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2019 PSHRS Alumni Awards Honorees
2019 PSHRS Alumni Award Honorees: left to right: Kayla Shull, Daniel Brauer, Meredith Ortals, Glenn Lewis, George Dabney, Tim Colligan, John Ventura, Megan Kehler
PSHRS Alumni Awards 2020 Call for Nominations
The Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS) is seeking nominations for several alumni awards. Please consider nominating outstanding alumni within your organization, criteria is listed below.

Awards will be presented Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at University Park Campus in conjunction with the PSHRS Alumni in the Classroom event. Nominees must be able to attend the awards reception.

PSHRS Awards Criteria

Alumni of the Year Award icon-olus-circle


  • Graduate of any Penn State program and received a degree more than ten years ago
  • Current Member of PSHRS
  • Actively participates in various activities, with Penn State and PSHRS
  • Demonstrates consistent career progression and leadership in their job in the hospitality industry
  • Had a leadership role in a community service organization through company-sponsored events or personal pursuits

Past Recipients

2019: George Dabney, '88, Thayer Lodging, Brookfield Hotel Properties

2018:  Hugh Roth, '87, PepsiCo Global Food Service

2017 :John Metz, Jr. '90, Sterling Hospitality

2016: Tom Martini '88, Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh Hotel

2015: Bill Kohl ’85, Greenwood Hospitality Group

2014: Tom Smith ’82, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

2013: Debbie Ulrich ’77, Sysco Central Pennsylvania

2012: Ted Farrand ’71, Cini-Little International, Inc.

2011: Bruce Thomas ’80, Geisinger Health Systems

2010: Dave Scypinski ’77, Conference Direct

2009: Lea Ann Kish ’87, Milestone Hospitality

2008: Ed Book, Jr. ’79, Marriott

2007: Bill Kidd ’87, Host Hotels and Resorts

2006: Joe McCann ’78, Optimum Hotel Brokerage

2005: Bart Bartlett ’76, Penn State School of Hospitality Management

2004: Jim Purdum ’75, Penn State Hospitality Services

2003: Tom Ruff ’77, Biltmore Resort

2002: Ed Brown ‘58

2001: Franco Harris ’72 Super Bakery

2000: Harvey Kamp ‘70

1999: Darlene Brady ’75, Disney

1998:  Jim Moore ‘57


Alumni Industry Achievement Award icon-olus-circle


  • Graduate of any Penn State hospitality program and received a degree more than ten years ago
  • Demonstrates consistent career progression and leadership in their job in the hospitality industry
  • Had a leadership role in a community service organization through company-sponsored events or personal pursuits

Past Recipients


Tim Colligan ‘86, Oracle Hospitality
Glenn Lewis ‘77, Marriott International
Jay Lynn ‘89


Jamie Moore, '96, Eat'n Park Hospitality Group
Jack Moyer, '89, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa
John Rubino, '86, Interstate Hotels and Resorts


Bart Berkey '89, Marriott International
Doug Gehret '92, Hilton Worldwide
Marc Goldberg '84, Compass Organization


Rob Carl `85, Felcor Lodging Trust, Inc.
Nina Doumani `89, Marriott International
Heather Seasholtz `98, Talley Management Group


Richard Budney '85, Sodexo
Daniel Entenberg '01, Gramercy Park Hotel
Rob Tannenbaum '89, DiamondRock Hospitality Group

Emerging Undergraduate Award icon-olus-circle


  • Graduated within the last 10 years from Penn State from a hospitality bachelor’s degree program
  • Actively participates in various activities, either with Penn State or PSHRS
  • Demonstrates consistent career progression and leadership in their job in the hospitality industry
  • Documented community service through company-sponsored events or personal pursuits

Past Recipients


Daniel Brauer, ‘14, Marriott International

Megan Kehler ‘10, Hilton

Meredith Ortals, ‘13, Great American Restaurants

Kayla Shull ’11, Ecolab

John Ventura, ‘13, Convene


Patrick Keenan, '08, B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group
Danielle Marulla, '12, The Club at Park Avenue by Convene
Micah Smith, '08, Courtyard by Marriott Arlington Rosslyn (Marriott International)
Sara Quinteros-Fernandez, '09, University of Maryland Medical Center
Tim Vogelbacker, '12, Marriott International


