern for Hilton, where he helped develop a guest facing messaging application that is planned to be rolled out at over 6,800 properties.

Phil Miller truly embraced the special relationships that have always existed between Hotel School students and alumni. During the fall of 2021, Ben filled in for one of the Dean’s Assistants to host Ryan McNamara ‘10 and Kristen McNamara ’10 as the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series speaker. At the time Ryan was Managing Director of The Plasencia Group and Kristen was an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan. Since that weekend, Ryan and Kristen have remained mentors to Ben, and as a true Hotelies have always responded to Ben’s inquiries. Ben has also benefited from attending CHS road trips to alumni events in New York City, as well as a CHS DC/Baltimore chapter event during his 2021 summer internship with Hilton.

Ben will begin his professional career with Accenture in the fall of 2022. He will be working in the New York office and hopes to explore the travel and tourism practice once on board. He would like to continue to pursue his passion of using technology to enhance guest experiences and make people happy.

Historically, one of the rewards for winning the Phil Miller prize was the opportunity to address the Nolan School of Hotel Administration graduating class during graduation. Unfortunately, that was not able to take place this year. When asked about the message he would have given to his classmates, Ben cited the following themes:

  • “Do the little things. Go the extra mile.”
  • “Small acts have the potential to change and enhance someone’s life.”
  • “Continue to live by the ‘Life is Service’ motto. That is how Phil did it. And that is what makes us true Hotelies.”

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The Cornell Hotel Society and Cornell Hotel Foundation congratulate Ben, and wish him the best of success on his journey as a Hotelie for Life®. This interview was conducted by Robert Mandelbaum ’81.

Kimberly Kuh ’19 – Treadwell International Award Winner

Kimberly Kuh ’19 was a winner of the Jay ’61 & Peggy Treadwell International Travel Award which provides Hotelies with international travel and learning opportunities.  The COVID pandemic forced Kimberly to adjust her plans to study Japan’s language and culture.  Like a good Hotelie, Kimberly has adjusted and made the most of her remote learning experience from her home in Taiwan.  Below is a letter she recently sent to CHS Director-At-Large, Rick Adie ’75.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

CHS Foundation Treadwell International Experience Award Kimberly Kuh’19

December, 20th, 2021


Dear Mrs.Treadwell and the Treadwell Selection Committee,

I hope you are doing well and I want to take a moment to update you on my immersion experience thus far. Graduated in December 2019, I originally planned to enroll in the Japanese Language Program offered by Waseda University, one of the top universities in Japan, after my brief reunion with my family in Taiwan; however, the pandemic began shortly after my return to Taiwan so I had to quickly make adjustments to my plans. At the time, I began reaching out to Waseda University and other Japanese language schools to consider alternative options.

Although there were many uncertainties, I decided to start taking Japanese lessons at a local academy while working a part-time job in the hospitality industry here.

In the past two years since I graduated, I have been closely monitoring the pandemic in Japan and constantly updating Mr.Adie and Ms.Boyle about my plans. This summer, Waseda University announced that they would start offering in-person classes if the border reopened. I decided to enroll in the Fall Semester program for September. At first, I was worried that remote classes would make our interactions and learning difficult; however, the professors are very thoughtful in making our classes fun and meaningful. For example, one of my professors taught us how to make origami, the Japanese art of paper-folding. I learned how to fold paper cranes, hearts, and stars while learning the relevant vocabulary. In another class, I practiced my oral skills and vocabulary through a “Show & Tell” presentation. I shared photos of my hike trips and introduced Taiwan in Japanese to my classmates. It was a wonderful experience of cultural exchanges and I appreciate the energy and passion everyone had to learn about each other. I even made some friends and we have managed to keep in touch to meet in Japan in the future! When I ask my classmates their reason for learning Japanese, I can always sense their excitement through their eyes. Whether it is for the food, culture, or music, there is just something so magical and fascinating about this country that connects us all together. This language immersion opportunity has shown me how people from all over the world can bond together through passion and love for Japanese language and culture.



















