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April 2012

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Gourmet Night
Gourmet Night Sails into History
Smooth clear waters prevailed on March 31 when the R.M.S. Titanic set sail for the 39th Annual Gourmet Night. This year's theme paid tribute to the 100th anniversary of Titanic's maiden voyage and the Golden Era of cruise ships. This "more civilized era of travel," when every dinner on board a luxury liner was a black-tie affair, was replicated by the 2012 student management team and the 300 student volunteers who worked in the kitchen and served as course captains, wine stewards and servers for a lavishly decorated ballroom welcoming 360 guests. A French-inspired menu with perfect wine pairings, musical stylings by Tallowood String Trio, and a waltz and Irish jig by D & L Lisembee Dance Company set the tone for a grand evening of vintage wining and dining. Gary Baumann, director of Catering at the InterContinental Houston and a devoted Titanic history buff, served as the evening's emcee and lent some of his collection to the silent auction area to add authenticity to the reception "on deck." The silent auction raised nearly $19,000 for student scholarships. And, for the third consecutive year, Chef Craig T. Meyer, executive chef for Lakeside Country Club, volunteered his time and talents and served as guest chef. Pictured left to right celebrating the success of the evening with President Renu Khator (center) are student leaders Sara Morrill, sous chef; Kaitlyn Venable, banquet chef; Erin Oeser, executive event director; Juliana Hernandez, banquet manager; Jo Anne Dima-ala, general manager; Matthew Euresti , silent auction manager; Sarah Robinson , marketing manager; (back row) Amber Slovensky, service manager; Tatiana Bakhoum, beverage manager; Daniel Capetillo, sous chef; Abby Usry, event manager; and Bernadette Vickio, human resources manager. Kudos to Captain Dima-ala and the entire crew of Titanic on a delicious and memorable voyage! For more photos of the event, click here. (Photo:Steve Lee Photography)
CMAA Panelists
An All-Star Panel for Club Management Day
Students who were interested in learning more about club management had a rare opportunity to ask questions to an impressive panel of country club GMs, VPs and COOs, all of whom—with the exception of one—graduated from Hilton College in the 1980s. On March 30, as part of lecturer Alexis Hoey's club management class, a full afternoon of panel discussions on the career opportunities and trends in club management was open to all interested students. The panel was moderated by (pictured left to right) Charles D. Dorn, CCM ('80), managing director of The Dorn Group, Ltd., with panelists Patrick Pettit, CCM ('89), general manager of The Clubs of Kingwood; Bill Langley, CCM, vice president of Club Operations at The Club at Carlton Woods; Marvin Jones, CCM ('85), general manager of the San Antonio Country Club; John Finley, CCM ('81), general manager of Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa; and Dennis Petrash, CCM ('86), chief operating officer and general manager of the Westwood Country Club. Jason P. Koenigsfeld, PhD, CHE, vice president for Professional Development at the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) was the afternoon's guest speaker. He talked to students about the importance of educational and professional development in the club industry and updated the group on the benefits of CMAA membership. The discussion was capped off with a reception in the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor Gallery, where students and industry leaders alike got the chance to network and learn that club management is still "alive and kickin'" at Hilton College. (Photo: Michael Scott)
Eric's Club Spring2012
"Chairing" Charles
The newest member of Eric's Club is Charles D. Dorn , CCM ('80), managing director of The Dorn Group, Ltd., which specializes in operational consulting, strategic planning and executive search primarily for the private club industry. Charles returned to his alma mater from his home in Rye, New York, to share his secrets for a successful career in club management with students during the Eric Hilton Distinguished Chair Alumni Lecture Series held March 29 at Hilton College. He was the 22nd lecturer in the series, created in 1999 by Professor Emeritus Clinton L. Rappole to bring accomplished alumni back to the College to establish a legacy of student encouragement and connectivity. After his lecture, Charles (pictured sitting center) was presented with an Eric's Club chair by fellow members of Eric's Club. Pictured left to right welcoming their newest member are Ricki Oberoi ('86), Bob Planck ('71), Steve Goodman, ('83, MSACCY '85), Dr. Clint Rappole , Bob Cowan ('76), Dorothy Nicholson ('77), Eric's Club chairman Gregg Rockett ('86), Dean John Bowen , Doug Brooks ('75), Nick Massad ('73), Al Gallo ('82) and Bill Fortier (MS '83).(Photo: Michael Scott)
Vegas Students Spring
Giving Back to Vegas
For the students in lecturer Liza Jascolt's gaming class, Spring Break was spent gaining an insider's perspective of the most famous gaming strip in the world. Every year since 1998, Hilton College students have spent five days touring Las Vegas hotels and casinos, gaining special access to front- and back-of-the-house operations and meeting with casino executives to get an in-depth look at billion-dollar properties. This spring, students stayed at Caesars Palace and toured the Cosmopolitan, Golden Nugget, Luxor, Venetian, Palazzo, Wynn and Encore. They also attended a happy hour with area alums at the Four Seasons Hotel, giving them another networking opportunity to learn what it's like to live and work in Vegas. Additionally, since 2010, students have been volunteering at Three Square, a Nevada food bank founded by Eric Hilton, which has become a highlight of their Vegas experience. Standing left to right are Sun Yiqing, Alejandro Gamez, Katie Gorski, Ricky Barrientos, Elizabeth Whalen, Mark Webster, Tien Nguyen, (kneeling left to right) Diana Paramo, Tracy Tsang, Jaclyn Vickery, Liza Jascolt and Michelle Martinez, who sorted and repackaged donated food for distribution to the needy. For students trying to decide if a career in gaming is right for them, this trip was the chance of a lifetime to learn about the "real" Las Vegas and to give a little bit back to the community that welcomed them so readily.