Colorado State University’s Master of Tourism Management program (MTM) in the Warner College of Natural Resources has launched an Industry Advisory Board that is providing insights to further align the graduate degree program’s curriculum with industry needs.
The Board includes tourism leaders from across the country. Members are engaging MTM students in real-world industry issues and creating career opportunities for graduates.
Tourism is Colorado’s second largest industry and employs nearly 7 percent of the world’s population. The MTM program was designed to supply a growing demand for dynamic, well-trained tourism management professionals, and has grown to an on-campus cohort of 29 students in just one year.
“Board members have been invaluable in helping us develop a skills-based curriculum that meets the needs of the industry,” said Mike Manfredo, professor and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources department chair. “MTM will shape a unique generation of leaders who understand the complexity of tourism enterprise operating in the natural environment.”
The MTM Industry Advisory Board is chaired by Joe Blake, chancellor emeritus of the Colorado State University System, and is composed of CEO’s and presidents of major tourism organizations from a variety of sectors. Board members include recent MTM graduates Mike Logan and Christie Lee Rolph and prominent Human Dimensions of Natural Resources alumni, including Andy Wirth, president of Squaw Valley Resort; Ken Cruse, CEO of Sunstone Hotel Investors; Daren Cole, general manager of Powder Horn Resort; and Laura Nilo Fryer, vice president of marketing for Black Diamond Equipment.
The Board held its inaugural meeting this summer at CSU, and has already made an impact on MTM students through networking opportunities and informative presentations on tourism issues.
Additional Advisory board members include:
• Michael Berry, president, National Ski Areas Association
• Rick Cables, vice president of natural resources, Vail Resorts
• Jim Clark, president and CEO, Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Kim Day, director of aviation, Denver International Airport
• Tamara Door, president and CEO, Downtown Denver Partnership
• Mark Gasta, executive vice president and chief people officer, Vail Resorts, Inc.
• Steve Hood, vice president of research, Smith Travel Research, Inc.
• Bill Hybl, president, El Pomar Foundation
• Kyle Hybl, senior vice president and general counsel, El Pomar Foundation
• Kathay Rennels, assistant vice president for community and economic development, CSU
• Richard Scharf, president and CEO, Visit Denver
• Will Seccombe, president and CEO, Visit Florida
• Ken Widmaier, COO, Sage Hospitality
• Tim Wolfe, regional managing director, Pyramid Hotel Group; and chairman, Colorado Tourism Office
For more information on each Board member, visit the website at warnercnr.colostate.edu/mtm-advisory-board.