We had a very hectic and unusual spring 2020 semester. Our graduating Class of 2020 had the first virtual commencement, which we will never forget. Although our industry has been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic, we know that HTM has proven its resilience in the past. This industry has and always will rebuild stronger and better than before. More than that, our industry has showed its innovative and creative nature in the face of this pandemic—this is what will help us survive and thrive. We are positive that our graduates have a great future ahead, though perhaps a bit of patience is necessary at this time. Our students are poised and prepared with the knowledge of true leaders, with excellent and transferable skills.
In the era of COVID-19, our faculty and staff have continued to function with some adjustments. We are grateful to them and to everyone who has helped with these efforts! It is wonderful to know that so many of you have stepped up to support our activities as we begin to navigate this unusual Fall semester. Your continued support makes our success stories, enriches student learning, and allows us to maintain closer ties with our industry. A special thank you to all of our HTM corporate sponsors and our HTM Career Day sponsors for your continued support of the department and engagement with our students. We would also like to express our gratitude to each and every member of the HTM Executive Board, Leadership Board, Young Alumni Council, and our alums. No wonder our momentum continues to grow each day.
HTM Leadership Board
We would like to thank our Executive Leadership Committee Board Chair, Laurie Stroll; Vice Chair, Tim Brett; Nominations Chair, Victoria Vega; External Relations & Engagement Chair, Fred Mitzner; and Development Chair, Jane Pritzker, for their continued leadership and support. Our student representative on the board, Morgan Smith, graduated in May 2020. Her presence on the board was well received and she represented the HTM student body effectively. Thank you Morgan, and we wish you the best; please stay connected. Our Young Alumni Council representative, Keith Sacenti, has done a great job of representing the council and was instrumental in organizing the Alumni Webinar this May for our current students and alums. Another big thank you goes out to a Young Alumni Council member, Emma SanFilippo, for her dedication and assistance in planning an HTM Leadership Board member highlighted webinar that was held in July. Thank you Keith, Emma and team members! You can expect to see this series of board member webinars continue throughout the Fall semester.
Shawn Cioto ‘11 General Manager – Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston
Robert Murray ‘00 VP National Casino Marketing - Seminole Gaming
Emma Dietz ‘21 HTM Student Representative
We would also like to express our gratitude towards four individuals: David Colella, Bert James, Bob Luz, and Gwen Weisberg who have transitioned to Emeritus board members. We have appreciated their time, passion and years of dedication serving on the HTM Leadership Board. Thank you David, Bert, Bob, and Gwen. I am sure they will always be there for us to share their experience and wisdom.
HTM Alumni and Industry Events
Our Annual Award Banquet, initially scheduled for March 25, 2020, was postponed to April 13, 2021. Nevertheless, we recognize and honor six amazing individuals in our industry. A special congratulations to our awardees:
2020 Distinguished Industry Leader Jon Taffer Host, Bar Rescue
2020 Stephen Elmont Recipient Matt Lambert ‘92 General Manager/COO, The Country Club at Mirasol
2020 Outstanding Young Alumni Recipient Keith Sacenti ‘14 Product Manager, StudentUniverse
2020 Special Recognition Ken Toong '04 Executive Director, UMass Auxiliary Enterprises
We are excited to continue our Annual Awards Program for the fifth year in spring 2021. In light of Covid-19, our two beloved networking receptions, one in September in Boston, and the other in November in NYC will not be held in person this year. Please stay tuned for further communications on virtual events! Our thanks to all of you who help make these events possible.
A special thank you as well to our NYC Committee for their passion and effort towards this annual reception.
To our most recent alumni members of the Class of 2020 – congratulations on achieving this milestone in your lives. I wish you the best. Please keep in touch by connecting with us on LinkedIn or by contacting Jena Igel, firstname.lastname@example.org, our Director of External Relations and Engagement.
Please know that we always like to hear from you and welcome your involvement and participation! Best wishes to all!