Students studying hospitality management at Penn State have many assets within their reach, including two hotels and multiple restaurants, and now, students have a direct connection with those who oversee dining and hospitality services for Penn State.
Dave Gingher, director of Campus Retail Dining at Penn State, and Joe Crimmins, Executive Director of Hospitality Services at Penn State, are two of the newest members of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) Industry Advisory Board, which advises the school on industry trends, recommends curriculum enhancements, and supports students through professional development opportunities.
“We appreciate the unique contribution both Dave and Joe make to our Industry Advisory Board,” said Donna Quadri-Felitti, director and associate professor for the Penn State School of Hospitality Management. “Whereas they are both industry leaders in their respected sectors and share with our school’s faculty Penn State’s commitment to excellence, thereby making their dedicated, daily partnership in our preparation of talent something they can speak to firsthand.”
Gingher, who has worked at Penn State for 40 years, facilitated the process that brought the first national food brands to University Park. Panda Express, Chick-fil-A and Sbarro, all of which arrived to campus simultaneously in 1999, are still operating in the HUB-Robeson Center.
In addition to the HUB, Gingher oversees food services across campus, including catering at Beaver Stadium, University Libraries, Smeal College of Business, campus catering, and Cafe Laura, an on-campus restaurant run primarily by students.
“I am honored to be a part of the Industry Advisory Board because it is a good opportunity for me and Campus Retail Dining to be able to give back and do whatever we can do to create a better experience for our students,” Gingher said.
Crimmins, who has worked in the hotel industry for more than 30 years, is responsible for the University’s two hotels, The Nittany Lion Inn and The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, along with the suites at Beaver Stadium, and the suites and club-level services at Pegula Ice Arena. He is also responsible for special events at the Schreyer House for Penn State President Eric Barron.
Previously, Crimmins worked for Hilton Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, Doral Hotels, Destination Hotels and Resorts and Wyndham International in a number of senior sales, marketing and operating positions. In the 1990s, Crimmins served on Intercontinental Hotels’ development team for The Scanticon Penn State, which is now known as The Penn Stater.
“The connection between Penn State Hospitality Services and SHM is particularly strong,” Crimmins said. “It is my hope to continue to improve our current programs and build an even stronger internship program through the initiatives the board evaluates and supports, and also adopt select ideas into our on-site programs, which could potentially make our graduating students more valuable to the industry.”
The board includes leaders in the field, including vice presidents and senior vice presidents of large companies and executive vice presidents, chief operating officers and CEO’s of smaller companies. The board meets several times a year.
Written by Jennifer Miller, [email protected], Writer and Editor, Penn State College of Health and Human Development
Story appeared in Penn State News on March 21, 2016