2021 Hospitality Innovation Speaker Series

November 17, 2021

For the 2021 Hospitality Innovation Speaker Series, The Collins College welcomed four Board of Advisor members to show the importance of identifying the need for change and how innovative solutions propel the industry forward throughout the fall semester. 

With the speaker series being held virtually on Zoom, Collins College students, faculty, staff, alumni and Board of Advisors tuned in to engage with each speaker. 

“We are proud to welcome our Board of Advisors to hear their expertise on how their companies adapted during these difficult times in the hospitality industry,” said Dean Lea Dopson. “The knowledge our board members share is crucial to the success of the next generation of hospitality leaders.”

As the hospitality industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, changes continue at a recording-breaking pace thanks to new and innovative technologies and ideas. Our speakers gave real-world examples about the positive impact of innovation and how their company benefited from it.

Gloria Perez, a Collins College senior and student leader, shared what she gained through attending this year as well.

“Not only did I get a chance to speak with industry leaders, but I learned all about current industry trends from board members’ perspectives,” explained Perez. “These speakers have a wealth of experience and wisdom and students need to take one step outside of their comfort zone to be available to listen to it.”

Below are the recordings of each installment of this year's speaker series with more information about our speakers.


Michele Gendreau, The Walt Disney Company
Bringing Back the Magic to the Disneyland Resort After 412 Days of Being Closed

On Sep. 20, Michele Gendreau kicked off our Hospitality Innovation Speaker Series yesterday with an engaging talk about innovative ways The Disneyland Resort has brought back the magic to its parks after opening up.

From her experience as the Director of Food & Beverage for the Experience & Integration team of Disney Parks Experiences & Products, Gendreau covered the topic of bringing back the magic to the Disneyland Resort After 412 days of being closed.


Gina Brinegar, Webb Foodservice Design
Beyond the Kitchen: Creating Immersive Experiences Through Foodservice Design

On Oct. 8, Gina Brinegar continued our speaker series by sharing her expertise with an informative presentation about innovative ways that her company creates immersive experiences through foodservice design.

As the Managing Principal, Brinegar is focused on the strategic growth and direction of Webb Foodservice Design, as well as its daily operations.


Erik Eveleigh, Hilton
Recovery and Development in the New World 

On Oct.18, Erik Eveleigh kept up the momentum of our speaker series with a presentation on the business perspective of what recovery and development in the new world looked like for the hospitality industry, as well as Hilton. 

He is currently the Senior Director of Luxury Development, North America for Hilton, Inc. and in his role, Eveleigh is part of the luxury development team tasked with the expansion of the company’s luxury platform, accomplished through sourcing new luxury opportunities, and many other functions of his company.  


Caroline MacDonald, Rosewood Hotel Group
Optimizing Client Engagement in a Virtual Environment

On Nov. 18, our newest board member, Caroline MacDonald, wrapped up our Hospitality Innovation Speaker Series with an informative presentation about innovative ways that her company optimizes client engagement in a virtual environment.

As Group Vice President at Rosewood Hotel Group, MacDonald leads global sales, marketing, and distribution strategy for ultra-luxury Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, upper-upscale New World Hotels & Resorts and lifestyle concept KHOS.