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Kemmons Wilson School Students Win First Place

For release:  April 16, 2013

A team of students from the Kemmons Wilson School (KWS) placed first at the annual Hospitality Entrepreneurial Summit. The summit was held at the University of Delaware and was sponsored by Marriott International, McDonalds Restaurants and ARAMARK.  Over 200 students from twelve universities and twelve high schools participated.

The team from the University of Memphis won the award for the best business plan in the College & University category.  The team’s business plan featured a restaurant concept, SPRIGG, which incorporated “Urban fusion,” sustainability and use of fresh herbs grown onsite.  The concept promoted healthy living/eating in an unobtrusive manner.  The KWS team was comprised of Suzanne Reese, Zachary Lewis, Mellissa Smith, Ankur Sharma and Ryan Metzler. Dr. Leonard Jackson selected and coached the team.

“It is important that our students attend these conferences since they are exposed to the ownership side of the industry,” said Dr. Jackson, Associate Professor at the Kemmons Wilson School. “Not only is this a beneficial experience for our students, but winning these competitions additionally improves the profile of the Kemmons Wilson School and the University of Memphis.”

The first place prize included a cash award of $2,500.

The summit focused on hospitality business ownership and featured leading hospitality entrepreneurs and hotel and restaurant development executives.  The keynote speaker at the event was Sheila Johnson, CEO and owner of Salamander Hotels & Resorts-a portfolio of luxury hotels and spa & golf resorts.  Ms. Johnson also has ownership interests in ProJet Aviation, the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and is the President and Managing Partner of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

This was the second time in three years that a team from the Kemmons Wilson School won the competition (the KWS did not participate last year).

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Last Updated: 4/16/13