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Hospitality & Tourism

Coastal College to Host Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management forum Oct. 21

Category: Hospitality & Tourism

Brunswick Business Journal Special Report

October 13, 2014 - The School of Business and Public Affairs of the College of Coastal Georgia has announced a community forum to explore major trends and challenges in one of the industry segments most critical to the economic wellbeing of the Golden Isles and coastal counties of Georgia and northeastern Florida: hospitality and tourism.

The event will be held on Tues., Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Stembler Theatre of the Campus Center in Brunswick.

The event stems from the College’s commitment to a new academic concentration in hospitality, resort and tourism management for the Bachelor of Business Administration degree, according to Dr. William “Skip” Mounts, Dean of the School of Business and Public Affairs.   

"We realize there are tremendous opportunities with the expanding needs of one of the region’s top industries - tourism recreation, leisure and hospitality,” Dr. Greg Aloia, President of the College of Coastal Georgia, said. “We want to continue to be the leader in educating and developing the hospitality management and leadership talent this region requires.”

Four recognized experts will discuss best practices in areas such as global opportunities, sustainability, crisis preparedness and golf tourism.

Dr. Billy Bai, Professor and Senior Assistant Dean, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada Las Vegas, with present “Hospitality Trends: Collaboration Between Practitioners and Educators” during the morning session. He served as Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at UNLV Singapore Campus. In addition to being an international consultant, Dr. Bai’s current research focuses on hospitality and tourism marketing including relationship marketing, consumer behavior and loyalty, branding, and destination marketing. Dr. Bai will examine major trends in the hospitality industry.

“Given the fast growing hospitality industry, we are experiencing phenomenal opportunities. It is high time that we find creative ways for industry practitioners and educators to work together,” Dr. Bai notes. “The demand for industry leaders will require collaborative planning.”

The second presentation in the 10 a.m. to noon segment will feature Christian Hardigree, Founding Director and Professor, Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality, Kennesaw State University. Hardigree established a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality as a multidisciplinary collaborative venture. Hardigree is also a seasoned trial attorney practicing primarily in the areas of premises liability, security/safety, products liability and employment law and is a national expert on bed bug litigation. She will discuss “Sustainability and the Future of Hospitality and Food Service Industries.” According to Hardigree, present and future hospitality and foodservice professionals must understand how sustainable management systems can be designed and integrated into their business while maintaining or improving the bottom line.

The afternoon sessions, from approximately 12:45-2 p.m., will explore crisis preparedness and the economic impact of golf tourism.

St. Simons Island resident Dr. Tyra Warner Hillard is an event and crisis preparedness consultant as well as an adjunct faculty member of the College of Coastal Georgia. The recipient of the Professional Convention Management Foundation Professional Achievement Award, Dr. Hillard’s experiences as an attorney, meeting planner, catering manager and association executive provide a unique perspective on the legal and business aspects of hospitality and tourism. Her presentation explores “Crisis Preparedness and Business Continuity: Expect the Best, Plan for the Worst.”

Dr. Chris Brown, Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science and Sports Management, Kennesaw State University, began working at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in recreation and sports management following his graduation from UGA and became involved in the development and accreditation of the nationally-known PGA Golf Management Program there. He became Assistant Director of the program in 2008 prior to joining Kennesaw to develop their golf program. His presentation, “Golf Tourism: Impact on Economic Development,” discusses current trends in golf course management and marketing as well as the significance of golf tourism to community economic development.

The forum is free. Advance registration is required and participants planning to lunch in the President’s Dining Room of the Campus Center between the morning and afternoon sessions should request reservations.

Forum registration and lunch reservations can be made by contacting Lori Harlin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 912.279.5852.


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