LAU honors Lebanon’s hospitality leaders

LAU honors Lebanon’s hospitality leaders

The Lebanese American University (LAU) Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB) and the AKSOB Hospitality and Tourism Management Department have honored the achievements and contributions of 12 of Lebanon’s hospitality industry leaders. Their accomplishments were recognized at a gala dinner held at the LAU Beirut campus with the theme “From Lebanon to the World”.

The honorees included:

  • Pierre Achkar – President of Hotels Syndicates
  • Nicholas Audi – Founder of Audi Catering
  • Nizar Choucair – CEO and founder of Patchi Chocolate
  • Nouhad Dammous – Co-founder of HORECA Lebanon and Editor in Chief of Hospitality News Middle East
  • Zeina Frem – President of Jouneih Festival
  • Andreas Llovits – Owner of Pitch Black
  • Pamela Mansour Mehanna and Ramzi Mattar – Owners of MINE Wedding and Events
  • Elie Nakhal – CEO of Nakhal Travel
  • Tony Ramy – President of Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs, and Pastries
  • Mazen Salha and Marwan Salha – Owners of Phoenicia Hotel Beirut

One the country’s most renowned hospitality veterans, Nouhad Dammous, expressed his overwhelming joy at receiving this recognition. “I have dedicated my life to hospitality and to this country. Lebanon is a small country, yet has an extraordinary degree of influence. Anyone would be amazed by the talent, potential and energy of its people. We must increase awareness about the importance of empowering tomorrow’s talent and developing the creative and innovative potential of young people throughout the education and training sector,” he said.

“The tourism sector has always reflected Lebanon’s best image and the restaurants sector has the lion’s share in marking Lebanon on the international tourism map. I am positive that the restaurants, cafés, night-clubs, and pastries owners are keen on serving the best quality, value and taste. I would like to thank the Lebanese American University, headed by its President Dr. Joseph Jabra for this exquisite honoring ceremony, and I dedicate the award to the board of directors of the Syndicate as well as to my colleagues in the sector. Cordial and sincere thanks go to the students of Hospitality Management who have shown a high professionalism and a great hospitality, proving their excellent level and readiness to enter this sector assertively,” said Tony Ramy.

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The LAU Hospitality and Tourism Management Program prepares students to be leaders in a global dynamic workplace, especially though hands-on application. To prepare for this event, the hospitality students took a course on event management, which addresses all of the issues related to the organization and implementation of a successful gala dinner or mega event.

The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world (10% of the world’s GDP) and employing around 8% of the global workforce (UNWTO, 2015). In Lebanon, the hospitality and tourism industry currently accounts for 21.1% of Lebanon’s GDP and provides abundant employment opportunities in various types of tourism activities.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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