Melissa Navarro '12, Expedia Inc.
Don Pearse '11, Ecolab
Maci Schau '12, Hilton Revenue Management Consolidated Center
Allison Stuebing '10, Hillstone Restaurant Group


Jessica Byars `10, Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Emily Johnson `06, Korman Communities
Aparna Kuckreja `10, Marriott International
Rudy Lasher `06, CulinArt Group


Chris Talley '09, Aramark
Deborah Surden '05, Expedia
Dana Katz '09, Host Hotels & Resorts
April Judy '08, Candlewood Suites (IHG)


Ashley Akright '09, Gaylord Hotels ( Marriott International)
Catherine Kruegler '09, Shack Shake (Union Square Hospitality Group)
Jack Lindemuth '04, Kimpton Hotels
Justine Schmider '07, Pappas Restaurants


Dant Hirsch '03, St. Regis (Starwood Hotels & Resorts)
Alexandra Barton '06, Spiaggia (Levy Restaurants)
Katy Goldin '09, Vista Host


Chris Edwards '06, Potbelly Sandwich Works
Leighan Blaede '03, IHG
Ryan Spear Ritz '02, Carlton


Leigh Silkunas '08, Kimpton Hotels
Michael Pajak '06, Hilton Worldwide


Shannon Egan '07, Marriott International
Marcello Khattar '04, Four Seasons
Chris Schubert '05, W Hotel
Shawn Smith '02, JBG Companies


Jason Bayona '05, W Hotel
Ed Buttacavoli '03, ARAMARK
Amy Miller '04, Restaurant Associates
Julie Muchoney '99, Doubletree


Lawrence Hartman '98, Micros
Ryan Chrissis '99, Pinnacle Entertainment
Anna Berdel '00, ARAMARK
Jonathon Zottola '03, Vista Host


Steve Morgan '04, Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Josh Crandall '99, Cura Hospitality
Samantha Shaeffer '98, Marriott Hotels
Ryan Spear '02, Ritz Carlton


Leon Rimmey '02, Marriott Hotels
Jamie Moore '96, Eat'n Park
Amber Hartman '04, Hillstone Restaurant Group
Julius Ridgley '03, Eat'n Park


Eudora Wu '96, Ritz Carlton
Allison Menges '96, ARAMARK
Ben Shank '00, Four Seasons
William Yahr '01, Ritz Carlton


Matt Hummer Sheraton '01, Manhattan Hotel
Jennifer Leonard '94, Marriott Hotels
William McClintock '99, Marriott Hotels
Jessica Park '96, ARAMARK


Trevor Clark '98, Marriott Hotels
Aden King '97, Phillips Foods and Seafood Restaurant
Jennifer Tracy '95, ARAMARK


Carrie Jankowski '98, Marriott


Jamie Decker '97, NBC Universal, Orlando
Elizabeth Winstanley '97, Waldorf Astoria

Emerging Graduate Award icon-olus-circle


  • Graduated within the last 10 years from Penn State from a hospitality graduate degree program
  • Actively participates in various activities, either with Penn State or PSHRS
  • Demonstrates consistent career progression and leadership in their job in the hospitality industry
  • Documented community service through company-sponsored events or personal pursuits

Past Recipients


Landie Qiu, ‘13, Revenue Management Systems an Accelya Group Company


Sean McGinley, '15, Florida State University


Lydia Hanks '12 , Hospitality Management, Florida State University


Nan Hua `07, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida


Qu Xiao ’07, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Li Miao ’08, Purdue University


