2019 Richard N. Frank Lectureship Series Features Julia Stewart

2019 Richard N. Frank Lectureship Series Features Julia Stewart

The Collins College of Hospitality Management honored Julia Stewart, former chair and CEO of Dine Brands Global Inc., as the 2019 speaker for the Richard N. Frank Lectureship Series on October 22.

The lectureship series provides a unique opportunity for Collins College students to interact and learn from Stewart’s accomplishments.

Under Stewart’s leadership, Dine Brands Global Inc. became one of the world’s largest full-service restaurant companies. Dine Brands Global Inc. operates franchised and corporate-owned full-service restaurants, including Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and International House of Pancakes (IHOP). As IHOP’s CEO, Stewart led the initiative to acquire Applebee's, who was valued at $2.1 billion in 2007.

Before creating Dine Brands Global Inc., Stewart was Chair and CEO of IHOP and President of Applebee’s. Earlier in her career, she also held executive positions with Taco Bell, Black Angus & Cattle Company restaurants, Burger King Corporation and Carl’s Jr. Restaurants. Stewart told the audience that she attributes her success at a wide range of companies to asking questions and receiving feedback from her employees because “it separates good leaders from great leaders.”

In addition to her corporate roles, one of Stewart’s most notable achievements was the founding of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and serving as a former chair overseeing 5,000 members.

“Julia is a champion for women in the restaurant industry,” said Lea Dopson, Dean of The Collins College of Hospitality Management. “It is an honor to host her at The Collins College for a second time.”

As a leading female executive in the hospitality industry, the college felt that Stewart’s experiences would be encouraging to the aspiring professionals around her.

"As a young woman who is about to step into the hospitality industry, Julia Stewart gave me the confidence that I too can make it big irrespective of my gender as long as I work hard and push boundaries,” said SowmyaLakshmi Rajaji, a fourth-year student of the Collins College.

According to Stewart, “The opportunity to attend The Collins College of Hospitality Management is a part of the American dream.” Julia Stewart congratulated faculty, staff and students for studying and living in a prime region for hospitality.

“Besides the great curriculum and professors, here in Southern California you have fine cuisine from innovative restaurant chefs, an abundance of boutique hotels, and host some of the world’s largest events,” Stewart said.

In honoring Stewart as the 2019 speaker, Stewart joins an impressive group of hospitality innovators and leaders who have had an exceptional influence on our industry. The Collins College has hosted many industry leaders since the start of the Richard N. Frank Lectureship Series in 1988. The speakers make up an extraordinary list of individuals who made lasting marks on the profession, including Jim Collins, Chris Harrison, Andrew Cherng, Richard Marriott, Kenneth Blanchard.

Stewart is a sought-after speaker on topics including leadership, building winning teams and how to manage rapid change. Stewart urged the audience to “catch employees doing things right because they were raised to only highlight what they had done wrong. In return, your employees will give you the best guest service you could find.”

Stewart has served in leadership capacities at several organizations, including the Avery Dennison Corporation, as a member of the board of directors and chair of the Compensation Committee; the Children’s Bureau, as a member of the board of directors and former chair; and the Rhone Group/Fogo de Chao, as a member of the board of directors.

For more than 45 years, The Collins College of Hospitality Management has been dedicated to advancing the hospitality industry. With our collaborative learn-by-doing approach, our profound appreciation of diversity, and strategic integration of scholarship, service, and applied learning, the college is a preeminent source of future leaders in the hospitality industry.

The Richard N. Frank Distinguished Lectureship Series was established to augment students’ classroom experience with hospitality industry leaders. These close interactions provide invaluable exposure for Cal Poly Pomona's hospitality management students and allow industry leaders to contribute value and assist in educating new managers for the industry.

Richard N. Frank’s legacy as a long-standing advocate and supporter of The Collins College is impactful to students today as Frank generously donated a major grant to establish an endowment creating The Richard N. Frank Distinguished Lectureship Series.

Click HERE to watch Julia Stewart speak at the Richard N. Frank Distinguished Lectureship Series.

Click HERE to view photos of the event.