In the past few months, it’s also amazing to see how my knowledge in Japanese has grown significantly from not knowing a single word to being able to have a basic conversation in Japanese. To practice my listening skills, I took my friends’ advice and watched some Japanese shows, such as Alice in Borderland, Attack on Titan, and Terrace House, without subtitles.

Although it was really difficult to understand anything at first, it certainly helps to hear common phrases and words they use in daily conversations! I also reconnected with some friends who have moved to Japan through text and video calls. From my friends, I learned that the country has been on a slow yet steady path of recovery. “Hanami,” or flower-watching, is a traditional and popular tradition in Japan. Every spring, locals and tourists alike picnic under the cherry blossoms to enjoy their transient beauty. I showed my painting of the cherry blossoms to my friends and promised them we will “hanami”together when we meet in Japan!






Aside from taking Waseda University’s classes to learn about Japan, I also reached out to the chefs from“ Nihonryori RyuGin” (Taiwan store) to convey my passion to learn Japanese culture through the context of the hospitality industry. Originating from Tokyo, “Nihonryori RyuGin” is one of the most renowned Michelin 3-Star restaurants in the world. Through my visit, the Executive Chef, Seiji Yamamoto, and his team kindly gave me an introduction to their well-established history, iconic concept, and elegant decor. One of the most memorable takeaways from my visit was “Nishijin-ori,” which highlights Japan’s most traditional and sophisticated textiles.“ Nihonryori RyuGin” incorporates special types of textiles into their decor to highlight Japan’s attention-to-detail and refined sense of beauty. My special visit to the restaurant taught me the fascinating immersion of Japanese culture, food, and hospitality spirits.









My immersion experience has certainly been a unique one due to the pandemic and I am beyond grateful for this opportunity. I hope to visit Tokyo soon to apply my learnings and language skills from navigating the city, eating authentic Japanese food, and connecting with the locals there.

Reflecting on my experience in the past few months, gratitude stands out as one of the strongest feelings I feel. Your support has given me the motivation to grow and thrive during this special time. With that said, thank you all for your generosity and faith in me through this remarkable journey and for making this happen! I wish you all the best and please take care.

Sincerely, Kimberly Kuh



  • Citation

Yasuka. (2020). The Japanese Hanami Tradition. photograph.

西陣織: 花嫁和装: 最高峰の色打掛・白無垢を全国へレンタル. 西陣織 | 花嫁和装 | 最高峰の色打掛・白無垢を全国へレンタル. (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2021, from http://hanayomewasou.jp/%E8%A5%BF%E9%99%A3%E7%B9%94/

JT Baker ‘21 – Philippus Miller III ‘83 Hotelie for Life® Prize Winner

In 2020, the Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) Hotelie for Life® Senior Prize was named in honor of Philippus Miller ’83, longtime director of alumni affairs at the Hotel School and founder of the executive search firm Philippus Miller III and Associates.  Phil was famously known for facilitating relationships among Hotel School students, faculty, and alumni.  He was the consummate Hotelie – a people-person dedicated to serving others.

JT Baker ’21, the winner of the 2021 Philippus Miller III ’83 Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) Hotelie for Life® Senior Prize, is also a people-person.  It all started at the Sunnyside Café, his family’s restaurant in Minneapolis.  “Growing up with two parents in the restaurant business, you would think I am a foodie.  The truth is I can’t cook, but I did fall in love the hospitality ethos and providing service to our customers,” said JT.

At age 13, JT and his family took a trip to Las Vegas.  Driving down The Strip, JT was wowed by the grandeur of the casino hotels.  “Who owns these hotels?”, he wondered.  “One day I want to own a hotel.”

JT was a star football player in high school and recruited by several colleges across country.  During his recruiting trip to Cornell, one of the coaches innocently asked the question, “What do you want to do in life?”.  JT responded, “I want to own a hotel.”  The coach immediately stopped the interview and proceeded to walk with JT from Schoellkopf Hall to Statler Hall.  JT did not know that Cornell was home to the world’s best university hospitality program.  From that point on, JT was committed to attend Cornell regardless of making the football team.

