Dozens of Hotel School alumni and student leaders attended the Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference (CALC) from February 3 to 4, 2017 in Baltimore, MD. The Hotelies were there because they are class officers, Cornell Club leaders, or CHS leaders.

On Friday night, February 3, CHS hosted a private dinner for all Hotelies in attendance at “Wit & Wisdom”, the Michael Mina restaurant in the Four Seasons Baltimore Hotel. Thank you to Ed Evans ’74, Executive VP & Chief Human Resources Officer, for generously subsidizing the event, and Raj Chandnani ’95, WATG | Wimberly Interiors Vice President Strategy, for organizing the dinner.

Private CHS Dinner at Wit & Wisdom, Four Seasons Baltimore

Hotelies dine at Wit & Wisdom, Four Seasons Baltimore

Cheers! From the Hotelies attending CALC

CHS lunch table at CALC.  From left to right: Sophia Lin Kanno ’05, Julie Zagars ’94, Stacey Nadolny ’05, Cheryl Boyer ’87, Wendy Gettleman ’87,Raj Chandnani ’95

Grilled Cheese and Wine

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017 the Georgia Chapter gathered at Three Sheets restaurant in Sandy Springs. Fourteen Hotelies and guests enjoyed a five course dinner of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, each paired with a complementary wine.  A special welcome to the new Hotelies in town that attended the event.  Thanks to chapter President Drew Wallace MMH ’12 who organized the dinner.


Five courses. Five wines.

Course 1: Three cheeses, spinach, artichoke
Course 2: Swiss, asparagus and fried onions

Course 3: Two cheeses, Andouille, onions and peppers
Course 4: Smoke gouda and BBQ pork

Cream cheese, white chocolate and raspberries.

Hotelies Dine at Padise Manor in Estonia

On January 20, 2017, the Finland, Russia, and Baltics Chapter gathered at the stately Padise Manor in Estonia for a five course gourmet dinner.  Joining the group was special guest, SHA faculty member Mona Anita Olsen ’04.

Hotelies from the Baltic and Scandinavian region gathered in Estonia.

A wonderful five course meal paired with wines.

Baltic regional Hotelies carry the banner.

CHS France Meets at Le Bristol Paris

On January 11, 2017, the Cornell Hotel Society of France held a cocktail reception in honor of Luca Allegri, President and Managing Director of Hotel Le Bristol Paris.  The event was held in Le Bar due Bristol, the beautiful cocktail lounge in the hotel.  The event was organized by chapter President, Monika Moser PDP ’99.

Amel Ziani-Orus, Anne Verdier and Erwan Castain

Rosa Plee, Ceres Andrieux, Xavier Barbaux, Joerg Boehler, and Curtis Bartosik

Finland, Baltics and Russia Chapter – Helsinki June 2016

CHS Finland, Baltics and Russia Chapter meeting hosted by Ville Relander IMHI ’05 in his restaurant, Holiday , in Helsinki. Ville shared how he went to Tel Aviv to search for concept ideas based on their trendy restaurant scene.


Pictured from left to right Esko Paalasmaa ’76, Jere Talonen IMHI ’97 , Martti Palonperä ’77 MPS ’94; host Ville Relander , Deiv Salutskij ’71 ,Karl von Ramm MMH ’10; Mikael Swanljung MPS ‘91 and Juha Mähönen GMP ’05 . Missing from the picture is Veikko Vuoristo ’76 who arrived after the photo was taken.


HEC 91- the new normal

March 18-20, 2016

This spring, our annual student-run conference showcasing hospitality education through student leadership inspired confidence in passing off the proverbial baton to the next generation. During our three days, the 91st Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell conference touched on the issues that are driving the new normal, including the influence of Millennials, social media, and third-party intermediaries.

Staying true to the Millennials trend, the outstanding educational seminars were live-streamed through Periscope and included Keeping Up with the New Consumer, The Evolution of Diversity, and Demystifying the Digital Marketplace.

The event also featured former President of Ritz Carlton Horst Schulze, who spoke on the New Normal of Luxury; Growth in the Face of Volatility.

We ended the weekend with a business plan competition, which gave our attendees the opportunity to utilize their strengths to compete against one another in a fun environment!

For more photos and videos, check out

Innovators Soar to Success Thanks to Hotelie Network

If necessity is the mother of invention, extreme discomfort might be the mother of necessity, as Cornell Alumnus Arthur Chang discovered during a return flight from the Dominican Republic back in 2001. After jostling for armrest position yet again, he conceived an idea of a contraption that would provide much needed comfort to a cramped airline seat. He set the idea aside, though, as he entered into the competitive industry of hospitality consulting with Jim Coyle’s (’87) prestigious firm Coyle Hospitality Group; meanwhile, his wife and fellow Cornell Alumnus, Grace, earned her masters degree in architecture and began working in design.

Arthur & Grace Chang

Arthur & Grace Chang

The airline comfort idea never fully died, though, and in 2011 the Changs decided to bring their brainchild to life. Thanks to Arthur’s vision and Grace’s background in design, they created a sleek, lightweight, attachable armrest divider that successfully ends the fight for armrest space, allowing both sides to share equally. The couple searched for ways to bring it to market, but struggled to interest vendors in their design.

