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Walter J. Conti

After graduating from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration in 1952, Walter J. Conti enjoyed a highly successful career that culminated with his retirement as owner and chief executive officer of Conti’s Cross Keys Inn and Conti’s Pipersville Inn, both located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Throughout his career, Conti has been active in and been recognized by several leading industry organizations. He has held various leadership positions in the National Restaurant Association, including a term as chairman (1981-82), and he is a “Diplomate” of the association’s educational foundation. He also has received the “Gold and Silver Plate” award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and has served as president of the International Gold and Silver Plate Society.

Conti is past president of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association and the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS), trustee emeritus of the National Institute for the Foodservice Industry and a member of the advisory board of Johnson & Wales College. Conti also serves on advisory boards for the hotel, restaurant and institutional management programs at Mercyhurst and Oklahoma State universities and the University of Delaware.

His relationship with Penn State also remains strong. He served on the Penn State Board of Trustees from 1974 to 1992, including terms as vice president (1979-81) and president (1982-84). He was named trustee emeritus in 1992, and then was re-appointed to the Board in 1995.

In 1987, alumni and friends of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management honored him by establishing the Conti Professorship, a program that brings industry leaders to the School on a regular basis to interact with students and faculty. Conti has been named PSHRS “Hospitality Executive of the Year” and has been honored by Penn State as an Alumni Fellow and a Distinguished Alumnus.

In addition to the professorship and the educational series, Conti and his wife, Patricia, have created a scholarship for undergraduate students enrolled in Penn State’s hotel, restaurant and institutional management program.