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Hospitality Week Burtenshaw Lecture

Burtenshaw Lecture


Thursday, February 29, 2024
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
CUB Auditorium/Zoom

A Conversation with Howard Wright


Howard Wright
Chair & Founder
Seattle Hospitality Group, LLC

Howard Wright (’76), an entrepreneur and business executive, is the founder and chairman of Seattle Hospitality Group, a company he founded in 2002 that holds interests in best-of-class management, hospitality, tourism, and transportation companies in the Pacific Northwest. He is a board member of several closely-held tourism and hospitality ownership groups with high profile properties and businesses in the PNW. Wright is deeply involved in the region’s business, arts, and education issues and has held leadership positions with many local and international organizations, including the WSU Board of Governors, the boards of the Amigos de las Américas Foundation, the Seattle Symphony Foundation, Intiman Theatre, Vermont Academy, the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, and The Children’s Discovery Foundation. Wright also has led successful campaigns for PATH, Amigos de las Américas Foundation, and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Wright earned his bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and Spanish from WSU. He also completed the Harvard owner/president management business program in 2001.

Previous Event Videos



2022 Event

2021 Event

Past Burtenshaw Lecturers


Navin C. Dimond
Founder & CEO
Stonebridge Companies


Sarah Phelps
Director of Astronaut and Customer Experience
Blue Origin


Chad Mackay,
Fire & Vine Hospitality


Jan Hazelton,
VP of Development – Europe and the Americas,
Kerzner International


Bob Donegan,


Joe Berger,
Executive Vice President and President,
Americas for Hilton


John Ascuaga
Former Owner, Emeritus Chairman,
Nugget Hotel-Casino

Stan BoydOwner/Winemaker,
Boyd Family Vineyards

Chris Burdett
Senior Vice President,
CBRE Hotels

Jerry Burtenshaw
ABC Services

Dwight Call
President, retired,
Westin Hotels and Resorts

Larry Culver
Chairman and Ceo, retired,
Inn Ventures Inc.

Tom Drumheller
Chief Executive Officer,
Escape Lodging

Jerry Jaeger
Hagadone Hospitality Corporation

Craig Schafer


Dave Furano,
Rock & Brews

Michael Zislis


Rob Steigerwald
Chief Operations Officer,
The Americas–Western Region Marriott International, Inc.


Rick Ellingson
Vice President & Owner,
Bargreen Ellingson

Spring 2013

Stein Kruse
Leadership Lessons from the Sea,
President & CEO, Holland America Line,
Chairman, Seabourn

Spring 2012

Andrew Cherng
The Panda Story: A Conversation with Andrew Cherng,
Founder, Chairman, and Co-CEO,
Panda Restaurant Group

Spring 2011

Joe Fugere
Do What You Love,
Founder, Tutta Bella Neopolitan Pizzeria

Spring 2010

Stan Boyd
From Water to Wine,
Vintner, Boyd Family Vineyards

Fall 2009

Carla J. Murray
Hope is Not a Business Strategy,
Senior Vice President Operations,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc

Fall 2008

Clarice Turner
Powerful Leadership is Not about the Power,
President & COO, Papa Murphy’s International, Inc

Fall 2007

W. Terry Umbreit
Lessons from a Journey,
Taco Bell Distinguished Professor Director,
School of Hospitality Business Management – WSU

Spring 2007

Jim Treadway
Life, Lodging, Luxury and WWF,
CEO, MTM Luxury Lodging

Fall 2005

Niki Leondakis
Corporate Social Responsibility: Maximizing the Benefits of Your Company and Community,
CEO, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurant Group, Inc

Fall 2004

Joseph P. Micatrotto
Can You Be Both a Leader and an Entrepreneur?,
Chairman, President, CEO,
Micatrotto Ventures, Inc

Fall 2003

Gerry Fernandez
The Business Case for Diversity,
Founder and President, The Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance (MFHA)

Fall 2002

Cheryl Bachelder
You Gotta Be a Maniac! Success Criteria for the Hospitality Industry,
President & Chief Concept Officer, KFC Corporation

Fall 2001

Dennis Koci
A Comprehensive Approach to Creating Value for All Constituents,
Senior Vice President Operations Support,Hilton Hotels

Fall 2000

Robert C. Hazard, Jr
As I See It…Tomorrow’s Travel Industry,
Chairman, The Creative Hotel Associates, LLC

Spring 2000

Laurence Mindel
A View from a Barstool,
Chairman of the Board Il Fornaio Corporation

Fall 1999

William McCormick
Chasing the Rabbit: The Baby Boomer,
McCormick & Schmick Management Group

Spring 1999

Gerard Centioli
In the Footsteps of Legends,
President & CEO, Emerging Concepts Division,
Brinker International, Inc

Fall 1998

William P. Fisher
Creating Creativity Creatively,
President & CEO, Emerging Concepts Division
American Hotel & Motel Association

