Hotelie Magazine

Hotelie Fall 2011 no class notes

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Page 50 of 73

Alumni News O 48 A message from the president ver the past decade, the Cornell Hotel Society has been faced with unprece- dented paradigm shifts in the economy and the social landscape. The first is the Great Recession; the second is the advent of social networking. Both have transformed the way we live as well as the role the CHS plays in our lives. Over the past year I have had the oppor- tunity to visit many of our 60 chapters, attend a number of the more than 100 events we host annually, and of course meet with hundreds of our alumni from around the world. The energy, enthusi- asm, and loyalty of our members for this society has never been stronger, and the value that bond creates has never been more important for all of us. Our executive board has been equally motivated in outlining a vision for the future and the respective initiatives needed to maintain the value of CHS membership. At the beginning of 2011, we defined a three-year plan focused around our commitment to further develop chapter programming, member benefits, chapter financial assistance, job placement, internships and mentor- ing, and industry-faculty partnerships. It also includes an enhanced communi- cations plan for our society leadership, the SHA dean's office, and our alumni; it also addresses leadership accountability and training and our membership drive and scholarship fundraising. Each of these efforts is well underway, and I am pleased to report that chapter programming is robust and that support has been provided for the faculty road show, student and alumni hiring, and the creation of new member benefits. Quarterly calls are taking place with the executive board, the dean's office, and CHS regional VPs and chapter presi- dents. "Letters from the President" are now being sent to welcome incoming and graduating students to the Society and to congratulate new lifetime members. Our individual and chapter membership School of Hotel Administration President David Skorton cuts up with the Birtha family—Jack (Class of 2026), Roxana, and Mark '94—at the 2011 Cornell Icon and Innovator Awards Dinner drives were successful, raising funds for student scholarships, HEC contribu- tions, leadership training, and chapter financial assistance. The next year will usher in many new programs. Regan Taikatsadaporn '93, our first vice president, has worked closely with our collegiate CHS chapter to develop a mentoring program and increase communications with our future alumni. Liv Gussing '92, our second vice president, is working on an updated member survey that will roll out in 2012. We will be implementing a long-overdue automatic dues payment program requiring just one sign-up. New programs focused on social media and networking platforms are also being developed to usher in an evolution of our beloved alumni database. I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to honor the passing of one of our most endearing alums, George Bantuvanis '51, who served on the executive board for decades. His large shoes were filled earlier this year by Steve Lipinski '72, who has done a great job managing our finances as treasurer. Recently Erin Rodriguez was promoted and we have had the pleasure of welcoming Nickie Fredenburg to our family as alumni affairs coordinator. She and Christine Natsios '85, director of alumni affairs, continue to work tireless- ly to address everyone's needs day in and day out. The strength of the Cornell Hotel Society has always come from its mem- bership. The executive board has merely steered the ambition, motivation, and passion of our collective alumni to better the visibility, connectivity, and legacy of the School of Hotel Administration. Members of the Cornell Hotel Society truly share a unique bond that supports relationships regardless of years or miles of separation. Once again, I urge you to be involved. It has only been through the participation, inspiration, and leadership of our members that the Society has endured for 85 years to become the icon of alumni organizations and the "original social network." Best wishes, Mark Birtha '94 President, Cornell Hotel Society Patrick McMullen

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