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PSHRS Honors 2022 Alumni Award Recipients icon-olus-circle

Alumni of the Year

Ron Gorodesky ’79, CEO, Refined Hospitality


Alumni Industry Achievement

Denise Buxton Bradley ’83, Regional Vice President of Sales, Hyatt

Scott Wiseman ’89, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Apple Leisure Group


Emerging Professionals-Graduates

Laurie (Luorong) Wu, Ph.D, ‘14g, Associate Professor, School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management, Temple University


Emerging Professionals- Undergraduates

Megan Casey ’12, Director, F&B Support, North America, Oracle Hospitality

Lauren Goodrich ’12, Director of Design & Development - Global Brand Operations, Marriott International 

Shanttel Liberato ’13, Market and Engagement Project Manager – Diversity Design, Herman Miller

Kayla Molitoris ’12, Clubhouse Manager, Bent Creek Country Club

Natalie Wainger ’14, Senior Manager – Finance Business Partner | Consumer Operations – Global Brands & Marketing, Marriott International


PSHRS Awards Criteria

Alumni of the Year Award icon-olus-circle


  • Graduate of any Penn State program and received a degree more than ten years ago
  • Current Member of PSHRS
  • Actively participates in various activities, with Penn State and PSHRS
  • Demonstrates consistent career progression and leadership in their job in the hospitality industry
  • Had a leadership role in a community service organization through company-sponsored events or personal pursuits

Past Recipients

2021: Ken Young, ’72, Executive Chairman, Spectra Food Services and Hospitality

2020: Tom Neely '87, General Manager, Nittany Lion Inn

2019: George Dabney, '88, Thayer Lodging, Brookfield Hotel Properties

2018: Hugh Roth, '87, PepsiCo Global Food Service

2017 : John Metz, Jr. '90, Sterling Hospitality

2016: Tom Martini '88, Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh Hotel

2015: Bill Kohl ’85, Greenwood Hospitality Group

2014: Tom Smith ’82, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

2013: Debbie Ulrich ’77, Sysco Central Pennsylvania

2012: Ted Farrand ’71, Cini-Little International, Inc.

2011: Bruce Thomas ’80, Geisinger Health Systems

2010: Dave Scypinski ’77, Conference Direct

2009: Lea Ann Kish ’87, Milestone Hospitality

2008: Ed Book, Jr. ’79, Marriott

2007: Bill Kidd ’87, Host Hotels and Resorts

2006: Joe McCann ’78, Optimum Hotel Brokerage

2005: Bart Bartlett ’76, Penn State School of Hospitality Management

2004: Jim Purdum ’75, Penn State Hospitality Services

2003: Tom Ruff ’77, Biltmore Resort

2002: Ed Brown ‘58

2001: Franco Harris ’72 Super Bakery

2000: Harvey Kamp ‘70

1999: Darlene Brady ’75, Disney

1998:  Jim Moore ‘57


Alumni Industry Achievement Award icon-olus-circle


  • Graduate of any Penn State hospitality program and received a degree more than ten years ago
  • Demonstrates consistent career progression and leadership in their job in the hospitality industry
  • Had a leadership role in a community service organization through company-sponsored events or personal pursuits

Past Recipients


Joe Bocherer, ‘96, Chief Commercial Officer, George World Congress Center

Jill Ferguson, ‘98, Associate Vice President - Conference and Registration, Mortgage Bankers Association

Dan Stone, ‘99, Chief Operating and Development Officer, Front Burner Brands


Sarah Cannon-Foster '86, Vice President, HR, Global Business Transformation, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Gregg Caren '84, President and CEO, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau

Gail Frazer '91, Vice President, Global Sales, Corporate Accounts, Marriott International


Tim Colligan ‘86, Oracle Hospitality
Glenn Lewis ‘77, Marriott International
Jay Lynn ‘89


Jamie Moore, '96, Eat'n Park Hospitality Group
Jack Moyer, '89, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa
John Rubino, '86, Interstate Hotels and Resorts


