National Council of Industry Professionals
NAU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) was founded in 1986 and since grown to offer one of the largest and most respected hospitality programs in the world. The outstanding curriculum and experiential learning activities are supported by amazing faculty, dedicated alumni, and passionate industry partners.
HRM’s National Council of Industry Professionals brings together these different groups to ensure that the school’s curriculum stays on target with industry trends and that the extra-curricular and pre-professional programs are effective at assisting students in their career paths.
The National Council of Industry Professionals serves as the primary link between HRM and our alumni, friends, and the business communities by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information between those engaged in the hospitality industry and the HRM. In this way the curriculum, research and service activities of the School will be informed by those engaged in the industry, and our industry partners will understand the HRM’s teaching, research, and service mission and accomplishments.
The goals and responsibilities of the National Council of Industry Professionals include raising community awareness of the need for private financial support within the School, advising the Dean and Executive Director on matters of concern to business and the community, and developing opportunities for business partnerships.
The National Council of Industry Professionals is comprised of the Advisory Board and our Industury Partners and Friends. The Advisory Board provides leadership to the Council. Advisory board members commit to a high level of engagement with students, faculty, and staff, and bring experience with both the School and industry to the Council. Industry Partners and Friends are tremendous supporters of the School and give of their time and talents to ensure our students have a great experience and education.
Todd Davis, Chair of the Advisory Board Accordion Closed
Todd Davis, Chief Executive Officer, SkyTouch Technology
Todd Davis (’85 HRM) is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SkyTouch Technology. SkyTouch works with hospitality companies to provide high quality property management, rate management, and distribution management systems and He is the former Chief Information Officer for Choice Hotels International, one of the world’s largest hotel franchisors. Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises over 6,200 hotels, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. At Choice, Mr. Davis oversaw the company’s global information systems strategy, technology development organization and Choice’s SkyTouch Technologies division. His career, spanning over 28 years in hospitality and technology, has given Mr. Davis a strong background in leadership, talent and culture development, global business management and creation of transformational technology solutions for the hospitality industry.
Mr. Davis is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with emphasis in hotel and restaurant management. He has served on the NAU School of Hotel and Restaurant Management Advisory Board since 1999.
Hunter Carmichael Accordion Closed
Hunter Carmichael, Senior Vice President of Operations, MHG Hotels
Mr. Carmichael’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
John Cauvin Accordion Closed
John Cauvin, Executive Board Member, Marketing Intelligence Committee
Executive in Residence John Cauvin is a 30-year, multi-cultural hospitality-industry veteran and former President and CEO of Scottsdale, AZ-based Windmill Inns of America,Inc. Professor Cauvin earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and a Master of Science Degree from Cornell University Graduate School. He is also a graduate of L’Ecole Hoteliere of Lausanne in Switzerland.
While attending Cornell, Cauvin received hands-on experience while working in various management positions for ITT Sheraton Corp in Boston and New York City. He also served as Managing Director for Trusthouse Forte.
In 1984, Cauvin headed West settling in Southern Oregon, where he purchased the two struggling Windmill Inn properties and turned them around from near insolvency to a profitable independently owned and operated hotel company with properties located in Oregon, Arizona, and California.
Cauvin serves as C.E.O. of Lodging Unlimited – West, the West Coast partner to Chicago based Lodging Unlimited Inc. headed by Morris Lasky. Together they provide management services worldwide. Cauvin is an active supporter of Northern Arizona University and Cornell University Hotel Alumni Association. He has served on the Board of Trustees of Southern Oregon University for 10 years. He currently serves on the Northern Arizona School of Hotel and Restaurant Management National Advisory Board.
Dr. Eugene M. Hughes Accordion Closed
Dr. Eugene M. Hughes, President Emeritus – Northern Arizona University and Wichita State University
Dr. Gene Hughes, an ex-officio member of the Advisory Board, had a career in higher education spanning over 40 years. All of his academic degrees were in mathematics and he taught mathematics at Kansas State University, Chadron State College and George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. His administrative experience was at George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, Chadron State College, Northern Arizona University, Wichita State University, and Eastern Kentucky University. He served as president of Northern Arizona University from 1979-1993, of Wichita State University from 1993 to 1999, and as interim president of Eastern Kentucky University in the fall of 2001.