To say that JT made the most of his time at Cornell is an understatement.  Under the guidance of the Entrepreneur in Residence Phil Miller, JT used his great interpersonal skills to form relationships with his fellow students and members of the faculty.

Two of JT’s early faculty mentors were Professors Andrew Quagliata and Jan DeRoos.  JT first met Professor Quagliata the summer before his freshman year while attending the Hotel Operations Program on campus.  Professor Quagliata teaches Management Communication and likes to challenge his students.  He took JT aside and told him, “if you work hard, I’ll help you get the most out of your experience at Cornell.”

If JT wanted to own a hotel, then he knew he needed to succeed in Professor DeRoos’ real estate class.  Accordingly, JT, along with football teammate Eric Gallman ’21, took the time to meet as frequently as possible with Professor DeRoos.  Professor DeRoos acknowledged the disadvantages JT and Eric had as young African Americans that had attended high schools with limited excel training resources.  However, he assured them they could be at the “top of hotel real estate game.”  JT was inspired not only by Professor DeRoos’ message, but by the personal time commitment he spent with himself and Eric.  This changed JT’s perspective on how beneficial his Cornell experience could be if he took advantage of all the resources available.

From his freshman year on JT began to expand his relationships with university administrators, alumni, and industry executives.  While attending a high school event JT received a business card from Kevin Warren with the Minnesota Vikings.  At that time, Mr. Warren was the highest ranking African American executive with an NFL team.  On his own initiative, JT reached out to Mr. Warren and was able to land summer jobs summer jobs with the Vikings after his freshman and sophomore years at Cornell.  Under the tutelage of Mr. Warren, JT not only learned about the business of sports management, but also worked directly on a big mixed-use real estate project developed by the Wilf family (owners of the Vikings) next to the team’s new training facility in Eagan, MN.  The project included a 310-room luxury hotel.

On campus, JT added to his classroom and football commitments by winning a campus-wide election to serve as a student representative on the University Board of Trustees.  While serving on the Board of Trustees, JT was able to form relationships with prominent Hotel School alumni like Richard Baker ’88, Lee Pillsbury ’69, and Andrew Tisch ’71.  He also was able to establish personal connections with Cornell President Martha Pollack and Marriott CEO Tony Capuano ’87.

During the summer of 2020, COVID prevented JT from holding any in-person internships.  However, he took advantage of the opportunity to work remotely and tackled three opportunities.  One was with Kevin Warren, who moved on from the Vikings to become Commissioner of the Big 10.  JT’s association with Trustee Richard Baker ’88, Executive Chairman and CEO of Hudson Bay Company, gave him some exposure to the real estate side of the retail industry.  Finally, JT landed a remote internship with JP Morgan.

Prior to his summer experience with JP Morgan, the thought of working on Wall Street after graduation was not on his mind.  However, during his brief time with JP Morgan, JT was exposed to the finance side of the real estate industry and liked it.  Fortunately, his strong performance led to an offer for permanent employment after graduation.  JT will be joining JP Morgan in Manhattan during the latter part of the summer of 2021.

Since graduating, JT achieved another great accomplishment.  In June of 2021 he was admitted to the Harvard Business School.  Harvard has given him a two to six year window to work in industry, and then enroll in graduate school when he is ready.  “I initially did not think about attending graduate school, but the offer to attend HBS was just too good an opportunity to pass on,” noted JT.

As a graduate of the Hotel School, JT wants to live the life of a Hotelie as demonstrated by Phil Miller.  “I’m constantly amazed at how busy Hotel School alumni professionals take the time to help others.  Hotelies develop into selfless leaders that make the experiences of others better, both professionally and personally,” said JT.

Upon arriving in Ithaca, JT quickly noticed that he was one of very few African American students in the Hotel School.  Based on his positive experience at Cornell, it is JT’s goal as an alumnus to become successful in the real estate industry, and then use his resources to open the door for more black students to study hospitality and real estate.

“I’ve told President Pollack that Cornell changed my life.  The University is at its best educating students, especially those who come to campus with limited resources and are in need of extra assistance.  Ultimately, if we can educate a diverse student body, that will reduce the incidences of racism going forward,” JT concluded.

