On May 3, the Department of
Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM) at the Isenberg School of Management
honored the Hislop family with its highest alumni accolade, the Stephen E.
Elmont Award. The gala event--the annual Stephen E. Elmont Award
Tribute--attracted more than 200 HTM alumni and twenty students and faculty
members to the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
The event's keynote speaker, Steven
J. Hislop '81, represented the family at the podium, which includes
four graduates of the HTM program and additional UMass Amherst alumni.
Steve is CEO of Chuy's, an Austin-based group of 31 Tex-Mex restaurants in six
states. Before joining Chuy's in 2007, he was chief operating officer of
O'Charley's, a restaurant chain based in Nashville. His brother, Mike '77,
is CEO of CBC Restaurant Corp., and Chairman of Il Fornaio America and Corner
Bakery. A third brother, Tim '79, is a regional manager in Massachusetts
for Longhorn Steakhouses. Steve's nephew, John III '07, also works at
Chuy's. Two other Hislop brothers, John Jr.'76 and Joe '83, also
graduated from UMass Amherst.
In his remarks, Steve praised UMass
Amherst and the HTM program for a life-changing foundation that instilled a
strong work ethic, personal resilience, and integrity. Several of his brothers,
he noted, attended UMass simultaneously, helping and competing with one
another. He also praised his father, John Hislop, who attended the
banquet, for his unflinching support of his sons during their college years.
"A premier event like this is
vital to recognizing and engaging our alumni. Their support is indispensable to
our success," emphasized HTM department chair Haemoon Oh.
"Programs like this help us to raise our reputation, recruit high-quality
students, and place our students in industry. It's a great morale builder for
our entire community."
The Elmont Award's namesake, Stephen E. Elmont
'64, was a food industry innovator and founder of Creative Gourmet, one of
New England's largest catering companies. The HTM graduate also earned a
doctorate in hospitality management from Johnson & Wales College. A former
president and board member of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, Elmont
returned periodically to UMass Amherst to share industry and entrepreneurial
insights with HTM students.