During his career at NAU, Hughes identified NAU’s niches as being the state’s premier undergraduate residential university. Research was to be focused on the natural environment of the Colorado Plateau and other selected areas. NAU continued to work closely with K – 12 school systems and developed close working relationships with community colleges. Significant efforts were devoted to working with Native American tribes and to enrolling Native American students. In addition, NAU moved to develop nationally recognized programs through its Center for Excellence in Education, the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management and its Inn at NAU, NAU Yuma, the Tozan Kiln, the Southwest Forest Science Complex and through the NAU satellite and microwave television network, NAU-net.
A few of his notable awards include being named President Emeritus of both NAU and Wichita State, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at NAU, recipient of the Arizona Board of Regents Medal (1993), Flagstaff Citizen of the Year (1988), Outstanding Kansas Citizen of the Year (1998), and Distinguished Alumnus by the Nebraska Community College Association. Hughes is past chair of the national Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee, past president of the St Vincent de Paul Society, and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Sunwest Bank. Hughes has also been commissioned a Kentucky Colonel and an Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska the highest honor that can be bestowed by those state’s governors. Gene and his wife, Margaret Ann, have a combined family of 6 grown children, 13 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
’54 AS, Western Nebraska Community College
’56 BS, Chadron State College
’58 MS, Kansas State University
’68 PhD, George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University
’97 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Northern Arizona University
’03 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Chadron State College
’11 Honorary Doctor of Laws, Eastern Kentucky University
Mark Koehler Accordion Closed
Mark Koehler, Vice President, Operations Finance Americas – Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
VP Operations Finance Americas – Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts (6 years)
Area Director of Finance – Four Seasons Scottsdale (13 years)
Area Director of Finance – Four Seasons Boston (4 years)
Director of Finance – Four Seasons Boston (3 years)
Director of Finance – Four Seasons Santa Barbara (2 years)
Assistant Director of Finance – Four Seasons Santa Barbara (2 years)
Assistant Director of Finance – Four Seasons Philadelphia (1 year)
Staff Accountant – Four Seasons Washington DC (1 year)
University of Nevada Las Vegas, BS, Hotel Administration
Cornell University, MPS, Hotel Administration
Tammy Ledyard Accordion Closed
Tammy Ledyard, Management Recruiter – Pappas Restaurants, Inc.
Tammy Ledyard (’01) is responsible for management recruiting for Pappas Restaurants, a family owned and operated company with 80+ restaurants in seven states. Based in Houston, Texas, Pappas has grown to include 12 popular concepts including Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Pappasito’s Cantina, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Pappas Seafood House, Pappas Bar-B-Q and Yia Yia Mary’s.
Tammy earned her BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University in 2001.
Before beginning her career with Pappas Restaurants, Tammy gained experience in the industry as she worked her way up from successful Server to Trainer, Bartender and Shift Leader before being promoted into Management. Including her experience with Pappas, Tammy has over twenty years of operational experience with well-known companies such as Hillstone Restaurants and Big Four Restaurants in Arizona. Upon joining Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Phoenix, Arizona, Tammy’s responsibilities included Banquet Coordinator, Point Manager for all Front of House Operations and finally Senior Front of the House Manager. She is currently responsible for the recruitment and hiring of Managers for Pappas Restaurants nationwide. Tammy sources, interviews and manages development for all managers within the Pappas Organization. She dually works in a management development role which allows her to work with Pappas managers during the training process and further through their continuing education with the company. In addition Tammy spends time maintaining relationships with hospitality schools nationwide. She is active in all aspects of the hospitality programs and presents often in the classrooms in order to help the students gain perspective on the industry. In addition to university presentations, Tammy is a regular panelist for the NSMH National Conferences.
