Thursday, October 1, 2009

Industry Visit

Monday, September 30 was a great day in The Hospitality College. No, it wasn't Dr. Seidman Day, it was better. We were paid a visit by Roger Dow, a "heavy-hitter" in the Travel/Tourism Industry.

Mr. Dow is a Lobbyist. (Go ahead and google that term.) He has gotten to meet President Obama and he keeps in regular touch with all of the high profile industry CEOs. He has Bill Marriott's cell phone # on his Blackberry. How cool is that? I have my mother on my cell phone. How uncool does that make me? (Don't answer that.)

Many of our students were fortunate to hear Mr. Dow speak. We held two separate presentations for him. Not only did he discuss future trends in the Hospitality Industry, he gave the students great advice for launching a successful career. He discussed the importance of being a good communicator, not being afraid to work in different countries, and being patient with your career. Of particular interest was his mention that by the year 2025, many of today's industry leaders will be retiring paving the way for many of you (the students) to step up and be the next generation of leaders.

I was fortunate to spend some extra time with Mr. Dow and I couldn't help but notice what an easy-going, down to earth man, he was. The man who met Obama and has Bill Marriott on his Blackberry spoke patiently about his love for his job, his family and baseball (although not in that order.)

The message is two-fold:
  1. Johnson & Wales is a much better place because we were able to have an industry icon chat with students, and
  2. No matter how successful you may become, it's still important to stay true to yourself and remain a humble, down to earth person.

The Hospitality College is grateful to the contribution of our Trustee- William Tiefel for making Mr. Dow's visit possible. And I am personally grateful to the great group of faculty and students who contributed to this successful day.

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