DePaul University College of Business > Academics > School of Hospitality Leadership

School of Hospitality Leadership

Hotel Sign

As the world's fastest growing and most dynamic industry, hospitality offers seemingly endless professional opportunities. The School of Hospitality Leadership, located within the prestigious Richard H. Driehaus College of Business, was established with the support of a $7.5 million gift from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Beginning in the autumn of 2010, the school began preparing students for leadership roles within the hospitality field by providing them with a depth and breadth of superior business education coupled with the appropriate hospitality industry knowledge sets. In 2015, the School of Hospitality Leadership was named as the most recognized hospitality program in the state of Illinois.

Follow us on Social Media

Strategic Planning

The School of Hospitality Leadership strategic planning efforts were used to shape the school's vision and values from the very beginning. Those efforts maximized the use of advisory board members, industry leaders, university alumni and academic professionals through focus groups to create a unique and innovative program that will ultimately provide a comprehensive educational experience preparing students for leadership opportunities of today and the industry challenges of tomorrow. ​​

The Importance of Hospitality

The importance of hospitality is undeniable to many nations and localities. It is the business of travel and tourism. The industry has distinguished itself as the 'Art of Pleasure' and the 'Science of Pleasing' to both the guest and those serving them. Hospitality is rooted in social engagement and is in alignment within a university whose founding principles are focused on the goodness and kindness to others. ​

Why Study Hospitality Leadership at DePaul?

Students aspiring toward leadership positions in hospitality will enter a dynamic industry filled with endless opportunity, benefits and reward. While there are clear attractions to working in the industry — interacting with people, travel, the satisfaction of working in service — understanding the unique challenges of serving people is critical to success in a competitive environment. Today's hospitality leaders must deal with such complex factors as globalization, sustainability, new business and financial models, and rapidly changing consumer demands. ​​


  • The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Center for Student Development and Engagement

    The center was established to create, integrate, and expand student development and engagement resources, and to introduce processes for guiding and assessing each individual student's development of knowledge, competencies, skills and dispositions sought in a successful industry professional. Specifically, the center is meant to provide highly personalized progressive career planning and development strategies to all DePaul hospitality students while engaging them with our key industry partners and alumni for career success in our field.

  • Center for Research and Education in Hospitality Leadership

    The DePaul Center for Research and Education in Hospitality Leadership serves industry leaders, owners and other practitioners through applied research and education on critical issues in the national and international hospitality industry. Drawing on the expertise of Driehaus College of Business faculty, the center engages in timely research and offers an array of professional development workshops and ongoing consultation service to hospitality managers and entrepreneurs.

The Hospitality Advisory Council

Members of the Hospitality Advisory Council (HAC) represent a wide range of hospitality organizations that operate in the United States and internationally with a strong representation in the Chicagoland hospitality community. These individuals bring a perspective to our program that helps us infuse worldwide trends and priorities, aiding us in keeping our program at the leading edge of the field. As senior organizational leaders, members are highly visible advocates who champion our program across the industry. Their depth of leadership experience and organizational competence enables them to provide counsel in our preparation of students as future industry leaders and professionals.

HAC Executive Leadership

Paul Daly
Hotel Manager
Hyatt Regency Chicago

Vice Chairman
Jerry Cataldo*
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hostmark Hospitality Group

Past Chairman
Joseph McInerney*
President & Chief Executive Officer
McInerney Hospitality International, LLC

An asterisk (*) indicates that a member of the HAC is also a DePaul University alumnus/alumna.

HAC Members​​

The HAC members serve on three subcommittees which guide our School in student preparation for successful hospitality careers. These subcommittees include academic and career preparation, industry relations and alumni engagement.

Jim Abrahamson
Chief Executive Officer
Interstate Hotels & Resort
Allison Johnson
General Manager
The Fortnightly of Chicago Club 

Nancy Slatin*
 General Manager
Valley Lo Club
Judson Allen*
Chief Executive Officer & Chef 
Healthy Infused Cuisine, LLC
George Jordan
Area General Manager
Hotel Cass, Hotel Felix & Godfrey Hotel; SVP Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC

John Spidalette
 General Manager
University Club of Chicago
Daniel Beider*
Chairman & Senior Managing Director
Paramount Lodging Advisors
Arnold Karr*
Karr & Associates

Ron Swidler
The Gettys Group
Carlyn Berghoff
Chief Executive Officer
Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group
Colleen Keating
Senior Vice President
Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide

Sam Toia*
 President & Chief Executive Officer
Illinois  Restaurant Association

Sarah Bond 
 Director of Human Resources
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Anthony Klok
Rebel Hospitality
Seble Tsehaye
 Area Director of Human Resources
Hyatt Regency Chicago

David Causton
 General Manager
McCormick Place

David Kong
President & Chief Executive Officer
Best Western, Inc.

Wayne Urbanek
Chicago Business Travel Association
John Colletti
 Managing Partner
Gibsons Restaurant Group
Rick Kroner
General Manager
The Metropolitan Club

Bill Vinck*
Managing Director
Chapman Associates
Anthony Falor*
Managing Director
National Hospitality Group Ten-X
Nancy Lally
Regional Human Resources Director
Hilton Worldwide

Ron Vlasic
 Regional Vice President
Kimpton Hotels 

Michael Feigenbaum
General Manager
Westin Lombard Yorktown Center 
Mark Lauer 
General Manager
Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel
Robb Webb
Chief Human Resources Officer
Tenet Healthcare
Fran Ferrone*
Executive Vice President
American Sightseeing  International 

Thomas Loughlin
Area Vice President
Hilton Worldwide

Christopher Wehking
Chief Program Officer
American Society 
of Anesthesiologists
Laurence Geller
Chief Executive Officer
Geller Investment Company
Steven Marx*
President & Founder
Hotel Source, Inc. 

Matthew Wehling
 Senior Vice President of Development, North America 
Hilton Worldwide

Sheldon Ginsburg*
Retired Chief Executive Officer & Chairman
Shell Vacations, LLC

Michael McCarthy
Vice President of Hospitality Brand Management
Standard Textile, Inc.

John Wells
General Manager
Hilton Chicago Hotel & Towers

Ernest Glidden*
Regional  Vice President - East
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Shreyas “JR” Patel*
Helix Hospitality Generation Group

Barbara Wendel*
General Manager 
Doubletree Suites & Conference Center Downers Grove

Marc Gordon
 President & Chief Executive Officer
Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association

Thomas Robertson
General Manager
Chicago Marriott Downtown Hotel

Jay Williams
Schiff Hardin, LLP

Steven Hartenstein
Chief Financial Officer & 
Chief Operating Officer
Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants
George Ruff*
Senior Principal
Trinity Hotel Investors, LLC

Rehan Zaid*
Managing Principal
Pearlshire Capital Group

Rob Hunden
Hunden Strategic Partners
Glen Ryniewski
Assistant Commissioner
Chicago Department of Aviation

Marc Jacobs
Executive Partner
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Bob Sala*
Retired Founder and CEO
Distribution Market Advantage, Inc.

An asterisk (*) indicates that a member of the HAC is also a DePaul University alumnus/alumna.