Paige Lund Accordion Closed
Paige Lund, Area General Manager – Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel
Paige Lund has been the General Manager of the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel since 2012. A member of the Marriott group, Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel provides a distinctive urban retreat combining the body of a full-service business and convention facility with the soul of a boutique hotel. As General Manager, Lund oversees all operations for the 520-room Renaissance Brand hotel including Marston’s Café, Dust Cutter, Starbucks and 60,000 square feet of meeting and function space. Lund has also supported the Sheraton Grand Phoenix and the Westin Phoenix as Area General Manager since 2017. Prior to her career at Marriott, she was the General Manager of The Sheraton Crescent Hotel, the Vice President of Lodging for The Canyons Ski Resort, the General Manager of The Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa and served in executive positions with Westin Kierland Resort and Spa and The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa. She resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two children.
Paige is a graduate of Northern Arizona University (HRM, Class of 1993).
With a strong spirit to serve, Paige contributes to the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association Board, City of Phoenix Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board, Northern Arizona University School of Hotel and Restaurant Management National Advisory Board, HopeKids Arizona State Board and is also a member of AzLTA Women in Lodging. Under her leadership, the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel has partnered with and supported many local organizations such as HopeKids, Make-a-Wish, Grace and Mercy, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Washington Elementary School District and Ronald McDonald House among others.
Anne Niemiec Accordion Closed
Anne Niemiec, Hospitality Executive
Anne Niemeic (’92) is an accomplished Hospitality Executive having successfully managed expenses and staff productivity, while exceeding revenue goals and guest satisfaction ratings. Offering a diverse background with over 25 years of experience, she has worked in areas such as sales and operations, working with corporate and franchised properties, multi-unit portfolios, full service, select service, extended stay hotels, and the leisure entertainment and cultural attraction industry. She has enjoyed traveling across North America for 20 years, supporting offices in every time zone.
As a Franchise Services Director with Choice Hotels, Anne has supported forty hotels with eight brands while managing relationships with franchisees and built partnerships as the main point of contact for the company. Her key responsibilities to increase RevPar included sales and revenue management, education and training, hotel openings, operational analysis, and led a three state marketing co-op.
She also led the development and management of a nationwide sales team representing single and multi-unit entertainment venues across 86 locations, promoting group events to corporate and social clientele at portfolio of venues. Most recently, she was recognized as Sales Leader of the Year from White Lodging Services and her team won Global Sales Team of the Year from Marriott International. As National Director of Sales for ARAMARK Parks & Destination, she supports a nationwide sales team representing lodges, cultural attractions, and conference centers.
Anne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University, where she is an active member of the National Advisory Board. She has earned the Certified Hospitality Administrator, CHA designation through American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Hans Schatz Accordion Closed
Hans Schatz, President and CEO of CULT Artisan Beverage Company
Hans Schatz has been the president/CEO of CULT Artisan Beverage Company, a custom coffee and brewed tea manufacturing and sales organization, since 2015. CULT is a craft beverage innovator, creator and manufacturer servicing the wholesale food service industry including hotels and resorts, restaurants and coffee houses, college and universities, business dining, caterers, and even food trucks. CULT recently entered the retail grocery sector becoming the bulk coffee supplier for Fry’s stores in Arizona.
Prior to his work with CULT, Hans was involved with 3 different technology startups in the food service space. As founder and CEO of the G8 Exchange, he created a platform designed to connect manufacturers with operators for the purpose of simplifying communication, streamlining information and providing a clear line of sight between them. That project lead to two other similar projects designed to bring relief to the food service industry by creating greater connectivity and transparency. Prior to that Hans spent 25 years in the food service distribution industry that lead to him being the Corporate SVP of the SGA Food Group (Food Services of America, Systems Services of America, Amerifresh, Ameristar and Gampac), a multi-billion dollar privately owned foodservice sales, manufacturing and marketing company (that group was purchased by US Foods in September 2018 for $1.8B). Hans grew up through the business starting as a sales rep and held various management positions leading ultimately to division president.
Hans also has been on various non-profit boards and industry associations as a leader, contributor in planning conferences and as a speaker and panelist (IFMA, IFDA, IMA, DMA, YPO, Life’s Kitchen, The Humanitarian Bowl and others). Hans is currently on the Advisory Boards of Kivasun Foods, Arizona State University Fulton School of Engineering TEM College, NAU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, and Sugarfire Grill which is a chef inspired BBQ chain out of Saint Louis MO. Hans attended LSU and Texas State University and has a BBA in Business Marketing and he resides in Scottsdale AZ with his family.