Fortunately, they belong to an innovative network of people who share their entrepreneurial spirit: The Cornell Hotel Society. Arthur and Grace began to consult with old friends and fellow Cornell Alumni, who offered valuable insight into the Changs’ branding and marketing strategy. The Changs engaged with Hotelie Kira Kohrherr (’01), who helped with the company’s rebranding; with a new name and a strategic marketing campaign, Soarigami quickly took off.

Deeply impressed, the television marketing experts at Will It Launch brought Soarigami to “As Seen On TV,” and the Changs’ savvy invention began to revolutionize the travel industry as it received international acclaim and became the “product to have,” according to publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Fast Company, CNN, Gizmodo, The Atlantic, and over 400 others in 50 countries.

Thankful not only for the success of their invention but for the instrumental advice and support from their fellow Cornell alumni, the Changs were inspired to give back during Entrepreneurship@Cornell’s Annual Celebration Conference. As Arthur put it, “We were blown away by all the students who have ideas to disrupt industry and change the world. Our idea feels so small compared to these students’ (ideas).” Thus, Arthur and Grace led the way in creating the “Launch your Idea!” consumer product competition.

5This competition, made possible by a deal that the Changs brokered between Entrepreneurship@Cornell and Will it Launch, will look for the next big “it” idea among Cornell students and alumni and will connect the winner directly to both funding and to the people who can bring it to market. The Changs’ biggest regret is not going to their CHS network sooner, so they are thrilled at the chance to help others by smoothing the way for fellow Cornell students and alumni.

Arthur and Grace are taking all that they’ve learned from their entrepreneurial adventure and leveraging it into the start-up world. Most significantly, they remember that this sense of community and belonging comes full circle: connected every step of the way to their fellow Hotelies, they received support to become an international success, and now will influence those who follow in their rather impressive footsteps.

Cultivating the Digital Hospitality Experience


Yotel brings fresh insight to the modern guest experience.

The way travelers views accommodations is changing — and Yotel is at the forefront of this market dynamic. Yotel is a unique series of hotels offering intimate, artfully designed spaces that combine affordable luxury with a clean, tech-driven approach and a Japanese-inspired aesthetic. Offering three airport-based hotels in London and Amsterdam, as well as a 600-cabin hotel in New York City, Yotel is reshaping the industry’s approach to lodging. They’ve successfully positioned themselves as a digital leader in hotels through implementation of the latest technology and a hyperawareness of the needs of today’s modern guest.

“We look at the hospitality industry and take things from a technology perspective,” explains Jason Brown ’05, Chief Development Officer at Yotel. “An example of that is the check-in kiosk. The airlines have done a great job over the last 20 years of getting people used to checking in on kiosks, but that had never been done in hotels before because it was said that no one would ever use them. But it was actually fantastic—95%+ of our check-ins and checkouts are done at kiosks now. And this really frees up our crew members’ time to do what they are supposed to do—deliver exceptional hospitality.”

Each Yotel offers guests simple, thoughtfully designed rooms that provide luxury without the expensive provisions that tend to spike the prices of other rooms. Guests enjoy free wifi, workspaces with printers, galley kitchens with complimentary beverages, and other offerings that cater to today’s budget-savvy consumer. The New York location features robotic luggage storage and numerous spaces for mixing and mingling, while Yotel’s airport locations offer guests in-terminal accommodations that are bookable in hourly increments, providing a respite for travelers to rest or work between flights. “We’ve created an environment where guests can work, play, eat, and sleep — delivered in a digital footprint,” says Brown.

Yotel has enjoyed incredible success with this model, building on its original European offerings to its New York location the United States. Plans for expansion include the 2018 opening of a 600-cabin hotel in the heart of Singapore’s bustling fashion district.

Extensive Cornell analysis shows real impact of hotel loyalty program

by Peter Glanville

Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration has released a compelling study measuring the direct impact of the Stash Rewards loyalty program on hotels, one of the first detailed studies showing how a loyalty program affects actual loyalty.

SHA2The main limitation is the focus on the third-party Stash Rewards program, as it does not offer conclusions related to the performance of existing hotel chains’ loyalty programs. Nonetheless, the study details just how independent chains can benefit from a third-party program – and Stash Rewards is, according to the company, the largest program for independent hotels in the United States.

The study considered two separate hotel groups: one of is a regional group with over a dozen properties with an ADR of $73 and the other is a more upscale, with an ADR of $261 across more than dozen properties. By using a statistical procedure known as “coarsened exact matching,” the study authors ensured that each data point is matched with a similar one for comparison purposes.

This means that each member was matched with a non-member, with the matched pairs occurring between guests that had the most comparable spending patterns in the 365 day period before enrolling in the loyalty program. One of the matches then enrolled in the program, while the other remained a non-member, allowing the behavior to be compared to see how spending was affected in the 365 day period post-enrollment.


Read more at here.

Sticktion: Memory as the catalyst for a better customer experience


SHA1Lou Carbone, CEO of Experience Engineering, came to share his work with Professor Kathy LaTour’s marketing classes (services marketing, principles of marketing). Carbone and LaTour have been working together on various projects for the last fifteen years, after meeting at the Mind of the Market Lab at the Harvard Business School.

Professor LaTour’s work on memory reconstruction offered important insights into how marketers can “backward”-frame an experience by influencing how consumers remembered the event. Carbone’s work on experience design had primarily focused on engineering the experience prior and during by implementing clues that guide how consumers interpret the experience. Most recently they published an article in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly on “Sticktion: Assessing Memory for the Customer Experience”