Hislop Family Honored at Hospitality & Tourism Management Gala

May 9, 2012

The Hislop Family; keynote speaker Steven J. Hislop '81, far right

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 the 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.