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 Illinois.

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Strategic Planning

The School of Hospitality Leadership's 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. Hospitality is rooted in social engagement and is in alignment with DePaul University's founding principles, ​which 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 and 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 withcomplex factors such 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 guide and assess each student's development of knowledge, competencies and skills. The center aims to provide personalized 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.                            

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  • 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.

    Learn More

The Hospitality Advisory Council

Members of the Hospitality Advisory Council (HAC) represent a wide range of hospitality organizations that operate in the U.S. and internationally with a strong representation in the Chicago 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
Area Vice President and General Manager
Hyatt Regency O'Hare​

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

Past Chairman

oseph 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 two subcommittees and one task force which guide our school in student preparation for successful hospitality careers. These two ​subcommittees and the task force include academic programs, industry and student engagement, and alumni relations and involvement respectively.

Jim Abrahamson
Chief Executive Officer
Interstate Hotels & Resort 

Judson Allen*
Chief Executive Officer and Chef
Healthy Infused Cuisine, LLC

Daniel Beider*
Chairman and Senior Managing Director
Paramount Lodging Advisors

Carlyn Berghoff
Chief Executive Officer
Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group

Sarah Bond
Director of Human Resources
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Thomas Caplice*​
Founding Partner
MacNell Accounting & Consulting, LLP

David Causton
General Manager
McCormick Place

John Colletti
Managing Partner
Gibsons Restaurant Group

Anthony Falor*
Managing Director
National Hospitality Group Ten-X

Michael Feigenbaum
General Manager
Westin Lombard Yorktown Center

Fran Ferrone*
Executive Vice President
American Sightseeing International

Laurence Geller
Chief Executive Officer & Chairman
Geller Investment Company 

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

Ernest Glidden*
Senior Vice President, Finance Operations
Caesars Entertainment

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

Steven Hartenstein
Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer
Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants​

Marc Jacobs
President & Executive Partner
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

Allison Johnson
General Manager
The Fortnightly of Chicago Club

George Jordan
Area General Manager
Godfrey Hotel Group

Arnold Karr*
Karr & Associates

Colleen Keating
Executive Vice President of Operations
Davidson Hotels & Resorts

Anthony Klok
Rebel Hospitality

David Kong
President & Chief Executive Officer
Best Western Inc. Corporate Headquarters

Rick Kroner
General Manager
The Metropolitan Club

Nancy Lally
Regional Director of Human Resources
Hilton Worldwide

Mark Lauer
General Manager
Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel

Thomas Loughlin
Area Vice President (North Central Region)
Hilton Worldwide

Steven Marx*
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hotel Source, Inc.

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

Carrie Meghie*
Becker Ventures

William Moore
Area Director of Finance
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Nancy O'Brien*
Senior Director, National Accounts
Garrett Brands, LLC

Shreyas "JR" Patel*
Helix Hospitality

Thomas Robertson
General Manager
Chicago Marriott Downtown 

George Ruff*
Senior Principal
Trinity Hotel Investors, LLC

Glen Ryniewski
Assistant Commissioner
Chicago Department of Aviation

Bob Sala*
Retired Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Distribution Market Advantage, Inc. 

Nancy Slatin*
General Manager
Valley Lo Club

John Spidalette
General Manager
University Club of Chicago

Ron Swidler
The Gettys Group

Sam​ Toia*
Chairman of the Board
Illinois Restaurant Association

Wayne Urbanek
Managing Partner
Lighthouse Consulting, Inc.

Bill Vinck*
Managing Director
Chapman Associates

Ron Vlasic
Regional Vice President
Kimpton Hotels

Christopher Wehking
Chief Program Officer
American Society of Anesthesiologists

Matthew Wehling
Senior Vice President, Development North America
Hilton Worldwide

John Wells
General Manager
Hilton Chicago Hotel & Towers

Barbara Wendel*
General Manager
Doubletree Suites & Conference by Hilton Hotel and Conference Center Downers Grove

Jay Williams
Schiff Hardin, LLP

Rehan Zaid*

Managing Principal
Prominence Hospitality Group


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

Contact Us
School of Hospitality Leadership
14 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 320
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: (312) 362-6777
Fax: (312) 362-6773