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In 1989 at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago, a $100,000 check was presented by Carl T. Motteck (B.A. ’51), president of Hilton Hotels Corporation, to what was then called the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. This represented the first installment in a $500,000 commitment by Hilton Hotels Corporation to create the Hilton Hotels Professor of Hospitality Financial Management.

Ray Schmidgall was selected as the first Hilton Hotels Professor of Hospitality Financial Management in 1989. He is still the only MSU professor to serve as the Hilton Hotels Professor. Schmidgall conceived of the idea of a “Hilton Lecture Series,” which each year would address a single, topical issue facing the hospitality industry from both the hospitality industry’s and the hospitality academy’s perspectives. This innovative lecture series began in 1991 and continues today to bring leading hospitality experts to campus each fall.

Past Hilton Lecture Series

  • Hilton Lecture Series XXVIII

    October 18-19, 2018

    Topic: Women in Financial Leadership

    Academic and Industry Speakers:

    • Agnes L. DeFranco, Professor, Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair, University of Houston
    • Cindy Braak (B.A. ’78), Senior Vice President, Finance Business Partner, Marriott International, Inc.
    • Peggy Berg (B.A. ’78), Director, The Castell Project, Inc.
  • Hilton Lecture Series XXVII

    October 12-13, 2017

    Topic: Print Media

    Academic Speaker: Eliza Selig, Director of Communication at Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals.

    As the director of communications for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), a nonprofit, international association, she manages and produces a wide variety of communication, educational and marketing projects. Selig is the in-house editor, author, manager, consultant and designer for all communications projects, helping the organization produce successful publications that meet the organization’s goals.

    Industry Speaker: Atul Sheel, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor of Finance at University of Massachusetts (Isenberg School of Management)

    Sheel received his Ph.D. in business administration (finance) from the University of Massachusetts. He has several years of quality executive experience in the hospitality industry. He has published several refereed papers in national and international refereed journals, including the Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, Journal of Hospitality Financial Management, Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism, and Hospitality Research Journal. He is the editor of the Journal of Hospitality Financial Management and serves on the editorial review board of several important refereed journals, including the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration, the Journal of Food Service Business Research, and the UNLV Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Science.

  • Hilton Lecture Series XXVI

    October 8-9, 2015

    Topic: The “Art” of the Deal

    Industry Speaker: This year Matthew Sparks (B.A. ’94) spoke to undergraduates on the sale of the Waldorf Astoria New York in early 2015. Sparks is the senior vice president of luxury, lifestyle and full-service development for Hilton Worldwide, leading the company’s corporate and luxury brand growth and development in North America. Hilton’s luxury brands include both the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts brands.

    Academic Speaker: John O’Neill, professor and director of the Center for Hospitality Real Estate Strategy at Penn State University, addressed graduate students, faculty and staff, sharing a paper on the sale of hotels, exploring when and why investors sell.

  • Hilton Lecture Series XXV

    September 18-19, 2014

    Topic: Globalization Revisited

    Industry Speaker: Fred Kleisner (B.A. ’66), independent director of publicly held companies including Kindred Healthcare and Apollo Residential Mortgage, as well as Caesars Entertainment

    Academic Speaker: Chekitan S. Dev, associate professor of strategic marketing and brand management in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University

  • Hilton Lecture Series XXIV

    October 17-18, 2013

    Topic: Think Like the Owner

    Academic and Industry Speakers:

    • HP Rama, chairman and CEO of JHM Hotels and past chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association
    • Dr. Barry Bloom, COO of Inland American Lodging Advisor, Inc.
  • Hilton Lecture Series XXIII

    October 4-5, 2012

    Topic: The Evolution of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry

    Industry Speakers:

    • John Baldante, PKF
    • Robert Mandelbaum, PKF
  • Hilton Lecture Series XXII

    September 29-30, 2011

    Topic: International Financial Reporting Standards

    Industry Speaker: Arlene Ramirez, Controller of the Woodlands, shared her vast knowledge of IFRS with students.

    Academic Speaker: Ersem Karadag, Robert Morris University, discussed his research regarding this soon-to-be-required financial reporting system for U.S. public companies.

  • Hilton Lecture Series XXI

    September 30 – October 1, 2010

    Topic: Research perspective on the hospitality accounting profession

    Industry Speaker: Lucinda Hart, COO, HFTP

    Academic Speaker: Gordon Potter, professor, Cornell

  • Hilton Lecture Series XX

    November 2009

    Topic: Club Management

    Industry Speaker: James B. Singerling, CCM, CEO of Club Managers Association of America (CMAA)

    Academic Speaker: Dr. Jason P. Koenigsfeld, senior vice president of professional development of CMAA

    Two panels of industry experts addressed what they viewed as pressing issues facing their industry. One panel of COOs/GMs covered “Revenue Growth Strategies for the Future,” with Rick Bayliss (B.A. ’85), CCM, CCE, chief operating officer of The Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, Florida, and national director on the board of the CMAA, serving as moderator. Panel members included Jeff Anderson (B.A. ’90), CCM, general manager of the Traverse City Golf & Country Club; Todd Beals, chief operating officer of the Detroit Golf Club; and Richard Bruner, general manager of the University Club of MSU.