Dave Sherf Accordion Closed
Dave Sherf, Contract Partner at CHM Warnick
Mr. Sherf’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Industry partners and friends
Genessa Barnett Accordion Closed
Genessa Barnett, Area Director, College Experience at Hyatt
Ms. Barnett’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Johnny Beerling Accordion Closed
Johnny Beerling, Operations Manager, SomeBurros Mexican Restaurant Group
Johnny Beerling has been the Operations Manager of Someburros Restaurant Group since 2012. This Arizona company specializes in authentic Sonoran-style Mexican food. Johnny focuses on building a team who provides a real experience for customers. As Operations Manager, Johnny also is responsible for ensuring that employees and vendors are happy with their experience. Prior to his career with Someburros, Johnny worked as a Restaurant Manager at Forest Highlands Golf Club and as a Staff Accountant for Four Seasons Resorts.
Johnny is a 2010 graduate of the NAU School of Hotel and Restaurant Management with a certificate in Accounting from The W. A. Franke College of Business.
Johnny also is a graduate of the Alliance Beverage Program. In addition to serving on the Advisory Board, Johnny is involved with youth sports and is a coach for Special Olympics.
Jason Davis Accordion Closed
Jason Davis, District Manager Southern CA – Old Spaghetti Factory
HRM Graduate Spring of 2002
Department Manager with The Old Spaghetti Factory 2002-2004
General Manager with the The Old Spaghetti Factory 2004-2012
District Manager Southern California with The Old Spaghetti Factory 2012-2017
District Manager Midwest with The Old Spaghetti Factory 2017- present
Michael Estrada Accordion Closed
Michael Estrada, Territory Manager, Ecolab
Mr. Estrada’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Kari Gfrorer Accordion Closed
Kari Gfrorer, Human Resource Manager, Jason’s Deli
Ms. Gfrorer’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Jamie Hansen Accordion Closed
Jamie Hansen, Best Western International, Inc.
Ms. Hansen’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Bill Griffin Accordion Closed
Bill Griffin, General Manager, Forest Highlands Country Club
Mr. Griffin’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
BrandyJo Guzman Accordion Closed
BrandyJo Guzman, Director of Human Resources, M Culinary Concepts
Ms. Guzman’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Steve Hart Accordion Closed
Steve Hart, General Manager and Regional Vice President, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Mr. Hart’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Randy Kluge Accordion Closed
Randy Kluge, President, Drury Southwest, Inc.
Mr. Kluge’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Michelle Mason Accordion Closed
Michelle Mason, Consultant & Project Manager – MM Hospitality
Michelle Mason (’92 HRM) Michelle is founder of MM Hospitality where she works with C-level executives as a consultant and project manager. Prior to starting her business, Michelle worked for HelmsBriscoe creating B2B partnerships, strategic business development, and managing in-house technology. At Best Western International she worked as a technology Business Analyst and Manager in Worldwide Sales. Early in her career at Wyndham hotels Michelle worked at multiple property locations in a number of operations and sales management roles.
Michelle is a graduate of Northern Arizona University where she began her career at The Inn at NAU, including the position of “Student Manager” for a semester, and earned her Bachelors of Science degree from the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Robb McCreary Accordion Closed
Robb McCreary, Hotel Director, Talking Stick Resort
Mr. McCreary’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Fred Reese Accordion Closed
Fred Reese, General Manager, Little America Hotel-Flagstaff
Mr. Reese’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Nicole Rosas Accordion Closed
Nicole Rosas, Director of Human Resources, Enchantment Resort
Ms. Rosas’ picture and biography will be coming soon.
Steve Sierra Accordion Closed
Steve Sierra, Director, Category Strategy & Insight, Hensley Beverage Company
Mr. Sierra’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Rich Stark Accordion Closed
Rich Stark, CEO, Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen
Mr. Stark’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Jim Vandercook Accordion Closed
Jim Vandercook, President, Roaring Fork & Salty Sow Restaurants
Mr. Vandercook’s picture and biography will be coming soon.
Haley Zurek-DeRonde Accordion Closed
Haley Zurek-DeRonde, Assistant General Manager, Fox Restaurants
Ms. Zurek-DeRonde’s picture and biography will be coming soon.