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Annual Gathering of Leaders Honors Hospitality Business Leaders

Click here to view 2018 event program

The School of Hospitality Business hosted its Alumni Association Annual Gathering of Leaders at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza (Chicago) on Monday, May 21, 2018.

The event honored Alumna of the Year, Carol Campbell (BA ’98); Emerging Alumni Leaders of the Year, Brian DeMeester (BA ’98) and Alison Wallace (BA ’97); Honorary Alumnus of the Year, Jerome F. “Jerry” Cataldo.  In addition, a surprise Spartan Champion Award was presented to Dan W. Darrow (MBA ’61).  Annual Gathering of Leaders coincides with the annual National Restaurant Association trade show, which draws thousands of hospitality industry leaders, including School alumni. In addition, School scholarships for student travel allowed 12 student leaders to attend the show, Annual Gathering, and several other networking and educational opportunities.

Carol Campbell recently joined Delta Air Lines as the Managing Director of Consumer Experience Insight & Analytics.  With a passion to deliver customer service excellence, Carol helps steer Delta’s future service investments.  She provides leadership across the company to drive continuous evolution of the consumer experience and development of Delta’s data management platform.  Prior to joining Delta, Carol spent 20 years with the Walt Disney Company leading the global planning and development for Disney hotels worldwide.

Brian DeMeester is the Executive Housekeeper at the 682-room Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Brian is responsible for keeping the Grand Rapids’ iconic hotel’s reputation known for its immaculate appearance and outstanding service. He has helped many associates by instilling empathy and consistency in his team; his interest in their professional growth is the hallmark of his personal management philosophy.

Alison Wallace is the Director of Sales for Hiltons of Chicago and oversees three Hilton properties: The Palmer House, The Drake, and Hilton Chicago. She strives to encourage and develop her sales team.  She leads her team to generate over $150 million in sales annually. These accomplishments have earned her the distinguished Hilton’s Circle of Excellence award on three different occasions.

Jerome Cataldo serves as the Chief Executive Officer in addition to his current role as Hostmark’s President. His responsibilities include the guidance and growth of Hostmark’s portfolio through acquisitions and management opportunities, and expanding strategic business partnerships.

Dan Darrow is president of Palm Hospitality, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. He has been responsible for hotel asset management and contract administration. His career with the Disney organization began in 1970, and from then until 1979 he has held numerous positions. Dan was director of sales, responsible for the Walt Disney World hotel central reservations system, corporate and convention sales, banquets and special events. He also served as executive director of hotel relations, the liaison for all marketing, promotional, and operational activities with seven hotels in the Walt Disney World Village.

Members of the executive board of The School’s Alumni Association presented the awards at an elegant evening reception following a day-long meeting of the entire board at which new officers were installed and outgoing officers were acknowledged.

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