    The panel of controllers discussed “Cost Control Strategies for Tough Times” with Tom Smith, CHAE, chief financial officer of the Westmoor Country Club, serving as moderator. Panel members included Frank Agnello (B.A. ’80), controller of the Wyndgate Country Club; Cheryl Brennan, controller of the Bloomfield Hills Country Club; and Rosemarie Harmon, controller of the University Club of MSU.

    Both groups presented creative ideas, and both concluded that early student involvement in the CMAA is critical to the future of the club industry.

  • Hilton Lecture Series XIX

    September 2008

    Topic: Revenue Management

    Industry Speakers:

    • JoAnn Cordary Bundock, senior vice president of International Revenue Management, Marriott Lodging, Inc.
    • Gregory J. Cross, senior vice president, Revenue Management, Hilton Hotels Corporation
    • Bill Winzer, vice president, Pricing & Analysis, International Revenue Management, Marriott Lodging, Inc.
    • John F. Luke, general manager, Hilton Minneapolis, Hilton Hotel Corporation
    • William Ninivaggi, area general manager, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

    Academic Speaker: Stowe Shoemaker, associate dean of research and Donald Hubbs professor, Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston.

  • Hilton Lecture Series XVIII

    September 2007

    Topic: Statistical Research Methodology

    Academic Speakers:

    • Seung Hyun Kim, assistant professor, Hospitality and Tourism Department, Buffalo State – State University of New York
    • Anna Mattila, associate professor, Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Recreation Management, Penn State University
    • Connie Page, director, Center for Statistical Training and Consulting, Michigan State University
  • Hilton Lecture Series XVII

    October 2006

    Topic: Hospitality Executive Development Summit

    Participants:

    • Tony Alexander, director of merchandising, Chartwells School Dining Services
    • Steve Bauman, vice president of talent acquisition and HR research, Marriott International Inc.
    • Jeff A. Beck, assistant professor, The School of Hospitality Business
    • John Bernier, director of human resources, Hilton Hotels
    • Carl Borchgrevink, associate professor, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Ronald F. Cichy (B.A. ’72, MBA ’77), director and professor, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Authella Collins Hawks, SIRC director, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Billy Downs (B.A. ’88), president and CEO, bd’s Mongolian Barbeque Restaurants
    • Jeffery D. Elsworth, assistant professor, The School of Hospitality Business
    • David Frayer, director, Broad College Executive Development Programs
    • Samir Gupte, vice president of human resources, Bahama Breeze
    • Sherri G. Henry, coordinator of academic student services, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Michael L. Kasavana, The National Automatic Merchandising Association Professor in Hospitality Business, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Bonnie J. Knutson, professor, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Lena Loeffler, assistant to The School director, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Michael L. Minor, director of culinary services, Custom Culinary, Inc.
    • Jack D. Ninemeier, professor, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Jim Phelps, president, Northcrest Corporation
    • Mark Prince, general manager, Marriott Hotel Indianapolis, White Lodging Services
    • James F. Rainey, associate dean emeritus and graduate programs coordinator, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Michael H. Rice (B.A. ’76), director, auxiliary services, MSU Housing and Foodservice
    • Mike Rice (B.A. ’91), general manager, Quality Suites Hotel
    • Raymond S. Schmidgall, Hilton Hotels Professor of Hospitality Financial Management, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Allan L. Sherwin, Dr. Lewis J. and Mrs. Ruth E. Minor Chef – Professor of Culinary Management, The School of Hospitality Business
    • Arjun Singh, associate professor, The School of Hospitality Business
    • John Theuer (B.A. ’82, MBA ’83), CFO, Panda Restaurant Group, LLC
    • Jim Wardlow, principal, Publicom, Inc.
  • Hilton Lecture Series XVI

    September 2005

    Topic: Global Real Estate Development

    Industry Speaker: Hugh A. Andrews (B.A. ’71, MBA ’72), founder and president, International Hospitality Enterprises, Inc.

    Academic Speaker: Allen Toman, professor of real estate and finance, École hôtelière de Lausanne

  • Hilton Lecture Series XV

    October 2004

    Topic: Foodservice Leadership

    Industry Speaker: Philip J. Hickey, Jr. (B.A. ’77), chairman and CEO, RARE Hospitality International, Inc.

    Academic Speaker: William Fisher, Darden Eminent Scholar in Restaurant Management, Rosen School of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida

  • Hilton Lecture Series XIV

    October 2003

    Topic: Asset Management

    Industry Speaker: David Johnstone (B.A. ’79), senior vice president, Millerglobal Properties LLC

    Academic Speaker: Jack Corgil, professor, School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University

  • Hilton Lecture Series XIII

    November 2002

    Topic: Financial Management Education

    Industry Speaker: Jim Burba (B.A. ’77), Vice President/Worldwide Director of Advising Services, Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo

    Academic Speaker:

    Agnes DeFranco, interim dean, Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston

    Attendees:

