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Meet Dean Dennis Reynolds

Dr. Dennis Reynolds, dean of Hilton College and Barron Hilton Distinguished Chair, began his career in hospitality as a busser in a fine-dining restaurant in Southern California. The fast-paced environment, the focus on quality in terms of product and product delivery, the high degree of customer contact, and the common goal to maximize the customer experience simply captivated him. He had found his calling in the hospitality industry.

A seasoned hospitality executive, scholar, gifted teacher and prolific researcher and author, Dean Reynolds began his tenure as the College’s seventh dean on July 1, 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Ivar Haglund Endowed Professor of Hospitality Management and director of the Wine Business Management Program at the Washington State University Carson College of Business. A former J. Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, Dean Reynolds is also a two-time graduate, earning both his doctorate and Master of Professional Studies there. He received a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from Golden Gate University.

Specializing in global service-management issues, Dean Reynolds is ranked 15th among the world’s most prolific hospitality-management authors with six textbooks and more than 100 published articles. He is a frequent and sought-after speaker across the globe, the recipient of numerous Academy of Management and other research, teaching and service awards, and has served on the editorial boards of all the leading hospitality journals.

Dean Reynolds is also past president and a decade-long board member of ICHRIE (International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education), the non-profit professional organization that provides programs and services supporting global education, research and service in the hospitality and tourism industry. In 2018, he was honored with the prestigious Founders Award for lifetime achievement as well as ICHRIE’s highest recognition – the Howard B. Meek Award – for lifetime achievement in 2019.

Along with his considerable experience in higher education, Dean Reynolds has the industry background necessary to lead the BEST hospitality program in the world. He’s served as an operations analyst for Food & Beverage Investigations, a regional operations manager at SODEXO and vice president and general manager of North American operations for Nutrition Management Services.

His door is always open!