Amrik Singh ’04, University of Denver


Coren Burton ’04, Hershey

Seoki Lee ’06, Penn State


Suksan Ruanpattana ’04, Cozy Thai

Peeranee Musigchai ’04, Cozy Thai


Jeff Heim ’99, Penn State


Hae Moon Oh ’97, UMASS


Andrew Hale Feinstein ’99, UNLV


Ki Joon Bak ’01, Univ. of Houston


William Frye ’01, Niagara University


Dr. John Williams ’98, University of New Orleans


Adam Golomb ’99, Eat n Park

Hospitality Executive of the Year icon-olus-circle


  • Must be part of the Executive Team of the Company Regardless of Size of Company.   
  • Nominee has participated, led or executed a merger, acquisition, New Concept within the Hospitality Industry or in some way contributed to the evolution of the industry. Nominee has shaped the industry in some meaningful way, enhancing the industry’s profile & reputation, providing exemplary leadership, achieving performance (service/guest satisfaction, profitability) that transcends the ordinary, responsible for innovations that transform an organization and/or industry segment and gives back to their communities.
  • Actively participates in various activities either with their alma mater or via their company’s activities at Universities or Colleges.

Past Recipients

2019: Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association, President and Chief Executive Officer
2018:  Arne M. Sorenson, Marriott International, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer
2017:  Leland C. Pillsbury, Thayer Lodging Group, Co-Founder and Chairman
2015: Jon Luther, Arby's Restaurant Group, Chairman
2014: Michael Leven, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, President & COO
2013: Jim Abrahamson, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, CEO
2012: Steve Rushmore, HVS, Chairman and Founder
2011: Randy Smith, STR, Chairman & co-Founder
2010: Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association, President and CEO
2009: Niki Leondakis, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, President and COO
2008: Andrew Kerin, ARAMARK, President
2007: Tom Giannopoulos, Micros, Chairman and CEO
2006: Richard Schnieders, Sysco, CEO
2005: Jim Broadhurst, Eat'n Park, Chairman and CEO
2004: Robert Cotter, Starwood Hotels and Resort, President and COO
2003: Denise Fugo, Sammy's, Chairman and CEO
2002: Al Schuman, Ecolab, Chairman and CEO
2001: Michael Landel, Sodexo, President and CEO
2000: Mariyln Carlson Nelson, Carlson Worldwide, CEO
1999: Skip Hartman, Loews, Vice President and Managing Director
1997: Joseph Neubauer, ARAMARK, CEO
1996: Henry Silverman, Cendant Corporation, CEO
1995: Herman Cain, Godfather's Pizza, CEO
1994: Ray Schultz, Promus Hotel Corporation, Chairman and CEO
1993: John Farquharson, The International Food Safety Council, President
1992: Elaine Etess, Elaine G. Etess Associates, President
1991: Michael Hurst, 15th Street Fisheries and Boathouse, Owner
1990: Steven Reinemund, Pizza Hut Worldwide, President and CEO
1989: Carl Mottek, Hilton Hotels Corporation, President
1988: William Hulett, Stouffer Hotel Company, President
1987: J.W. Marriott, Jr., Marriott International, Chairman and CEO
1986: Michael Rose, Darden, Director
1985: Robert Richards, Seabreeze Restaurant, Owner
1984: Edward Book, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, Chairman and CEO
1983: Richard Holtzman
1982: Howard James, Sheraton Corporation, President and CEO
1981: Walter Conti, Conti Cross Keys Inn, Owner
1980: Richard Benefield, Hotel Magee, General Manager
1979: Grace Buscher, Coco Palms Resort Hotel, General Manager
1978: Alphonse Salomone, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Senior Vice President
1977: Thomas Lennon, The Homestead, President
1976: Chef Louis Szathmary, The Bakery, Chef & Restaurant Owner
1975: James McLamore, Burger King Corporation, Board Chairman
1975: Harry Mullikin, Western International Hotels (Westin Hotels & Resorts), Chairman and CEO
1974: James Bobb, Hershey Estates, President
1973: William Fishman, ARA Services, Inc., President
1972: Howard Johnson, Howard Johnson CO., Chairman of the Board
1971: George Washko, Marriott Hotels, Inc., Regional Vice President
1970: Edmond Leach
1969: Barron Hilton, Hilton Hotels , President and Chairman of the Board
1968: Preston Robert Tisch, Loews Hotel Corporation, President
1967: J.W. Marriott, Jr., Marriott Corporation, President
1966: Stuart Kines, Marriott Motor Inn, Rochester, NY, General Manager
1965: James Johnson
1964: Charles A.B. Heinze, Allenberry Resort Inn and Playhouse, President
1961: Milton Fritsche, Horn and Hardart, President
1960: M.C. Matty Mateer, Hotel State College, Managing Partner
Lifetime Achievement Award icon-olus-circle


