BEND, Ore. - An innovative collaboration between Oregon State University - Cascades and Cornell University is drawing rave reviews for helping leaders of one of Oregon's key industries sharpen their skills.

The program brings experts from Ithaca, N.Y.-based Cornell -- whose hospitality industry education program is among the most highly regarded in the world -- to the Bend, Ore. campus to teach executive education classes for tourism industry professionals. In only its second year, the program is growing in size and in its impact on the region's economy.

"To have this high-quality, professional education available at OSU to regional managers and owners -- it's sort of unbelievable," said Jeff Miller, CEO of Travel Portland. He was part a group of industry advisors who helped get the program going.

Additional courses are to be offered in May 2012 and Janaury 2013.  To date, more than 40 hospitality leaders have completed the three-day executive education courses, now offered at the Bend campus , that have helped establish Cornell's hotel school as the "world's best," according to Newsweek.

Cornell University Professor Bruce Tracey, a researcher on training and leadership in the hospitality field who has won numerous teaching awards, returns to OSU-Cascades to teach a course in Leading and Motivating from May 31 to June 2.

Tracey calls the partnership "a win-win-win for Cornell, OSU-Cascades, and the hospitality industry." He says, "The collaboration enhances our respective missions by increasing visibility and delivering programs that have tangible impact."

His colleague, Senior Lecturer Bill Carroll will lead a course in Demand Management in Evolving Market Channels from May 21-23. 

Hospitality professionals who have taken the course offerings at OSU-Cascades include managers and directors representing the hotel, restaurant, resort, vacation rental management, brewery, and tourism industries:

  • Michael J. Hraba, project management and communications for Waterford Hotels and Inns in San Francisco said, "I brought home real knowledge that impacts my day.  Our group had really lacked any firm direction in marketing ourselves or our portfolio, whether to potential guests or owners. Now, we have a coordinated marketing effort in place to cross promote all our properties."
  • Mike Tvedt, general manager at Anthony's Homeport Restaurant in Richland, Wash., completed Tracey's course on leadership.   "I came away with a much clearer big picture," he said. "I was able, then, to take that vision to the management team, and then to the hourly team members who make things happen every day."
  • Carole Astley, industry relations manager with Travel Oregon in Salem, Ore., said "I came away with great new ways of looking at things from a leadership perspective. I problem-solve all day, and the course helped me delve into issues from a different angle."
  • Peter Skrbek, director of finance for Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Ore., took a course in pricing.  "That professionals in the Pacific Northwest are given access to leading academics in the hospitality management field is simply outstanding." said Skrbek.

Participants have also come from the Heathman Hotel, Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, Oxford Hotel Group, Sunriver Resort, Timberline Lodge, Provenance Hotels and Travel Oregon.  For more information about the Cornell courses at OSU-Cascades visit

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