Skip to main content

Michigan State University masthead

2017 Industry Greats Recognized at Celebration of Leadership

(L to R: Dr. Carl Borchgrevink, Eric A. Danziger, J. Bruce Lange, John Belden, Kit Pappas, Gary Finnell, and Dr. Jeffrey Beck)

The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association gathered on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at the InterContinental NY Barclay Hotel to recognize and celebrate the greats of our industry.

  • The 2017 Industry Leader of the Year was presented to Eric A. Danziger, chief executive officer, Trump Hotel Group. Eric is a man who rolls up his sleeves and gets to work, just like our hospitality business students do each and every day! He has uniquely crafted his career to be at the forefront of the most important industry in the American economy. Eric understands that hospitality business success requires relationship building through hospitality and professionalism and that hospitality is an honorable yet demanding profession.  This is clearly reflected in his career, and is what The School of Hospitality Business seeks to teach its students.
  • Induct three distinguished alumni to the 2017 Hall of Fame “Class of Trendsetters” – Gary Finnell (BA ’79), senior director of development, Hilton; Bruce Lange (BA ’78), managing director, Westin Kierland Resort & Spa; and Kit Pappas (BA ’82), vice president, hotel management, Tavistock Development Company. These industry leaders also have in common with our industry leader – strong work ethic of rolling up their sleeves and working hard.  Since 1927, Spartan alumni have shaped the hospitality industry around the globe. In every segment, from food and beverage service to luxury hotels and resorts to hospitality real estate development, alumni from The School have led the way with new ideas and innovative solutions. They have done more than adapt to cultural and economic changes; they have created change, continually providing exciting new ways for people to experience hospitality.  The “Class of Trendsetters” embodies this Spartan tradition of setting the pace and shaping our industry.
  • Recognize the 2017 Hospitality Business Spartan Champion Award recipient, John Belden (BA ’85), president and chief executive office, Davidson Hotels & Resorts. The School’s Alumni Association is filled with individuals who go the extra mile for The School and its students. But throughout its long history, the Alumni Association has named only four Spartan Champions, people who, with uncommon dedication and selflessness have championed The School’s mission and its students in extraordinary ways.

Click here to view the complete 2017 Event Program including full honoree biographies, sponsorship advertisements, and Individual/Corporate Sponsorship Lists.


Michigan State University

Contact Information Site Map Privacy Statement Site Accessibility
Call MSU: (517) 355-1855 Visit: MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Notice of Nondiscrimination
SPARTANS WILL. © Michigan State University