Collins College honors hospitality leaders

By Ariel Carmona Jr.

The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly
honored three industry leaders at this year’s Harvest Celebration
held last Saturday at the Renaissance Hotel & Spa.

Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; Steve
Slater, vice president and general manager of Southern Wine and
Spirits of Southern California and Margaret Bailey; senior vice
president of government services for Capital Hotel Management were
recognized for their successful careers.

The event also featured a live auction with exclusive
hospitality packages, where guests at the event had the opportunity
to bid on items directly impacting students such as scholarships
and classroom equipment.

“The cost of a college education is higher than ever before,”
said Collins College Dean Andrew Feinstein in a press release. “In
just the last year, student fees in the California State University
[system] have increased 32 percent because of the state budget
crisis.”

“I am deeply grateful for these sponsors and guests of Harvest
Celebration 2009 for investing in the education of students, who
will be future leaders in the hospital industry,” he said.

Bailey, a 1986 graduate of the Collins College of Hospitality
Management was honored for her success in operating the largest
independent hotel investment management company in the United
States and was presented with the college’s Distinguished Alumni
award.

“When I was growing up my parents did a lot of entertaining,”
Bailey said. “I learned that a lot of good things happen when
people get together over good food and wine. I like that part of
it, the idea of service and being a part of a community.”

Bailey, whose clients include the U.S. Forest Service Recreation
Program, the National Park Service Concession Program and the
Department of Defense said the state of the weak economy has not
really affected the hospitality industry.

“People don’t want to give up their leisure,” she said. “Studies
have shown that people need time to relax and restore. There will
always be a need for the hospitality industry.”

Bailey said she was honored to be recognized as a distinguished
alumnus. She credited her parents, family and instructors at Cal
Poly for their support.

“It was a surprise. It is an honor and a reflection of many
people who have invested in me in order to get it,” she said.

Bailey also reflected on the changes the Collins College of
Hospitality Management has undergone throughout the years,
including the recent addition of a master’s program.

“It’s a great reflection of what this program has to offer. It
has changed tremendously, the breath and breadth of the curriculum
has progressed. I am really proud to represent this program,” she
said.

Founded in 1973, the Collins College is the first and largest
four-year hospitality management degree program in the state and
the only such college on the West Coast.

According to Alumni Affairs, the Distinguished Alumni Award is
presented by the Cal Poly Alumni Association to honor outstanding
achievement in a profession or a vocation.

Criteria for nomination include accomplishments in their
profession, community service, and the recipient should have
demonstrated support for Cal Poly through donated time or
resources.

Reach Ariel Carmona Jr. at: news@thepolypost.com

Collins College honors hospitality leaders

Photo courtesy of Tom Zasadzinski

Collins College honors hospitality leaders

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