Bart Berkey '89, Marriott International
Doug Gehret '92, Hilton Worldwide
Marc Goldberg '84, Compass Organization


Rob Carl `85, Felcor Lodging Trust, Inc.
Nina Doumani `89, Marriott International
Heather Seasholtz `98, Talley Management Group


Richard Budney '85, Sodexo
Daniel Entenberg '01, Gramercy Park Hotel
Rob Tannenbaum '89, DiamondRock Hospitality Group

Emerging Professional Undergraduate Award icon-olus-circle


  • Graduated within the last 10 years from Penn State from a hospitality bachelor’s degree program
  • Actively participates in various activities, either with Penn State or PSHRS
  • Demonstrates consistent career progression and leadership in their job in the hospitality industry
  • Documented community service through company-sponsored events or personal pursuits

Past Recipients


Aidan Aktouf, ‘12, Area Manager, Expedia Group

Dan Palella, ‘12, Director of National Marketing, Aria Casino and Resort (MGM Resorts)

Jose Preza, ‘14, University Recruiting Technology and Operations Lead, Danaher Corp.

Megan Taylor, ‘13, General Manager, The Kinney San Luis Obispo (Pacifica Hotels), Tapestry Collection by Hilton

MJ Worsham, ‘11, Director of Restaurant Technology, Five Guys Enterprises


Abby Estevez '13, Senior Luxury Travel Sales Manager, Conrad New York Midtown

Justin George '10, Director of Operations, Peak Beverage

Felicia Kelly '15, Food & Beverage Manager, Operations Support Services, Marriott International

Yaheng Li '16, Product Design and Brand Standards Director, Radisson RED (China), Jinjiang International

Samantha Moore '12, Senior Director, Meetings and Education, American Bakers Association

Juliana Titon '14, Chief Operating Officer and Owner, Spedini Trattoria and It's Grill, Brazil


Daniel Brauer, ‘14, Marriott International

Megan Kehler ‘10, Hilton

Meredith Ortals, ‘13, Great American Restaurants

Kayla Shull ’11, Ecolab

John Ventura, ‘13, Convene


Patrick Keenan, '08, B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group
Danielle Marulla, '12, The Club at Park Avenue by Convene
Micah Smith, '08, Courtyard by Marriott Arlington Rosslyn (Marriott International)
Sara Quinteros-Fernandez, '09, University of Maryland Medical Center
Tim Vogelbacker, '12, Marriott International


Melissa Navarro '12, Expedia Inc.
Don Pearse '11, Ecolab
Maci Schau '12, Hilton Revenue Management Consolidated Center
Allison Stuebing '10, Hillstone Restaurant Group


Jessica Byars `10, Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Emily Johnson `06, Korman Communities
Aparna Kuckreja `10, Marriott International
Rudy Lasher `06, CulinArt Group


Chris Talley '09, Aramark
Deborah Surden '05, Expedia
Dana Katz '09, Host Hotels & Resorts
April Judy '08, Candlewood Suites (IHG)


Ashley Akright '09, Gaylord Hotels ( Marriott International)
Catherine Kruegler '09, Shack Shake (Union Square Hospitality Group)
Jack Lindemuth '04, Kimpton Hotels
Justine Schmider '07, Pappas Restaurants


Dant Hirsch '03, St. Regis (Starwood Hotels & Resorts)
Alexandra Barton '06, Spiaggia (Levy Restaurants)
Katy Goldin '09, Vista Host


Chris Edwards '06, Potbelly Sandwich Works
Leighan Blaede '03, IHG
Ryan Spear Ritz '02, Carlton


Leigh Silkunas '08, Kimpton Hotels
Michael Pajak '06, Hilton Worldwide


Shannon Egan '07, Marriott International
Marcello Khattar '04, Four Seasons
Chris Schubert '05, W Hotel
Shawn Smith '02, JBG Companies


