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Hospitality Upgrade Announces Recipient of John Cahill Honorary Seat

  • Hospitality Upgrade
  • 08.17.23
Hospitality Upgrade Publisher and President Rich Siegel announced that the recipient of the 2023 John Cahill Honorary Seat is Dylan Emerson, an undergraduate student at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership. The award will be presented at the upcoming CIO Summit, an invitation-only annual event produced by Hospitality Upgrade magazine. This year’s event will be held Sept. 6-8 at Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas.

The John Cahill Honorary Seat is awarded each year to one distinguished student from a university or four-year college with a hotel program. This student is recommended by his or her professors as an individual with enormous potential in the hotel technology industry.
Professor and Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair Agnes DeFranco said, “Dylan has shown interest in technology since high school. He leverages his leadership skills to serve as president of the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) Cougar Chapter and understands that technology is the future of hospitality. He has spoken twice at the CMAA World Conference regarding technology in clubs, from recharging golf carts wirelessly to using occupancy sensors with AI to meet members’ needs more effectively. Dylan is in our Data Analytics and Project Management track and loves using data to enhance operations performance and make decisions.”
Professor DeFranco served on the HFTP Board under Cahill’s presidency and witnessed firsthand his devotion to the industry. “Dylan’s spirit of learning, teamwork, and taking on new challenges reminds me of John’s passion,” she said. “I’m proud he has been selected to continue John’s legacy.”
The John Cahill Honorary Seat was created in memory of industry leader, technologist, mentor and friend John Cahill, a supporter of the CIO Summit from its inception in 2001. Over the course of his career, he served as CIO for three hotel companies—ITT Sheraton, InterContinental Hotels and The Denihan Hospitality Group. He was also a leader in Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), with his contributions including co-editing the inaugural Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) exam in 1995.
Above all, Cahill was a mentor. Hospitality Upgrade’s Rich Siegel wished to see John’s memory live on by presenting one student each year with an opportunity to attend an otherwise closed-door, invitation-only CIO Summit, allowing the student to sit in John’s seat for the two-day event. “It’s something we know John would have loved,” he said.
Previous recipients of the award include inaugural recipient Spencer Rung, a 2016 graduate of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management; 2017 recipient Andrew Trupia, a graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas; 2018 recipient Juan Jesus Trevino, a student at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership at the University of Houston; 2019 recipient Smit Patel, a graduate student at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration; 2021 recipient Alana Agcaoili, an undergraduate student at Kennesaw State University’s School of Hospitality Administration; 2022 recipient Shannon Regan, an undergraduate student at the Northern Arizona University’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Hospitality Upgrade’s CIO Summit, Powered by HFTP, is a unique, invitation-only event for chief information officers from hotel brands, management companies, cruise lines, casinos, and independent hotels. This year’s CIO Summit will be hosted at the Hotel Van Zandt on Sept. 6-8. For more information, visit www.hospitalityupgrade.com/CIOSummit.

Hospitality Upgrade has covered technology trends and product information in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years. Regular features include in-depth analyses by industry thought leaders, interviews with top hotel and gaming executives, articles about products and trends, and profiles of the industry’s premier solution providers. Reaching an audience of more than 30,000 readers in 48 countries, the magazine also sponsors two annual events, the Executive Vendor Summit and the CIO Summit. Hospitality Upgrade is owned by Siegel Communications, Inc., along with its sister company Hotel Online, the premier daily news site for the hospitality industry. For more information, visit www.hospitalityupgrade.com.

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