Hospitality executives who have been pioneers in the hospitality industry, individuals who have enjoyed long and successful careers. The award pays tribute to individuals who have had an impact on the hospitality industry, on their community and have achieved national recognition for their endeavors. Recipients are persons of great moral character and individuals of high integrity and have made significant contributions to professional hospitality education.


2017:  Ray Schultz
2012: Ned Book
2005: Walter Conti
1998: Kemmons Wilson
1997: Chef Louis Szathmary
1995: Richard Benefield
1992: Frank Wangeman
Honorary Lifetime Members icon-olus-circle

Joanne Budge

Melanie Miles

Maggie Crispell

Awards will be presented Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at University Park Campus in conjunction with the PSHRS Alumni in the Classroom event. Nominees must be able to attend the awards reception.

PSHRS Honors 2019 Alumni Award Recipients icon-olus-circle

The Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society and Penn State School of Hospitality Management honored 10 alumni during the 2019 Alumni Awards Reception in conjunction with the school’s annual Alumni in the Classroom event. During the October 16 ceremony, the following alumni were recognized:


George Dabney ’88
CFO, Hostiing,
former CFO, Brookfield Hotel Properties

George has more than 18 years of experience as a hotel finance executive leading and advising Thayer Lodging Group and Brookfield Hotel Properties, a $3 billion hotel investment firm, through complex capital structures and capital markets transactions. George’s responsibilities include capital formation, finance, investor relations, accounting and reporting and treasury matters for Brookfield Hotel Properties, which owns premier hotels located in key growth markets throughout North America.Previously, George was an audit manager for EY. George is active with his alma mater, Penn State University. He is a member of the Philanthropy Council Steering Committee of the Penn State University College of Health and Human Development. He is also a member of the Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society Executive Board where he serves as Treasurer and co-chairs the Sponsorship Committee. He is also a member of the Penn State Hospitality Real Estate Strategy Group. He is frequent guest lecturer at universities and real estate industry conferences.George holds a M.B.A. from University of Maryland University College and a B.S. in Accounting from Penn State University.


Tim Colligan ’86
Senior Sales Executive
Oracle Hospitality

Since graduating from the HRIM program, Tim has remained committed to the Hospitality Industry and gainedhis experience working in several roles for companies such as Marriott Hotels, Heinz USA, Nabisco, and Snyder’s of Hanover and MICROS. Tim has had success as a highly motivated hospitality professional working with customers in a consultative partnership.As a Senior Sales Manager with Oracle Hospitality / MICROS for greater than 15 years, Tim continues to grow as an advocate within Hospitality Technology Sales. After receiving his MBA at Loyola University Maryland, Tim has also enjoyed teaching hospitality classes for over a decade as a certified Senior Adjunct (CHE) primarily with Howard Community College in Columbia Maryland and currently enjoys his commissioners on the Accreditation Commission for Hospitality (ACPHA).Tim has been on the Board of PSHRSfor many years and has benefitted from continually supporting and mentoring students and networking with key industry executives at events especially at such as Alumni in the Classroom. Having met his wife Judie at Penn State they have raised two childrenNoelle and TJ to recognize and value Happy Valley as a special place!