Jason Bayona '05, W Hotel
Ed Buttacavoli '03, ARAMARK
Amy Miller '04, Restaurant Associates
Julie Muchoney '99, Doubletree


Lawrence Hartman '98, Micros
Ryan Chrissis '99, Pinnacle Entertainment
Anna Berdel '00, ARAMARK
Jonathon Zottola '03, Vista Host


Steve Morgan '04, Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Josh Crandall '99, Cura Hospitality
Samantha Shaeffer '98, Marriott Hotels
Ryan Spear '02, Ritz Carlton


Leon Rimmey '02, Marriott Hotels
Jamie Moore '96, Eat'n Park
Amber Hartman '04, Hillstone Restaurant Group
Julius Ridgley '03, Eat'n Park


Eudora Wu '96, Ritz Carlton
Allison Menges '96, ARAMARK
Ben Shank '00, Four Seasons
William Yahr '01, Ritz Carlton


Matt Hummer Sheraton '01, Manhattan Hotel
Jennifer Leonard '94, Marriott Hotels
William McClintock '99, Marriott Hotels
Jessica Park '96, ARAMARK


Trevor Clark '98, Marriott Hotels
Aden King '97, Phillips Foods and Seafood Restaurant
Jennifer Tracy '95, ARAMARK


Carrie Jankowski '98, Marriott


Jamie Decker '97, NBC Universal, Orlando
Elizabeth Winstanley '97, Waldorf Astoria

Emerging Professional Graduate Award icon-olus-circle


  • Graduated within the last 10 years from Penn State from a hospitality graduate degree program
  • Actively participates in various activities, either with Penn State or PSHRS
  • Demonstrates consistent career progression and leadership in their job in the hospitality industry
  • Documented community service through company-sponsored events or personal pursuits

Past Recipients


Alei Fan, Ph.D., ’16, Assistant Professor, School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Purdue University


Choongbeom(CB) Choi '15, Assistant Professor, Sejong University


Landie Qiu, ‘13, Revenue Management Systems an Accelya Group Company


Sean McGinley, '15, Florida State University


Lydia Hanks '12 , Hospitality Management, Florida State University


Nan Hua `07, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida


Qu Xiao ’07, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Li Miao ’08, Purdue University


Amrik Singh ’04, University of Denver


Coren Burton ’04, Hershey

Seoki Lee ’06, Penn State


Suksan Ruanpattana ’04, Cozy Thai

Peeranee Musigchai ’04, Cozy Thai


Jeff Heim ’99, Penn State


Hae Moon Oh ’97, UMASS


Andrew Hale Feinstein ’99, UNLV


Ki Joon Bak ’01, Univ. of Houston


William Frye ’01, Niagara University


Dr. John Williams ’98, University of New Orleans


Adam Golomb ’99, Eat n Park

Hospitality Executive of the Year icon-olus-circle


  • Must be part of the Executive Team of the Company Regardless of Size of Company.   
  • Nominee has participated, led or executed a merger, acquisition, New Concept within the Hospitality Industry or in some way contributed to the evolution of the industry. Nominee has shaped the industry in some meaningful way, enhancing the industry’s profile & reputation, providing exemplary leadership, achieving performance (service/guest satisfaction, profitability) that transcends the ordinary, responsible for innovations that transform an organization and/or industry segment and gives back to their communities.
  • Actively participates in various activities either with their alma mater or via their company’s activities at Universities or Colleges.