Spring 1998

Todd Clist
Dealing with Change in the Lodging Environment,
Marriott Lodging North America

Fall 1997

Roz Mallet
Soft Skills Aren’t Soft Anymore,
Vice President for Human Resources and Operations Services,
Friday’s Hospitality Worldwide, Inc

Spring 1997

Wallace B. Doolin
American Food Service–A Global Perspective,
President & CEO,
Friday’s Hospitality Worldwide, Inc

Fall 1996

Deidra Wager
Starbucks Coffee, Creating the ‘Third Place’,
Senior Vice President, Retail Operations
Starbucks Coffee Company

Spring 1996

Juergen Bartels
The New Global Consumer,
Chairman & CEO,
Westin Hotels & Resorts

Fall 1995

Richard Rivera
Being and Doing ¾ Leadership Priorities for the 90’s,
President & CEO,
Longhorn Steaks, Inc

Spring 1995

Gretchen Mathers
Never Confuse a Memo with Reality,
Operating Partner,
Gretchen’s of Schwartz

Fall 1994

Ron McDougall
Challenges of the Future,
President & COO,
Brinker International

Spring 1994

Ron Magruder
Customers Don’t Want to Break Even; They Want a Profit Too!,
Olive Garden Italian Restaurant

Fall 1993

John Norlander
Radisson’s Blueprint for the Year 2000,
Radisson Hotel Corporation

Spring 1993

Jackie Trujillo
Where Will My Strengths and Weaknesses Lead Me?,
Executive Vice Chairman & President of Operations,
Harman Management Corporation

Fall 1992

Norm Doerges
We Create Happiness,
Executive Vice President,

Spring 1992

Robert I. Small
It's your Choice,
President & CEO

Fall 1991

Michael A. Leven
If It Ain’t Broke — Now is the Time to Fix It,
President, Franchise Hotel Division,
Holiday Inn Worldwide

Spring 1991

Jerry Best
The Hospitality Industry in the 90’s: The Pace Changes,
President & CEO,
Red Lion Hotels & Inns

Fall 1990

Michael Hurst
Food for Thought,
National Restaurant Association

Spring 1990

Richard Komen
Upscale Restauranting in the 90’s,
Restaurants Unlimited, Inc

Fall 1989

Patricia Swinton
A World of Opportunity,
General Manager,
The Westin Hotel, Edmonton

Spring 1989

Herman Cain
Success Is a Journey,
President & CEO,
Godfather's Pizza, Inc

Fall 1988

Mitchel E. Rhoads
Meeting the Challenges of the Service Sector,
Executive Vice President, Western Division,
Burger King Corporation

Spring 1988

Jack P. DeBoer
Success is Seldom Permanent. Neither is Failure.,
Chairman of the Board,
Neighborhood Inn Corporation

Fall 1987

Richard E. Marriott
A Tradition of Success,
Vice Chairman of the Board,
Marriott Corporation

Spring 1987

John E. Martin
You Snooze, You Lose!,
Taco Bell Corporation

Fall 1986

John J. Ascuaga
A Recipe for Success,
John Ascuaga's Nugget

Spring 1986

William N. Hulett
A Bright Future for the Best,
Stouffer Hotel Co.

Fall 1985

Don N. Smith
Franchising in the Restaurant Business,
Chief Executive Officer,
SES Management

Spring 1985

James A. Collins
Food Service: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going?,
CEO/Chairman of the Board,
Collins Foods International, Inc

Fall 1984

M. Eugene Stone
Your Future in the Hospitality Industry: Where Do You Go From Here, What Can You Expect, and Have You Considered Your Options?,
President & CEO,
Skipper’s, Inc

Spring 1984

William H. Edwards
Tourism is Everybody’s Business,
Hilton Hotels Division

Fall 1983

L.W. “Bill” Lane Jr.
Tourism Has Earned A Better Image,
Chairman of the Board,
Lane Publishing Company

Spring 1983

Walter W. Ashcraft
Human Resources Management: The Missing Link,
Director of Human Resources,
National Restaurant Association

Fall 1982

Victor Rosellini
A Profile of the Food Service Industry,
Chief Executive Officer,
Rosellini’s 410 and Other Place.

Harry L. Mullikin
The Management Triangle,
Chief Executive Officer,
Westin Hotels

Fall 1981

Charles A. Lynch
Strategic Planning at SAGA Corporation,
Chief Executive Officer
SAGA Corporation

Patrick Foley
The Future of the Hotel Industry,
Hyatt Hotels

Edward E. Carlson
The Service Industry in a Free Enterprise System,
United Airlines, Inc

The Burtenshaw Distinguished Lecture Series is sponsored by alumnus DeVere Jerry and Angelina Burtenshaw in memory of their son, Calvin Brett.

The lecture is presented annually by the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management.


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