Glenn Lewis ’77
Vice President, Franchise Operations
Marriott International

Glenn is a 1977 graduate with a degree in Food Service and Housing Administration known today as HospitalityManagement. After graduation Glenn started his career as a Front Office Manager at the Los Angeles International Airport Marriott and moved into a variety of positions since then including F&B Director, Sales and Marketing, as well as many regional positions primarily in the Marriott Managed organization. In 2004 Glenn helped launch the franchise organization with Marriott’s limited service brands progressing to his current leadership role as Vice President of Franchise Operations. In this role he is responsible for approximately 2000 hotels and 450 management companies and approximately $6 billion in top line revenue. Over his 42 year career with Marriott Glenn has been successful building strong relationships with franchisees, partners, owners and Marriott associates. Glenn regularly engages with interns at Marriott and has participated at PSHRS alumni events in Atlanta, at industry conferences and on-campus through Alumni in the Classroom.

Jay Lynn ’89
Director, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts Operations–U.S. West

Jay Lynn has 25+ years of hotel industry experience and recently joined the Crowne Plaza Team as Director of Operations. In this role, Jay serves as the dedicated operations support leader for 35 Crowne Plaza Hotels in the U.S.Jay is based inSan Francisco and will celebrate 20 years working for IHG in various roles including Franchise Performance & Major Market Management for multi-brand operations primarily in San Francisco, the Greater Bay Area, & Hawaiian Islands.As an avid hotelier, Jay enjoys travel, supporting others to grow and develop in hospitality, and to mentor teams to realize their fullest potential.During personal time, staying active in the community and giving back is both a commitment and a passion. Over the years, Jay has guided the IHG San Francisco Hotel Community to philanthropic fundraising success valued at a running total exceeding $250K. Jay also serves as an active industry liaison and alumni mentor to the Pennsylvania State University’s School of Hospitality Management.Jay is a 1989 graduate of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management (HRIM) & a 2003 graduate of the University of Wisconsin –Stout (MS Global Hospitality Management).



Daniel Brauer ’14
Dual Property Director of Human Resources Operations,
Marriott International

Daniel is currently a Dual Property Director of Human Resources for both The Westin New York at Times Square and Courtyard by Marriott Fifth Avenue New York. In this role he is responsible for recruitment, onboarding, performance, discipline, and off-boarding for all union and non-union associates. After graduating from Penn State University, Daniel started his career as a Human Resources Coordinator at the St. Regis New York and was later promoted toHuman Resources Manager. In 2018 he was promoted to Director of Human Resources Operations at The Westin New York at Times Square and assumed his current role overseeing two properties in 2019.Daniel is Co-Chair of Serve360, Marriott International’s sustainability and social impact initiative. He is also Co-Leader for the PSHRS New York City Network which organizes several alumni and student focused events in the city each year. As a student he was active in the American Hotel & Lodging Association, THON Rules and Regulations Committee and Kappa Omnicron Nu Honor Society

Megan Kehler ’10

Manager, Hilton Recruitment Operations–Mid-Atlantic/NYC Region, Hilton

Megan Kehler, Manager of the Recruitment Operations Center in Mid-Atlantic and New York City, is passionate about connecting hospitality professionals with meaningful careers at Hilton, the top company to work for in the U.S.Megan received a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from the Pennsylvania State University. Upon graduation, she accepted a leadership position in food and beverage at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Her career progressed when the Hilton McLean offered her a General Manager title at Harth Restaurant. While in her role, Megan had the opportunity to join twotask force teams at Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.In 2016, Megan shifted careers and joined the Recruitment Operations Center at Hilton, where she spent two years searching for top talent in the DMV region.Megan resides in Sterling, Virginia and likes to spend her time visiting the beautiful wineries with her husband, Dan.

