Hospitality SUMMIT Underscores Regional Importance of Hospitality & Tourism

Hospitality Summit GroupThe Hospitality SUMMIT was held on December 5 at the Marriott SFO Waterfront Hotel. Dr. Stanback-Stroud, President of Skyline College welcomed close to 130 participants and was joined by Anne LeClair, President and CEO of San Mateo/Silicon Valley CVB, who spoke about the importance the hospitality and tourism industry plays on our local and regional economy and the many exciting career opportunities that exist here.

Andrea Vizenor, Deputy Sector Navigator facilitated the event which provided engaging and interactive training for participants from three major industry leaders.

Hospitality Summit PresentersThe morning session was led by Lynn Carpenter, VP of Marketing for Visit California, where she shared the array of marketing strategies used to position California as a top choice destination among business travelers and tourists throughout the world.  She spoke about the importance of international tourism and the many opportunities that exist in growing international markets.

Second to take the stage was Clif Clark, General Manager with Marriott. He discussed major plans within the company to take the brand to the next level. Topics included: major room design modifications, loyalty guest program changes, strategies to attract the millennial travelers, and the utilization of smart phone key access to guest rooms.

Alexandra Valentin, a trainer from The Ritz Carlton Leadership Series led the afternoon session where she taught attendees the necessary skills needed to deliver “Memorable Customer Service”, showcasing strategies utilized by the luxury brand.

Among the attendees were community college and CSU faculty, high school teachers in culinary and hospitality and community college and CSU students.

Over 30 Skyline College students were in attendance. Professor Nathan Jones accompanied a group of ASTEP students who are interested in the Hospitality and Tourism Program as well as students from Professor Dupre’s Counseling 100 classes.

This event provided an exciting opportunity for educators to gain skills they can utilize to advance programs and ensure they have relevant knowledge necessary in the industry to integrate into course content.  Students equipped themselves with a variety of skills and knowledge that will be valuable as they progress through their educational programs, prepare for work-based learning experiences and enter the workforce.

It was also a fabulous opportunity to promote Skyline College’s new Hospitality and Tourism Management Program.  This event was made possible through the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism “Learn and Earn” grant awarded to Skyline College in August of 2013.

For more Information, please contact:  Andrea Vizenor at vizenora@smccd.edu

Article by Elizabeth Tablan | Photo by Nicole Ruggiero