China Hospitality Education Initiative

The Marriott China
Hospitality Education Initiative

Get The Latest Update

Marriott Foundation Funds New Charitable Initiative Supporting Youth In China

$6.5 Million Investment to Expand Opportunities for Youth through the China Hospitality Education Initiative.

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation has committed 40.5 million RMB ($6.5 million) over five years to support China’s youth through the Marriott China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI). The purpose of this initiative is to enhance the hospitality education of Chinese youth, preparing them for rewarding careers in China’s booming travel and tourism industry. Marriott CHEI is now in the process of selecting 10 to 12 pilot schools for the upcoming academic year, and anticipates impacting up to 20,000 students annually in 50 schools within five years.

Marriott CHEI will support China’s education system—among the world’s oldest and most respected—by expanding the existing hospitality curricula and programs for universities and vocational schools. The initiative’s ultimate goal is to help growing numbers of young Chinese, many from hard-pressed rural areas, climb the career ladders available in the hospitality industry.

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, a private family foundation, has a long history of helping youth secure a promising future. For over two decades, the foundation has been a lead supporter of innovative hospitality programs within colleges and universities across the United States. As the hospitality industry becomes increasingly global, the foundation’s efforts have expanded to parts of the world where they can have the greatest impact. China provides just such an opportunity.

The Marriott Foundation has selected San Diego State University to be Marriott CHEI’s academic advisor. Home to a world-class hospitality and tourism management school, SDSU has been working for several years with Chinese schools, industry experts and government officials—regionally and nationally—to develop programs that are respected globally and uniquely Chinese. This collaboration has identified various opportunities that CHEI intends to pursue, including:

  • Professional development opportunities for students, ranging from internships and work experiences to site tours and guest speakers with experience in the industry
  • Studies that include conversational English specific to the hospitality industry
  • Faculty development including exchanges with universities in the United States and internships at hotels in China
  • Development of unique content that will augment existing curricula
  • An annual “teaching conference” to bring together leaders in hospitality education and share best practices

“We are customizing the program based on input from the industry and the impressive vocational schools and universities in China, and we hope to be part of a community of hospitality educators,” said Carl H. Winston, Director of San Diego State University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Marriott International, which has a substantial presence in China, has agreed to serve as CHEI’s initial industry advisor. CHEI will benefit from Marriott International’s experience in China, and from the company advising on curriculum relevance, assisting with data to measure program outcomes, hosting faculty internships at partner schools, and providing hotel internships for students.

"The Marriott hotels in China are very excited to open doors of opportunity to Chinese youth," said Simon Cooper, President of Asia-Pacific for Marriott International. "We are eager to support CHEI’s efforts to prepare talented students for the diverse, fast-paced and fulfilling career opportunities that our hospitality industry offers.”

Funded entirely by the Marriott Foundation, CHEI reflects the Marriott family’s ongoing efforts to help young people fulfill their potential and realize their ambitions. “The China Hospitality Education Initiative honors the legacy of my parents, and supports our goal of providing youth with educational opportunities,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., trustee of the Marriott Foundation and executive chairman of Marriott International. “More than 90 years ago, a college professor saw potential in my father and helped him obtain an education. That provided him the knowledge and skills to start a family business that eventually became Marriott International. Today, my family and I are fortunate to continue this tradition."

To learn more about the program, contact Carl Winston at cwinston@chei.org or Brian Blake at bblake@chei.org, or visit www.CHEI.org.

About The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation:

The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation was established in 1965 with the purpose of giving back to the community. Under the current direction of J.W. Marriott, Jr. and Richard E. Marriott, the Marriott Foundation is dedicated to helping youth secure a promising future, especially through education on the secondary and higher education levels, mentoring and youth leadership programs. Equally important are organizations that help provide relief from hunger and disasters; support people with disabilities; and create gainful employment opportunities for vulnerable youth and adults.

About San Diego State University:

San Diego State University is a nationally ranked research university that provides more than 30,000 students with a robust academic curriculum that includes an increasing international emphasis. The L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) is housed within the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at SDSU. The vision of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is to be “the most personalized school of its kind in developing hospitality leaders,” and HTM pursues this goal by tailoring programs that meet both industry needs and student expectations. For more information visit www.sdsu.edu/htm.

