Students to attend hospitality summits

Culinary Arts Institute students to participate in two
international hospitality trade shows/summits July 27-31

July 6, 2016, Lansdale, PA—One of the best ways to launch a career is to connect with and learn from the successful experts and leaders in the industry. Students majoring in Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry and Hospitality at the Culinary Arts Institute (CAI) of Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will have this opportunity when they attend the 20th Annual International African American Hotel Ownership and Investment Summit and Trade Show July 27-29 followed by the 3rd Annual International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show July 29-31 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel, Miami, Florida.

Hosted by the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD), the summits cover every aspect of hospitality, and specifically hotel management, as shared by the owners, executives and leaders in the field. Sessions will include information on the industry economic outlook, current legislation, ownership and success tactics, multi-cultural tourism, as well as the behind-the-scenes operations.

“These shows provide extensive information about the hospitality and hotel industries,” says CAI Director Chef Francine Marz. “Many conferences don’t go into this depth, but this conference does a great job with covering all the facets students will need to know whether they are majoring in Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry or Hospitality.”

NABHOOD Student Summit Participants

Students from the Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College, 1400 Forty Foot Road, Lansdale, will attend two international hospitality summits hosted by the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers July 27-31. From left:  Shariff Walker (student), Hannah Campbell (student), Barbara Milligan (student), Culinary Arts Institute Instructor Shawn Murray, Dimitri Coachi (student) and CAI Director Chef Francine Marz. Photo by Diane VanDyke

Starting in fall 2016, CAI will be offering an Associate in Applied Science degree program in Hospitality Management and a certificate program in Hospitality. These programs will introduce students to the basic philosophies of the hospitality industry and offer them a well-rounded academic experience that prepares them for successful careers as hospitality professionals.

Because of the networking opportunities and in-depth workshops, Marz and CAI instructor Shawn Murray would like to see the conference become an annual event for students.

CAI students applied to participate in the NABHOOD and were selected based upon their essays explaining how this conference will help them meet their career goals. Participants include:  Dimitri Coachi, 22, Harleysville, Hotel Management major; Barbara Milligan, 40, Norristown, Culinary Arts major; Shariff Walker, 40, Germantown, Culinary Arts major; and Hannah Campbell, 21, Lansdale, Culinary Arts major.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity and was very excited to be selected,” said Milligan, who will earn her associate’s degree in Culinary Arts in May 2017. “I’m eager to learn about the inside information and to network with professionals.”

CAI instructor Shawn Murray, who has more than 20 years in the hotel and restaurant industry, was instrumental in obtaining a grant to cover the conference fees, materials and meals, and he will accompany the students. CAI funds received from volunteering with community events will cover travel and related expenses.

“MCCC was invited by Andy Ingraham, the president/CEO of NABHOOD to participate in the conference, and we hope it will become an annual event for our students, particularly as we launch our new Hospitality program,” Murray said. “Students will receive a holistic view of the industry, from learning how to succeed as entrepreneurs to marketing skills to human resources information. They will be networking with professionals who are interested in mentoring the next generation in their industry.”

According to Ingraham, the Summits will include local, national and international students from the Caribbean from hospitality educational institutions, colleges and universities.

“Students are encouraged to engage, network and shadow industry professionals,” Ingraham said. “Our mission is to connect the students with seasoned industry experts, hotel owners and investors.”

For more information about The Culinary Arts Institute and its new Hospitality program, visit or call 267-646-5970.

About The Culinary Arts Institute
The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College is the region’s home for innovative, affordable culinary arts education and training. The Culinary Arts program includes both associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit culinary enthusiast and professional development course offerings. The 15,000-square-foot facility at 1400 Forty Foot Road, Lansdale, in Towamencin Township, is conveniently located near the Blue Route (I-476) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The facility features four state-of-the-art kitchens and equipment, three SMART classrooms, and a retail bakery café, Forty Foot Café, and Bistro 1400 restaurant, where students can develop real-world food preparation and customer service skills. For more information about the Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College and its Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry and Hospitality programs, visit