Meredith Ortals ’13

Head Kitchen Manager
Great American Restaurants

After graduating from Penn State University with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management, Meredith joined Pappas Restaurants working at Pappasito’s Cantina in Atlanta, Georgia. After a few years and wanting to be closer to family, she accepted a position with Great American Restaurants in Fairfax, Virginia. She started as a kitchen manager at Sweetwater Tavern and with her desire to excel, Meredith was promoted to Head Kitchen Manager at Coastal Flats. She is responsible for managing a diverse staff with a strong focus in all costs associated with the restaurant. Meredith grew up in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania where she developed a love for traveling from her parents. Throughout her life she has traveled around the world with friends and family. The latest, a five day trek to Machu Pichu in Peru. Meredith has served as a Network Leader for the DC Chapter of PSHRS and visits the School of Hospitality Management multiple times per year developing relationships with the students and faculty.

Kayla Shull ’11

Senior Food Safety Training Specialist,
EcoSure, Ecolab

Kayla graduated with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from Penn State in 2011. After graduation, she began her career as an Assistant Manager for Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Washington D.C. where she was quickly promoted to General Manager. Fueled by her love of food, commitment to quality and safety, as well as a natural inclination for teaching and coaching, she began her career with Ecolab in 2014 as a Food Safety Specialist, supporting a territory that included over 60 brands. In 2015 she was promoted to Training Specialist and relocated to Chicago, IL where she supported the on-boarding of all new field specialists for the EcoSure division of Ecolab through 2017. Currently, she works as a Senior Training Specialist and Program Launch Lead for EcoSure where she uses her food safety and operations knowledge to consult with customers on program and audit criteria development based on the Food Code and industry best practices. Kayla is also active in the Ecolab E3 Women’s Network as a Co-Lead for the Professional Networking Committee, Chicago Metro, where she has spearheaded the creation of a SMART Networking professional development series.

John Ventura ’13
Service Manager, Convene

A 2013 graduate of the School of Hospitality Management, John Ventura started his career as a Food & Beverage Management Trainee at the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables, FL. Shortly after completing this program, he joined the Westin New York Grand Central as Food and Beverage Manager. John was responsible for overseeing the Banquet and Room Services Operations. His commitment and leadership abilities quickly enabled him to get promoted to a sister property, St. Regis New York, as Food and Beverage Manager. At this AAA 5 Diamond property, John was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Room Service and the world-renowned King Cole Bar. In 2017, John was also named Manager of the Year for the St. Regis New York. In April 2018, John joined Convene, a growing and expanding hospitality company. At Convene in New York City, he held the role of Service Manager at their 151 West 42nd Street property. With Convene, John had the opportunity to open their first Chicago location, where his is currently the Service Manager.In addition to career accomplishments, John is proud of his accomplishments and activities outside of the workplace. John actively gives back to the Penn State community, along with his local neighborhood communities. He has participated the schools’ mentor program and for the last four years, he has acted as a geographical leader for the Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society’s New York City chapter. John has been an avid volunteer and participant in Team for Kids with New York Road Runners for the NYC Marathon and other races throughout the year. With one New York Marathon medal under his belt, he is slated to run the 2018 Berlin Marathon; the 2018 New York Marathon, and the 2019 Tokyo Marathon. John’s family is no stranger to the School of Hospitality Management as his uncle, Chris Burkhardt, and siblings, Elizabeth and Tom are also graduates of the program.


Landie Qiu ’13
Senior Manager, Sales and Support
APACRevenue Management Systems an Accelya Group Company

Landie Qiu graduated from Penn State in 2013 with a master of science degree in Hospitality Management. When Landie studied in Penn State, she took the Revenue Management class and became very interested in it, so she decided to make it her passion. After graduating, she successfully found a job in a top airline IT company in this field –Revenue Management Systems. She has worked in Seattle, Singapore and Beijing to gain industry experiences in different regions. She is currently working as a Senior Manager in her company, covering the whole China market for her company. She invented an airline commercial optimization model and has published a paper on a leading journal in her field. She has also been invited as guest speakers in Temple University and many top-tier industry conferences in America, Europe and Asia, such as Aviation Festival Asia, Revenue Management Summit and Boeing Workshop. Landie was recently interviewed by LinkedIn China for her outstanding career achievements.

For more information about PSHRS Alumni Awards, please contact:

Dana Katz, Awards Chair |
Brian Black, Director of Hospitality Industry Relations |