Like Phil Miller, there is no doubt that JT will use his strong personal skills to establish relationships that he can leverage to serve others and make their lives better.  This is the essence of being a Hotelie for Life®.

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The Cornell Hotel Society and Cornell Hotel Foundation congratulate JT, and wish him the best of success on his journey as a Hotelie for Life®.  This interview was conducted by Robert Mandelbaum ’81.



Colette Repisky ’22 & Alice Navadeh ’21 – 2020 Legacy Award Winners

In 2019 the Cornell Hotel Society established the Philippus Miller III ‘83 Legacy Award.  The award was designed to recognize and celebrate Phil Miller’s legacy as a builder of networks and relationships.  For decades Phil was the heart of the Cornell Hotelie for Life® that is the foundation of the Cornell Hotel Society (CHS).  The award is given to students that demonstrate an understanding of the spirit of Phil Miller – the importance of connecting and giving back.

The inaugural winners of the award in 2020 were Colette Repisky ‘22 and Alice Navadeh ’21.

About Colette Repisky ‘22

Even before enrolling as a student of the Cornell Hotel School, Colette was able to experience the power of the Hotelie network.  Colette started her college career at the University of Tampa, but knew she wanted to transfer to the Hotel School.

Before her official enrollment at Cornell, Collette volunteered to work at HEC 93 and 94, and attended the HEC event during homecoming in the fall of 2018.  While working HEC 94, Colette met and received advice from several alumni that were very impressed with her spirit, and desire to network.  One alumnus, Samuel Eisenman ’13, not only provided guidance on how to ensure her admittance to the school, he also offered Colette a job.

Since entering the Hotel School in the fall of 2019, Colette has continued to leverage the Hotelie network.  To find a job for the summer of 2020, Colette initially reached out to Tony Capuano ’87, who in turn referred her to David Pollin ’90.  David was impressed enough to offer Colette a summer job with PM Hospitality.  Unfortunately, the opportunity at PM Hospitality was cancelled due to COVID-19, so Colette reached out to a fellow Hotelie that was supposed to intern at the Gurney’s Resort on Long Island.  While no formal internships were available, Colette’s perseverance landed her a job at Gurney’s working in the restaurant.  One day at work Colette had the opportunity to spend a full hour with John Meadow ’02, principal of Scarpetta Beach, the restaurant within Gurney’s.  Once again, Colette was so impressed with amount of time a Hotel School alumnus would spend one-on-one with a student.

Colette is very comfortable reaching out to Hotel School alumni and has taken advantage of the CHS alumni directory on multiple occasions.  Colette had the opportunity to meet Ali Hoyt ’12 with STR, who then arranged for Colette to speak with fellow STR colleague Jan Freitag ’97.  While talking over the phone, Jan learned of Colette’s interest in travel, so he put her in contact with his classmate, Christina Foerster ’97 who sits on the board of directors of Lufthansa Airways.

As a winner of the Philippus Miller III ‘83 Legacy Award, Colette will have the opportunity to meet more Hotel School alumni during the CHS EMEA Regional Meeting scheduled for February 2021 in Rome.  She is eager to experience firsthand how powerful the global network is outside the United States.

Colette plans to focus on marketing during her remaining two years.  If you are a Hotelie in sales and marketing, be on the lookout for a call from Colette.

Picture below:  Four Hotelies spent the summer of 2020 working at Gurney’s Resort on Long Island.  Colette is second from the right.

 About Alice Navadeh ’21

Alice Navadeh ’21 was young and with her family driving through the Finger Lakes region during a summer vacation.  Dad made a wrong turn, and suddenly the family was lost on the campus of Cornell University.  “Wow, there’s the Cornell Hotel School”, mom exclaimed from the front seat.  Although mom’s enthusiasm was quickly forgotten, that was Alice’s first exposure to the home of Hotelies.

While growing up near Pittsburgh, Alice served as a waitress at the age of 16.  During this job she became aware of her love of food and beverage, as well as the joy she received being around people.  It was only natural that when applying for college, it was the hospitality programs that attracted her.

