Published: Jan. 20, 2009

School of Hospitality Business honors industry leaders

Contact(s): Lena Loeffler The School of Hospitality Business office: (517) 353-9211

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York City was the venue for MSU’s School of Hospitality Business to host its annual Celebration of Leadership.


The evening reception at The Waldorf-Astoria on Nov. 7 honored the school’s Alumni Association Industry Leader of the Year, Patrick M. Nesbitt Sr., chairman & chief executive officer of Windsor Capital Group.


It also inducted five new members of its Wall of Fame, the Class of Exemplars. The honorees were: James F. Anhut, 1985 graduate and chief development officer at the Americas InterContinental Hotels Group; George P. Fischer, 1979, vice president and managing director of Destination Hotels and Resorts and the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center; David T. Johnstone, 1979, executive vice president and principal of Miller Global Properties; Michael J. Kelly, 1985, executive vice president of planning and development for Linger Longer Communities and president of Reynolds Golf Management; and Robert Underwood, 1958,retired assistant vice president of Housing and Food Services at MSU.


“Though they come from different backgrounds, varied careers and even different generations, each honoree serves as a role model,” said Ron Cichy, director and professor in the School of Hospitality Business. “Each displays to our students a career built upon hard work, creative decision making, respect for colleagues, and business intellect.


“Every Exemplar has lived a life and enjoyed career success that models for others how to build a legacy in an industry filled with legendary leaders and in a world that is increasingly complex and difficult to navigate.”


Guests at the celebration included the honorees’ families, alumni, industry executives, faculty members, more than 50 students and Dean Elvin Lashbrooke of the Eli Broad College of Business.


Students who traveled to New York for the event were chosen based on their leadership and volunteer activities, as well as on their academic records. Sponsorship funds have been generously donated this year to complement the endowed funds which provide for their expenses.