Past Recipients

2020/21: Chris Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton
2019: Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association, President and Chief Executive Officer
2018:  Arne M. Sorenson, Marriott International, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer
2017:  Leland C. Pillsbury, Thayer Lodging Group, Co-Founder and Chairman
2015: Jon Luther, Arby's Restaurant Group, Chairman
2014: Michael Leven, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, President & COO
2013: Jim Abrahamson, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, CEO
2012: Steve Rushmore, HVS, Chairman and Founder
2011: Randy Smith, STR, Chairman & co-Founder
2010: Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association, President and CEO
2009: Niki Leondakis, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, President and COO
2008: Andrew Kerin, ARAMARK, President
2007: Tom Giannopoulos, Micros, Chairman and CEO
2006: Richard Schnieders, Sysco, CEO
2005: Jim Broadhurst, Eat'n Park, Chairman and CEO
2004: Robert Cotter, Starwood Hotels and Resort, President and COO
2003: Denise Fugo, Sammy's, Chairman and CEO
2002: Al Schuman, Ecolab, Chairman and CEO
2001: Michael Landel, Sodexo, President and CEO
2000: Mariyln Carlson Nelson, Carlson Worldwide, CEO
1999: Skip Hartman, Loews, Vice President and Managing Director
1997: Joseph Neubauer, ARAMARK, CEO
1996: Henry Silverman, Cendant Corporation, CEO
1995: Herman Cain, Godfather's Pizza, CEO
1994: Ray Schultz, Promus Hotel Corporation, Chairman and CEO
1993: John Farquharson, The International Food Safety Council, President
1992: Elaine Etess, Elaine G. Etess Associates, President
1991: Michael Hurst, 15th Street Fisheries and Boathouse, Owner
1990: Steven Reinemund, Pizza Hut Worldwide, President and CEO
1989: Carl Mottek, Hilton Hotels Corporation, President
1988: William Hulett, Stouffer Hotel Company, President
1987: J.W. Marriott, Jr., Marriott International, Chairman and CEO
1986: Michael Rose, Darden, Director
1985: Robert Richards, Seabreeze Restaurant, Owner
1984: Edward Book, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, Chairman and CEO
1983: Richard Holtzman
1982: Howard James, Sheraton Corporation, President and CEO
1981: Walter Conti, Conti Cross Keys Inn, Owner
1980: Richard Benefield, Hotel Magee, General Manager
1979: Grace Buscher, Coco Palms Resort Hotel, General Manager
1978: Alphonse Salomone, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Senior Vice President
1977: Thomas Lennon, The Homestead, President
1976: Chef Louis Szathmary, The Bakery, Chef & Restaurant Owner
1975: James McLamore, Burger King Corporation, Board Chairman
1975: Harry Mullikin, Western International Hotels (Westin Hotels & Resorts), Chairman and CEO
1974: James Bobb, Hershey Estates, President
1973: William Fishman, ARA Services, Inc., President
1972: Howard Johnson, Howard Johnson CO., Chairman of the Board
1971: George Washko, Marriott Hotels, Inc., Regional Vice President
1970: Edmond Leach
1969: Barron Hilton, Hilton Hotels , President and Chairman of the Board
1968: Preston Robert Tisch, Loews Hotel Corporation, President
1967: J.W. Marriott, Jr., Marriott Corporation, President
1966: Stuart Kines, Marriott Motor Inn, Rochester, NY, General Manager
1965: James Johnson
1964: Charles A.B. Heinze, Allenberry Resort Inn and Playhouse, President
1961: Milton Fritsche, Horn and Hardart, President
1960: M.C. Matty Mateer, Hotel State College, Managing Partner
Lifetime Achievement Award icon-olus-circle


Hospitality executives who have been pioneers in the hospitality industry, individuals who have enjoyed long and successful careers. The award pays tribute to individuals who have had an impact on the hospitality industry, on their community and have achieved national recognition for their endeavors. Recipients are persons of great moral character and individuals of high integrity and have made significant contributions to professional hospitality education.


2017:  Ray Schultz
2012: Ned Book
2005: Walter Conti
1998: Kemmons Wilson
1997: Chef Louis Szathmary
1995: Richard Benefield
1992: Frank Wangeman
Honorary Lifetime Members icon-olus-circle

Joanne Budge

Melanie Miles

Maggie Crispell

For more information about PSHRS Alumni Awards, please contact:

Ben Jellison, Director of Industry & Alumni Relations |