Alice’s older brother was enrolled at the Cornell ILR School when she began the college application process.  Because her brother was enjoying Cornell, she looked at the University website and quickly noticed the references to the Hotel School.  Flashbacks of her that family vacation filled her mind.

Alice’s initial application was met with a deferred acceptance, so she spent her freshman year at Penn State.  Although she enjoyed her time at Penn State and made several good friends, she could not turn down the opportunity to pursue her passion for hospitality.  Alice enrolled in the Hotel School for her sophomore year, and just completed her junior year in May of 2020.

Taking advantage of the school’s placement office, Alice has obtained two summer jobs with companies that have strong alumni ties.  Between her sophomore and junior years, Alice worked in San Francisco with Bay Clubs.  At the SHA Career Fair her junior year, Alice found a job with Delaware North to work in the Human Resources department at Shenandoah National Park during the summer of 2020.  Unfortunately, her HR opportunity was eliminated because of COVID related cutbacks.  However, Delaware North saw Alice’s talents and enthusiasm and offered her the opportunity to work as a “floater” across many departments in the park.  Before the summer would end, Alice found herself being promoted to a management position in the Food and Beverage department.

Concurrent with her time at Shenandoah, Alice leveraged her personal network of friends at Cornell to find a part-time job strategically placing internet ads on Google on behalf of a non-profit promoting early heart screening for kids.  When she is not encountering bears in the backwoods of Shenandoah, Alice drives to the local Dunkin Donut to take advantage of the internet and work on her Google ad assignments.  She has found working with a nonprofit and being in charge of $10,000 a month in Google Ad grant money to be extremely satisfying.

Beyond graduation, Alice is open to any area within hospitality, as long as she gets to “be with people and help people.”  Consistent with this ethos, her greatest interests lie in Human Resources and Food and Beverage.  Accordingly, Alice has struck up a strong relationship with Heather Jacobs ’94, Senior Vice President of People and Culture at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.  They met during a meeting of the Female Leadership in Hospitality Club.  Alice has been very impressed, and thankful, for all the one-on-one time Heather has given to her over the years, both on campus and over the phone.

Part of her reward for winning the Phil Miller III ’83 Legacy Award is a trip to New York in November of 2020 to participate in all the alumni events related to HX: The Hotel Experience convention.  Alice hopes that her return to Ithaca in the fall of 2020 is both successful and healthy enough to allow her to continue to experience the strong Hotelie network in New York.

Below, Alice (on the right) celebrates virtual HEC 95 in the spring of 2020.

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The Cornell Hotel Society and Cornell Hotel Foundation congratulate Colette and Alice, and welcome them to the Hotelie for Life® network. This interview was conducted by Robert Mandelbaum ’81.

Chloe Jones ‘20 Philippus Miller III ‘83 Hotelie for Life® Prize Winner

Everyday, hundreds of Hotelies enter Statler Hall under the famous quote from Ellsworth Statler:

“Life is service – the one who progresses is the one who gives his fellow men a little more – a little better service.”

Since childhood, “life is service” has been imbedded in the soul of Chloe Jones ’20.  By living the “life is service” ethos during her four years at the Hotel School, Chloe was selected as the 2020 winner of the inaugural Philippus Miller III ’83 Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) Hotelie for Life® Senior Prize.  The $10,000 award is granted to the best all-around Hotel School senior who demonstrates and embraces what it means to be a Hotelie for Life®.  The award is named after Philippus Miller ’83 who had an illustrious career of facilitating relationships among Hotel School students, faculty and alumni.  Phil served as director of alumni affairs at the Hotel School and founded the executive search firm Philippus Miller III and Associates.

A self-described “people person”, Chloe matches the amiable qualities of Phil Miller.  From an early age, Chloe knew she wanted to be a front-of-the-house person interacting with people face-to-face.  Being buried back-of-the-house (except in the kitchen, of course) was not the way she wanted to spend her career in the hospitality industry.

