Hospitality and Tourism Alumni Chapter celebrates the 2023 Alumni Awards of Excellence
Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ (May 1, 2023) — The Park Avenue Club in Florham Park was alive with excitement as Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Hospitality and Tourism Alumni Chapter celebrated the inaugural event honoring the 2023 Alumni Awards of Excellence honorees.
This is the first event honoring alumni from FDU’s International School of Hospitality, Sports, and Tourism Management since the program’s founding. The generous contribution of major hotel chains and industry-leading organizations supported the event.
The 2023 honorees are:
- Hotelier of the Year- Tramaine Cooper, Hilton
- Entrepreneur of the Year- Chris Droussiotis, Kinisis Ventures
- Educator of the Year- Ruth Hladyk, Fairleigh Dickinson University
- FDU Lifetime Pinnacle Award-David Keys, Hospitality Keys LLC
- Food & Beverage & Events Industry Icon Award- B. Allan Kurtz, Gotham Hall, and Ziegfeld Ballroom
- Young Professional of the Year- Kathy Mendez, Marriott
- Hospitality Industry Mentor of the Year- Paul Wawrynek, Crestmont Country Club
John Niser, Director of The International School of Hospitality, Sports, and Tourism Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University was pleased to see the large group of attendees and noted, “I look around and see nothing but stars. Stars who are transforming the hospitality and tourism sectors because their lives were transformed by their FDU experiences.”
David Keys, consultant and former executive at Hilton who was honored with the FDU Lifetime Pinnacle Award said, “My education and experiences at FDU helped set the foundation for my career in hospitality.”
The event was attended by numerous students, alumni, industry stakeholders, and influencers. Prior to the awards ceremony, 2023 graduating students in the hospitality and tourism program were treated to a panel of alumni and industry executives who presented advice and suggestions about embarking on careers in the hospitality sector.
About FDU’s International School of Hospitality, Sports, and Tourism Management
The International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University is dedicated to preparing students for exciting careers and leadership positions in the hospitality and tourism industries. The oldest program of its type in the New York metropolitan area and one of the oldest in the country, the School has produced more than 3,000 graduates, many of whom have gone on to management and executive roles at hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tourist destinations around the country—and around the world.
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