For release: May 6, 2013
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843
A team of students from the University of Memphis’ Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality
& Resort Management placed first at the annual Hospitality Entrepreneurial Summit.
This was the second time in three years that a team from the Wilson School won the
competition. (The School did not participate last year.)
The summit, held April 13-14 at the University of Delaware, drew more than 200 students
from 12 universities and a dozen high schools. The conference focused on hospitality
business ownership and featured leading hospitality entrepreneurs and hotel and restaurant
The U of M won the award for the best business plan in the College and 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 promotes healthy living and eating in an environmentally friendly manner.
The first place prize included a cash award of $2,500.
Pictured (from left) are Zachary Lewis, Ankur Sharma, Dr. Leonard Jackson, Suzanne
Reese and Mellissa Smith. All the students will graduate from the University of Memphis’
Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management in 2013.
The Wilson School team included Suzanne Reese, Zachary Lewis, Mellissa Smith, Ankur
Sharma and Ryan Metzler, all of Memphis. Dr. Leonard Jackson, an associate professor
in the KWS, 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
Jackson. “Winning these competitions definitely improves the profile of the Kemmons
Wilson School and the University of Memphis.”