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. Under Anne’s leadership, the Marriott Foundation has expanded its focus to invest in innovative global initiatives, such as CHEI, for young people interested in hospitality careers, education reform efforts and higher education hospitality programs. Previously, Anne worked in KPMG’s audit practice. Anne earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University and is a certified public accountant.
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. Previously, Joy worked in human resources for Marriott International, most recently as China talent relations program manager. Joy earned a master’s degree in international business from University of Wollongong, Australia and a bachelor’s degree in English from Shanghai Normal University, China.
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. Caron earned a master’s degree in public administration from New York University and dual bachelor’s degrees in management and Economics from Southwestern University of Finance & Economics in China.
Sarah Liu assists the CHEI project team in China with administrative tasks related to the execution and communication of CHEI programs. Most recently, Sarah was human resources officer at Courtyard by Marriott Suzhou, responsible for employee engagement, compensation and benefits, and HR communications. Sarah also worked in the Human Resources Management department at Jiangsu Tsingda Vision Technology, Shanghai Sandpay Network Service and Jiangsu Company, and the Operations department at Golden Eagle International Group. Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in science of biology from Suchow University, China.
Christina Wu consults with educators to help them incorporate CHEI Hospitality English curriculum into classroom teaching and writes related “Tips of the Week” posted on MarriottCHEI WeChat. Christina is currently an instructor of English at the College of Foreign Languages, Chengdu University of Information Technology (CUIT). Previously, Christina was a visiting scholar at the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, San Diego State University. Christina earned a master’s degree in English language and literature and a bachelor’s degree in English from Sichuan Normal University.
Ivan Xu advises the CHEI team on teaching-learning resources and consults with educators at CHEI schools to help them incorporate advanced teaching methodologies into hospitality and tourism courses. Ivan is an associate professor and academic leader of the Hotel Management program at Heilongjiang Polytechnic, and AHLEI Certified Hospitality Educator. Selected as an International CHEI Fellow, Ivan completed the program at San Diego State University. Previously, she was a visiting scholar at Assumption University of Thailand and Nanhua University in Taiwan. Ivan earned a master’s degree in laws from Heilongjiang University and a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Dalian University of Foreign Languages.
Candy Mei advises the CHEI team on teaching-learning resources and consults with educators at CHEI schools to help them incorporate advanced teaching methodologies into hospitality and tourism courses. Candy is an instructor of Tourism and Hospitality English at the Hospitality and Tourism Program in East University of Heilongjiang. Active in CHEI programs, Candy has completed a summer Faculty Internship at the Ningbo Marriott Hotel and an International CHEI Fellowship at San Diego State University. She was also a speaker at this year’s CHEI Teaching Conference in Shanghai. Candy received her bachelor’s degree in Business English and master’s degree in Tourism Translation from Heilongjiang University.
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). Previously, Carl was chief operating officer for Trigild and executive vice president of operations for Jeepers! (family indoor amusement parks), Trusthouse Forte Hotels and Chartwell Leisure Hotels. He also founded a hotel management company. Carl earned a master’s of professional studies in hotel administration from Cornell University.
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. Previously, Linda spent 17 years with American Airlines in international flight service leadership and HR. She is a research affiliate with the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College and a faculty member with WorldatWork, a global HR professional association. Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders and sciences from California State University, Northridge.
Gene Lamke manages the CHEI hospitality teaching-learning resources program. Gene also 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. Gene has delivered over 100 papers and presentations and published numerous research articles and professional contributions in peer-reviewed journals, professional publications, books and monographs. Gene earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in physical education from San Diego State University.
Dr. Nicholas (Nick) Thomas helps develop and deliver CHEI Teaching-Learning Resources, and mentors International CHEI Fellows and CHEI Teaching Consultants. Nick is assistant professor and director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Center for Student Development and Engagement in DePaul University’s School of Hospitality Leadership in Chicago, Illinois. He teaches courses and conducts research on human resources and hospitality operations. Previously, Nick held leadership positions in luxury hospitality organizations. Nick earned a doctorate and master’s degree in Hospitality Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration from the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
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. Previously, Brian was vice president of operations for Trigild, a management company specializing in hospitality operations, and held various management positions with Trusthouse Forte, Hilton and Accor. Brian earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel management from the University of Surrey, United Kingdom.
Carol Chen oversees CHEI’s expenditures, prepares budgets and forecasts, establishes and organizes databases, and communicates CHEI program progress. Previously, she was senior accountant at Ernst & Young and hotel controller at Hilton Hotels. She was also vice president of accounting at Trigild, providing hotel-clients with financial operations oversight. Carol earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from University of California, Los Angeles and is a certified public accountant.