Cornell Launches New Hospitality Thought Leadership Series


The School of Hotel Administration (SHA) at Cornell University will launch the new Cornell Hospitality Thought Leadership Series with a luncheon and panel on Monday, April 11, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event will feature a dynamic panel of senior-level women leaders representing sectors across the hospitality industry, convening to discuss brand loyalty. Register to attend the luncheon and panel discussion, titled "Women in Senior Leadership: What Drives Brand Loyalty in Today's Marketplace."

"In today's digital marketplace, hotel rooms, cruises, flights, and other experiences have become commodities that guests can easily comparison-shop by price alone," said Meg Hardie Keilbach, CALS '88, associate dean of alumni affairs and development, SHA. "Brand loyalty can be the differentiator."

Kathy LaTour, associate professor of services marketing at SHA, will moderate the panel, which will include the following speakers:

  • Elizabeth Blau, MS '14, founder and CEO, Blau + Associates
  • Suzanne Boda, senior vice president, hubs and gateways, American Airlines
  • Janet Brashear, managing director and head of hospitality and travel practice, Accenture Strategy
  • Vicki Freed, senior vice president, sales and trade support and service, Royal Caribbean International
  • Lisa Holladay, vice president, global brand marketing, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

The cost for the luncheon and panel is $60 for Cornell alumni and $75 for non-alumni. Visit the website to register.

The Cornell Hospitality Thought Leadership Series, established in 2016, is a platform for industry executives and academics to engage in discussion and share expertise on the most important topics facing hospitality and travel today. SHA will host two panels annually in cities across the nation, addressing a different trending issue at each event. The panels will be moderated by an SHA faculty expert, and include respected leaders in the hospitality and travel industries.

The series will continue in September 2016 in San Francisco, CA, with a panel on the topic of the shared economy.

The series is sponsored by Questex Hospitality Group, Hilton Worldwide, USA Today, and InterContinental Hotels Group. To participate as a corporate sponsor, contact Jennifer Macera '13, associate director of corporate and foundation relations: 607.255.3101 or

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