About Marriott International:

Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA with nearly 3,800 properties in 74 countries and territories and reported revenues of over $12 billion in fiscal year 2011. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

Connect with elizabeth.mcglasson@marriott.com

More Information

Expanding Career Opportunities for Chinese Youth

The Marriott China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI) is a five-year charitable project supported by the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Family Foundation. The goal of the Initiative is to enhance the hospitality education of Chinese youth, preparing them for rewarding careers in China’s booming travel and tourism industry. Marriott CHEI will support China’s education system—among the world’s oldest and most respected—by expanding the existing hospitality curricula and programs for universities and vocational schools. In the process, Marriott CHEI will help growing numbers of young Chinese, many from rural areas, become familiar with the career ladders available in the hospitality industry.

Marriott CHEI is funded entirely by The Marriott Foundation, a private family foundation with a long history of helping young people secure a promising future. The Initiative will engage up to a dozen pilot schools for the 2013-2014 academic year, and anticipates impacting up to 20,000 students annually in 50 schools within five years.

Among the programs and services that Marriott CHEI will provide:

  • Professional development opportunities for students, ranging from internships and work experiences to site tours and guest speakers
  • Studies that include conversational English specific to the hospitality industry
  • Faculty development including exchanges with universities in the United States and internships at hotels in China
  • Development of content unique to the travel and tourism industry that will augment existing curricula
  • An annual "teaching conference" to bring together leaders in hospitality education and share best practices
Expert Advisors

To help ensure that Marriott CHEI’s hospitality education is both practical and comprehensive, The Marriott Foundation selected San Diego State University (sdsu.edu) to serve as academic advisor. SDSU is home to the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM), a world-class institution that aims to be “the most personalized school of its kind in developing hospitality leaders.” San Diego State University has spent several years working with schools, industry experts and government officials in China to develop programs that are respected globally and uniquely Chinese. As manager of Marriott CHEI programs and curricula, San Diego State University will emphasize its own core values of academic rigor and professional accountability. Moreover, SDSU’s approach to hospitality education is highly entrepreneurial and innovative—essential qualities for success in the travel and tourism industry. To learn more about San Diego State University and the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, visit sdsu.edu/web

The Marriott Foundation also sought the counsel and support of an industry advisor, and Marriott International, Inc. agreed to serve in this role. Marriott CHEI will benefit in numerous ways from Marriott International’s thorough understanding of the hospitality industry and its extensive experience within China. For example, the corporation will provide guidance on the relevance of Marriott CHEI’s curricula and programs to industry, host faculty internships at partner schools, and provide hotel internships for students. Also, experienced executives from Marriott International will work with the students and faculty at each school, and help provide qualitative assessments of the Initiative’s impact. To learn more about Marriott International, Inc., visit www.marriott.com

A Mission Inspired by a Helping Hand

The devotion to youth and education that CHEI embodies—and that fuels so many Marriott Foundation initiatives—is rooted in family history. The founder of the Marriott Corporation, J. Willard Marriott, grew up on his father’s farm in a small town in Utah, where he was responsible for tending the sheep and cattle. The chores were so constant and strenuous that he never managed to graduate from high school. His departure from the farm only came when he went on a Mormon mission for two years.

J. Willard returned home with widening ambitions, but realized that he could only go so far without a college education. Yet how could he gain admission to a college without having a high school diploma? The answer came in the person of Aaron Tracy, a former teacher of J. Willard who had since become an administrator at Weber State College in nearby Ogden, Utah. Tracy opened the way for J. Willard to enroll at Weber and then helped the young man find various campus jobs that would pay the full tuition. J. Willard graduated from Weber and, armed with business skills he learned there, set off to realize his entrepreneurial dreams. It is no exaggeration to say that Aaron Tracy’s assistance in opening doors of opportunity for J. Willard made possible one of the world’s great hospitality companies.

J. Willard’s son, J. W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., stresses today that his father’s experience has shaped the values and vision of the Foundation and company. Trustee of the Marriott Foundation and executive chairman of Marriott International, Bill Marriott explains the family’s support of the China Hospitality Education Initiative by saying, “More than 90 years ago, a college professor saw potential in my father and helped him obtain an education. That provided him the knowledge and skills to start a family business that eventually became Marriott International. Today, my family and I are fortunate to continue this tradition."

Contact Us

Management Team

Carl Winston
Carl Winston

Managing Director

Contact Information: cwinston@chei.org

Director, L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Over 20 years of experience in a variety of senior executive level hospitality industry positions. Prior to joining SDSU, Carl was a chief operating officer for Trigild Corporation; executive vice president of operations for Jeepers!, a Boston-based company which operates a chain of small amusement parks; and executive vice president of operations for Trusthouse Forte; and later Chartwell Leisure. Prior to these experiences, he started his own hotel management company, and was the senior operations executive responsible for a hotel company that grew from 17 to 125 locations in four years. In addition, he worked in public accounting as a consultant for four years. Mr. Winston is involved with a large number of local, regional and national industry associations and groups where he serves in leadership positions and Boards of Directors.

