Keith Schmitt, vice president of PCH Hotels & Resorts, was recognized as the 2010 Margaret McCarthy Industry Partner of the Year during the annual “Passions of the Palette” fundraiser held April 12 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg.
The award is presented by the Department of Casino, Hotel and Tourism Management (CHTM) at The University of Southern Mississippi. Schmitt was lauded as an industry partner who has made exceptional contributions to the program through career placement of students, serving as a mentor and serving as chair of the Tourism Advisory Board.
Dr. Catherine Price, CHTM chair, noted that Schmitt has hired more than 30 students and has helped many other graduates obtain employment in the world class Marriott chain of hotels.
“Keith is not just a hiring machine; he is a mentor to all of us,” said Price.
The annual “Passions of the Palette” event, sponsored by CHTM, included a popular tasting dinner and silent auction. Proceeds from the event are used to help students in this major with scholarships and professional development opportunities.
Price called this year’s fundraiser a resounding success. She said the event raised $11,700, easily eclipsing the goal of $10,000.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.