The Marriott China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI) is a charitable effort funded by The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. The initiative’s purpose is to enhance hospitality education, leading to rewarding careers for the next generation of China’s hospitality leaders. Developed in partnership with San Diego State University, this multi-faceted program enables Chinese educators and students to gain knowledge and real-world experiences in hotel operations.
Our vision is to create world-class hospitality education that leads to life-changing careers for youth in China. Our mission is to prepare youth in China for rewarding careers in the hotel industry by enhancing education curricula, offering real-world operational experiences, and engaging a community of inspired educators.
In November 2012, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation committed funding for a five-year period to support China’s youth through the Marriott China Hospitality Initiative (CHEI) and a portfolio of programs. The initiative reflects the Marriott family’s ongoing efforts to help young people fulfill their potential and realize their ambitions.
CHEI is a charitable initiative with programs that are broadly distributed across China. The initiative’s focus is on universities and vocational schools and offering several programs to faculty members and students that expose them to real-life hotel operations and experiences. Unique and China-centric hospitality curricula for a variety of courses that focus on soft skills and English are being developed that will be offered to all interested schools in China.
Anne Gunsteens oversees all Marriott Foundation activities including the overall long-range strategy and financial investment in CHEI. She partnered with industry and academic experts to develop CHEI and engage teams in China and the United States. Read More
Carl Winston provides oversight for CHEI, advising on overall strategy, impact measurement and sustainability. With 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, he is currently program director of the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at San Diego State University (SDSU). Read More
Joy Dong provides CHEI project leadership, helps develop CHEI strategy and oversees the implementation of all programs across mainland China. She travels extensively to foster relationships with CHEI partner schools and hospitality venues. Read More
Caron Chen supports the CHEI project team by managing program logistics, fielding inquiries, visiting schools and administering the CHEI website and WeChat posts. Previously, Caron interned in the United States with The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, United Nations Children’s Fund, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, and Disneyland Resort. Read More
Gene Lamke manages the CHEI hospitality teaching-learning resources program and mentors International CHEI Fellows and CHEI Teaching Consultants. Gene is professor emeritus at San Diego State University (SDSU) after 45 years on faculty. In 2001, Gene and Dr. Mark Butler designed and founded SDSU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management degree program. Read More
Linda Roundtree guides the strategy and execution of all communications, including website, social media and public relations messages and collateral to align with the CHEI mission. Linda is president of Roundtree Consulting, a Human Resources communications firm she founded in 2002. Read More.
Brian Blake provides operations advisement to CHEI and helps select, mentor and manage the International CHEI Fellows program. Brian has 30 years of experience in hospitality and is the internship and placement director for the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at SDSU. Read More
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