Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

September 15, 2006

Contact: Marisa Ramirez
713.743.8152 (office)
713.204.9798 (cell)

Annual Induction Applauds Hilton Hotels, Gallo Winery and Outback Steakhouses

HOUSTON, Sept. 15, 2006—Four giants of the hospitality industry will be inducted into the Hospitality Hall of Honor at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The annual event will take place at the Hilton-UH Hotel Grand Ballroom on Wednesday, October 18, beginning at 6 p.m.

This year’s honorees are Eric Hilton of Hilton Hotels Corporation, Ernest and Julio Gallo of the
E. & J. Gallo Winery and Chris T. Sullivan of Outback Steakhouse.

“The Board of Overseers is pleased to honor these industry pioneers,” Thomas W. Lattin, professor and managing director of the Hospitality Hall of Honor, said. “Their significant contributions have truly shaped the scope of our industry.”

A reception will usher in the induction ceremony, which begins promptly at 7 p.m. Dinner will be served at
7:45 p.m. The event is black tie optional. For ticket information or to make accommodations for persons with disabilities, contact Erin Oeser at 713.743.9482 or

The Hospitality Hall of Honor recognizes excellence in leadership in the hospitality industry. The inductees’ achievements and their business leadership are memorialized in permanent displays in the college’s Hall of Honor, the Leaders Gallery and the Hospitality Industry Archives. The college has been recognizing industry leaders in this way since 1996.

This year, the Hall of Honor activities will focus on increasing the interaction between the new inductees, other industry leaders and students of the college. Hall of Honor Week will be marked by two days of think tank sessions and receptions with Hall of Honor members, the current inductees, students and faculty. In addition, for the first time, a student board of directors will plan and manage all Hall of Honor events.

“Our college is known for giving students a real world experience of the hospitality industry,” Lattin said. “Assuming full responsibility for Hall of Honor Week will certainly provide them with a true taste of hospitality management.”

Eric Hilton was still in high school in El Paso when he embarked on his career as a hotelier. His international strategic planning and property development accomplishments are credited for the growth and success of the Hilton

Hotels Corporation, where he served as senior vice president of franchising, president of the Conrad Hotels and vice-chairman of the Hilton Hotels Corporation. He retired from Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1997 and now serves as a director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The UH College of Hotel and Restaurant Management is named for Conrad N. Hilton, Eric Hilton’s father.

The end of Prohibition marked the beginning of the era of Ernest and Julio Gallo wine. The brothers borrowed $5,000, checked out a library book on winemaking and opened a winery in an old railroad shed. The result was one of the most successful and well-known names in California wine. Julio Gallo passed away in 1993. If his health permits, Ernest Gallo will be on hand to receive the honor.

Chris T. Sullivan is a founder of the Outback Steakhouse restaurant companies. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Sullivan began his restaurant career in 1972. The first Outback Steakhouse opened in 1988. Today, there are more than 800 Outback Steakhouses worldwide. Outback also operates Carrabba’s Italian Grills, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Cheeseburger in Paradise and other hospitality related businesses.

Previous Hall of Honor inductees have included Walt Disney, Barron Hilton, Curtis Carlson, Sir Rocco Forte, Howard Johnson, J. W. Marriott, and Colonel Harland Sanders.

For more information on the UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management or the Hall of Honor, visit

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at