Chloe fell in love with the hospitality industry as her family traveled across the country and stayed in hotels.  She loved congregating with people at the sugary morning breakfast buffet and dreamed of operating her own property one day.  At home, food was an important part of her family.  Her desire to organize her own birthday parties was an early indicator of Chloe’s passion for event planning.

Chloe learned about the Hotel School from family friend Tim Loughman ’83.  This was her first exposure to the Hotelie network.  During her visit to campus Chloe was able to attend a Hotel School information session.  She was very impressed with the passion of the student ambassadors, as well as the beauty of Statler Hall and Hotel.  This person-to-person engagement with the ambassadors made a strong impression on Chloe.  She too would become an ambassador a few years later and enjoy the opportunity to tout the virtues of the Hotel School.

Once on campus, Chloe was a die-hard Hotelie with a deep love for the hospitality industry and Hotel School.  Initially she loaded up on courses related to her passions for food and beverage, as well as event planning.  However, she does admit that some of her favorite courses were taken outside of Statler.  Chloe ventured across campus to take classes in environmental science, Shakespeare, and the Italian Mafia.  Sustainability is an area of personal interest for Chloe.  She is very concerned about the health of the world’s oceans and American agriculture.

By taking classes outside of Statler, Chloe began to understand that the “life is service” education she received in the Hotel School was not restricted to implementation solely within the hospitality industry.  It could be applied across all businesses and aspects of life.  This awareness helped her develop her thoughts on the positive role the Hotel School could play within the S.C. Johnson College of Business, and acceptance of the fact that not all Hotelies are interested in people-facing careers directly within the hospitality industry.

That being said, Chloe has been true to her heart, and took on summer jobs that filled her thirst to be out in front with the hotel guests.  She lived in, and worked in, a small hotel in England for two summers where she performed all roles from housekeeper to server.  In between her junior and senior years Chloe was fortunate to get an intense immersion of guest service at the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Chloe impressed her employer so much that she received an offer from Four Seasons to join their management training program (in operations of course) upon graduation.

Despite being a people person, Chloe admits that she was not the best networker entering Cornell.  However (paraphrasing Chloe), “after four years at the Hotel School, you can’t help but get involved with the alumni network.”  One of the greatest lessons she learned from an alumnus was the need to be flexible.  Being a planner by nature, she understands that environments change, and you need to adapt.

Her ability to adapt has been tested in 2020.  Because of the COVID pandemic, on-campus classes were suspended, and her employment with Four Seasons has been postponed.  Chloe has adapted by staying in Ithaca to finish her senior year on-line.  It was a struggle to be away from her family, but everyone understood that it was healthier for her to stay in less-densely populated Ithaca, as compared to the virus-stricken Westchester County.

While spending time in Ithaca, Chloe has furthered her knowledge of Cornell.  During her research she uncovered text from a letter sent by Willard Straight to his son with an inspiring message that is very applicable during the spring of 2020.

“‘Treat all women with courtesy. The respect of your fellows is worth more than applause. Understand and sympathize with those who are less fortunate than you are. Make up your mind but respect the opinions of others. Think it out yourself guided by the choice of those whom you respect. Hold your head high and keep your mind open, you can always learn.'”

The COVID pandemic also caused the postponement of one of the biggest honors of being the Hotelie for Life® prize winner; the ability to deliver the commencement address at the Hotel School graduation ceremony.  Chloe will have the opportunity to speak in front of her classmates during the re-scheduled 2020 class graduation ceremonies in early June 2021.  Chloe is not sure what the theme of her commencement address will be, but she believes it will be COVID related, and the lessons she has learned about adaptability.

CHS bets that there will also be a message of “life is service” embedded in the speech as well.

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The Cornell Hotel Society and Cornell Hotel Foundation congratulate Chloe, and wish her the best of success on her journey as a Hotelie for Life®.  This interview was conducted by Robert Mandelbaum ’81.