    • Raymond Schmidgall, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • Authella Collins Hawks, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • Bonnie Knutson, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • Ronald F. Cichy (B.A. ’72, MBA ’77), The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • Daniel Daniele (B.A. ’77), Baymont Franchises International, Inc.
    • Stuart Turner (B.A. ’97), Secured Capital Corporation
    • Peggy Berg (B.A. ’78), Hotel Investment Advisement, Inc.
    • Blair Wills (B.A. ’02), Hotel Asset Value Enhancement, LLC
    • Richard Conti (MBA ’76), Boykin Lodging Company
    • Sherri Henry, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • Alan Grunewald, Department of Finance, MSU
    • David Johnstone (B.A. ’79), Millerglobal Properties LLC
    • Michael Damitio (B.A. ’96), Department of Accounting, Central Michigan University
    • Kristin St. Marie (B.A. ’87, M.S. ’99), MSU
    • Charles Goffnett (B.A. ’03), Houston’s Restaurants
    • Joel Hiser (B.A. ’73), Horwath Hospitality Investment Advisors
    • James Anhut (MBA ’85), Six Continents Hotels
    • Katherine Hooper, (B.A. ’03), MSU
    • Frank Agnello, Jr. (B.A. ’80), the Wyndgate Club
    • Tierney Orfgen (M.S. ’02), MSU
    • John Weeman, Jr. (MBA ’79), Weeman Partners in Development
    • Jeff Elsworth, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • James Burba (B.A. ’77), Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo
    • Michael Kasavana, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • Jeff Beck, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • Richard Bruner, General Manager, University Club of MSU
    • AJ Singh, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
    • Carl Borchgrevink, The School of Hospitality Business, MSU
  • Hilton Lecture Series XII

    September 2001

    Topic: The Future of Hospitality Education

    Dean of the Summit: W. Terry Umbreit (B.A. ’63), Director – Hotel and Restaurant Administration, Washington State University

    Industry Speaker: Professor Donald I. Smith, formerly CEO of Shakey’s Pizza, and former director of MSU’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM)

    Academic Speaker: William Lazer, professor emeritus of Michigan State University and distinguished research Scholar and Sensormatic chair in marketing at Florida Atlantic University

  • Hilton Lecture Series XI

    October 2000

    Topic: Quality and Ethics

    Industry Speaker: Patrick Mene, vice president of quality, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

    Academic Speaker: Steve Hall (MBA ’66), founder and director, International Institute of Quality & Ethics in Service and Tourism

  • Hilton Lecture Series X

    October 1999

    Topic: Hospitality Technology

    Industry Speaker: Francis J. Durocher, senior vice president and CIO, Hilton Hotels Corporation

    Academic Speaker: Mark Hamilton, associate professor, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston

  • Hilton Lecture Series IX

    October 1998

    Topic: Hotel Industry Statistics

    Industry Speakers:

    • Richard C. Conti (MBA ’76), chief operating officer, Boykin Lodging Company
    • Chuck Ross (MBA ’76), vice president, Smith Travel Research

    Academic Speaker: Jan DeRoos, assistant professor, School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University

  • Hilton Lecture Series VIII

    October 1997

    Topic: Strategic Planning

    Industry Speaker: Morris Lasky, president, Lodging Unlimited, Inc.

    Academic Speaker: Michael D. Olsen (B.A. ’67, MBA ’73), professor, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

  • Hilton Lecture Series VII

    March 1997

    Topic: Mergers and Acquisitions

    Industry Speaker: Steven N. Kisielica (B.A. ’92), director of development, Geller and Co.

    Academic Speaker: Francis A. Kwansa, associate professor, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, University of Delaware

  • Hilton Lecture Series VI

    October 1995

    Topic: Consulting

    Industry Speaker: Peggy A. Berg (B.A. ’78), president of the Highland Group

    Academic Speaker: Paul Beals, director and professor, Statler Hotel Management Program, Canisius College

  • Hilton Lecture Series V

    October 1994

    Topic: Hospitality Valuation

    Industry Speaker: Stephen Rushmore, president, Hospitality Valuation Services

    Academic Speaker: Rick Andrew, associate professor of hospitality finance, Penn State University

  • Hilton Lecture Series IV

    October 1993

    Topic: Trends in Franchising

    Industry Speakers:

    • Donald L. Harrill, executive vice president of Hilton Inns, Inc.
    • Dan Hannah, executive director of franchising, TGI Friday’s

    Academic Speaker: Mahmood Kahn, professor and head, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

  • Hilton Lecture Series III

    October 1992

    Topic: Leadership

    Industry Speaker: Carl T. Mottek (B.A. ’51), president, Hilton Hotels Division

    Academic Speaker: Florence Berger, professor, School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University

  • Hilton Lecture Series II

    April 1992

    Topic: Ethics

    Industry Speakers: William C. Lebo, senior vice president and general counsel, Hilton Hotels Corporation

    Academic Speaker: David L. Whitney, associate professor, Department of Marketing and Hospitality Services Administration, Central Michigan University

  • Hilton Lecture Series I

    October 1991

    Topic: Globalization

    Industry Speakers: Eric M. Hilton, president, Conrad Hotels International

    Academic Speaker: Robert Wilson, professor, Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration, University of Massachusetts-Amherst