Brian Blake
Brian Blake

Director

Contact Information: bblake@chei.org

Director, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Student Center for Professional Development
The L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Prior to joining SDSU in 2005, Brian Blake spent 20 years in the hospitality industry. His last position was vice president of operations for Trigild International, a San Diego based management company specializing in the operation of hotels, restaurants, golf courses and theme parks throughout the U.S.A. Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in Hotel management in the UK at the University of Surrey. He spent a yearlong internship at the Hotel Okura, Japanese owned and managed luxury hotel in Amsterdam.

Upon graduation Brian joined one of Europe’s leading hotel and restaurant companies, Trusthouse Forte, attending their Graduate Management Training Program. Some of Brian’s first assignments were in London and New York before moving to San Diego to become the assistant general manager at the Harbor Island Hilton (previously the Viscount Hotel.)

Brian’s first general management experience was in San Francisco before becoming a regional manager overseeing properties throughout northern California and Nevada. Brian later joined Accor, where he was named Area Manager of the Year in 1998.

Brian has been involved in various industry associations such as the Hospitality Human Resource Managers Association (HHRA) and the Hospitality, Financial & Technology Professionals (HFTP). In addition Brian served as a faculty advisor to the Walt Disney Company’s Advisory board for three years. Brian also served on the education committees for both the California Restaurant Association and the California Hotel & Lodging Association. Brian has been an active member of the American Hotel & Lodging association and helped found one of the first student chapters. In 2011 Brian was awarded the prestigious Gold Key Award by the San Diego Hotel & Motel Association for services to the organization.

Brian has been running global programs for the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at San Diego State University. Over 200 mainland Chinese students have participated in such programs.

Joy Dong
Joy Dong

Project Manager
Marriott Foundation China Hospitality Education Initiative

Contact Information: Joy.dong@marriott.com

Professional background

Joy has worked for Marriott International for 10 years. She has worked at JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai, Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel, and Courtyard by Marriott Shanghai Xujiahui. Prior to her current assignment, Joy has taken the role as China Talent Relations Project Manager for Marriott International.

As the China Project Manager for Marriott Foundation Hospitality Education Initiative, Joy will be actively building relationships with various hospitality related universities and vocational schools. In addition, she will be interacting with the hotels throughout China as well as developing relationship with local or provincial government.

Joy will also develop effective social media platforms in Mainland China to engage Generation Y students and propagate the charity initiatives to faculties, students, hoteliers, etc.

Education

Bachelor of Arts, English Major, Shanghai Normal University, China (1997)
Master of International Business, University of Wollongong, Australia (2002)

Gene G. Lamke, Professor Emeritus
Gene Lamke

Curriculum Development Coordinator
Marriott Foundation China Hospitality Education Initiative

Contact Information: glamke@mail.sdsu.edu

Professional background

Gene Lamke finished his 45th year on the faculty at San Diego State University and is currently a Professor Emeritus of the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. He has taught at SDSU in six different decades at SDSU and has been recognized on 15 different occasions as the Most Influential Faculty Member by the Outstanding Graduating Senior since 1979 (year award was initiated). He was the first faculty member to receive the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts Outstanding Faculty Award (now named the Monty Award) in 1984. He served as Chair of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism for 15 years and was also the Chair of the University Senate for two terms from 1996-1998. He and Dr. Mark Butler designed and founded the Hospitality and Tourism Management degree program at SDSU in 2001. Professor Lamke, along with former Burger King CEO J. Jeffrey Campbell, designed and implemented a Master of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management that is 80% online that started in 2012. Professor Lamke has delivered over 100 papers and presentations to professional and academic audiences and has published numerous research articles and professional contributions in refereed journals, professional publications, books, and monographs. Additionally, Gene has served as president of various local, regional, and national professional associations and organizations. He has received numerous awards for his work at SDSU, in the community, and in the professional world. He has garnered over $4 million dollars worth of grants and contracts for SDSU and served seven years on the SDSU Research Foundation's Board of Directors.

Anne Gunsteens

Executive Director,
The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation

China Hospitality Education Initiative students
China Hospitality Education Initiative students
China Hospitality Education Initiative students
China Hospitality Education Initiative students
Contact Us