Madison Austrich ‘19 – Hotelie for Life® Prize Winner

During her speech at the May 2019 School of Hotel Administration (SHA) graduation ceremony, Madison Austrich ’19 asked her fellow graduates to be mindful of the moment. By remembering graduation day, her fellow Hotelies will have this occasion of pride and accomplishment to draw upon to gain confidence during future challenging professional or personal events. Providing advice and preaching mindfulness are two of Madison’s many passions she practiced during her four years at Cornell. In fact, it was receiving advice from Kayti Stanley ’18 (the 2018 Hotelie for Life® Prize winner) during her freshman orientation that ignited Madison’s confidence to become a leader while on campus.

Madison had the honor of addressing her classmates at graduation as the 2019 winner of the Hotelie for Life® Prize (formerly known as the Joseph Drown Special Prize). The prize is awarded to a Hotel School senior who has demonstrated academic excellence, extracurricular leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, social responsibility and well-conceived career goals and aspirations. The award is sponsored by the Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) and the CHS Foundation.  (Note: Click on picture to listen to Madison’s speech)

Madison’s first contact with the Hotelie network came during high school in Florida. The parents of a member of her crew boat were both Hotelies. From them she learned that she could have an education and career in hospitality. After visiting campus for the first time and interviewing with Brad Walp, Madison returned home and immediately submitted her application for early decision to the Hotel School. A few months later, Madison was excited to turn down rowing scholarship offers from other universities, including The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, when she received her acceptance letter from Cornell.

When arriving in Ithaca, Madison assumed her life would be led by crew. While her teammates on the crew team helped her tremendously during her freshman year, Hotel School related activities shortly began to dominate her time on campus. Appreciating the benefit she received during the orientation process, Madison joined The Hotel School Ambassadors. Her interest in the new student experience eventually led her to become President of the organization her senior year. During her time as a leader she dramatically changed the process for selecting ambassadors, focusing more on the sincerity of the applicants, as opposed to their resume.

Besides excellence in the classroom, Madison was involved in several extracurricular activities beyond The Hotel School Ambassadors. All told, Madison was an active participant and leader in 13 different student organizations and successfully competed in four case study competitions. Three other organizations helped shape Madison more than others, and vice versa: Hotel Ezra Cornell, The 180, and serving as a teaching assistant.

  • Madison served as an HEC leader her first three years as a Hotelie. She started as a service manager her freshman year, and then took on assistant director positions in service, operations, and finance. From this experience she honed her skills as a leader.
  • Exemplary of her diverse academic talents and interests, Madison served as a Teaching Assistant in four different classes for three different professors. Her primary focus was in the areas of modeling, accounting and finance. Upon entering school, Madison had little exposure to these areas, but completely fell in love with finance during her time at Cornell. Now, after graduation, Madison has accepted a position with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts as a Finance Manager-in-Training on Maui.
  • Madison was a Founding Member of The 180, a “yearbook-like” publication that features the stories of Hotelie heroes not typically heard. Serving as the Managing Director her senior year, the experience allowed Madison the opportunity to observe and record the creative side of Hotelies. In addition, as a Founding Member of the organization, she participated in the process of establishing the club’s by-laws, organizational structure, and culture.

When asked what it means to be a Hotelie for Life®, Madison reverted to the motto that binds all Hotelies – “Life is Service”. For Madison, service goes beyond the traditional examples cited within the hospitality industry. Madison appreciates the day-to-day interactions with people who provide joy to others with a smile or a thoughtful response to the question, “How are you doing?”

Grounding Madison’s diverse and successful time at Cornell was her belief in mindfulness. When she began to prepare her graduation remarks, mindfulness was just a small part of the speech. Then, while reviewing her text with Professor Amy Newman, it soon became evident that mindfulness needed to become more prominent to deliver a passionate and sincere message. For Madison, mindfulness trains your brain to “enjoy life while it is happening. Once you’ve experienced something mindfully, you can always go back to that.”

Madison must have a highly trained brain. She had a lot of enjoyable and successful experiences at Cornell to be mindful of.

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The Cornell Hotel Society and Cornell Hotel Foundation congratulate Madison and wish her the best of success on her journey as a Hotelie for Life®. This interview conducted by Robert Mandelbaum ’81.