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Starwood Becomes Senior Partner for SHA Leadership Development Program

The Cornell School of Hotel Administration and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), two recognized leaders in the hospitality industry, have developed a corporate alliance that will begin Starwood’s three-year senior partnership with the school’s Leadership Development Program (LDP). The alliance will formally begin January 1, 2010, and continue through December 31, 2013.

“With its diverse portfolio of nine global brands and reputation for the highest standards of service, Starwood Hotels and Resorts is an ideal partner for the Leadership Development Program,” said Michael D. Johnson, Dean and E. M. Statler Professor for the School of Hotel Administration. “This is a great first step to developing a more comprehensive relationship with Starwood.”

LDP is a progressive, hands-on three-year training program for a select number of sophomore, junior and senior students who are aiming for careers in the hospitality industry. Participants in the program advance through several paid employment phases—from entry-level to supervisor, manager, and director positions—at the Statler Hotel. Each phase requires approximately 200 hours work.

As the senior partner of the program, Starwood will provide LDP with practical resources and input by participating in the LDP Seminar Series, conducting activities and training sessions for LDP participants at Starwood-owned properties, and hosting LDP students at the Starwood corporate office to engage in educational programs. Starwood will also provide financial support to the program.

“We are excited to be partnering with the School of Hotel Administration’s Leadership Development Program,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. “These students are being trained to be the next generation of leaders and innovators in hotel operations, and we are confident that the ‘real life’ experience that Starwood can provide will enhance their supervisory and managerial skills.”

Today, Starwood employs many Cornell School of Hotel Administration alumni in its corporate and divisional offices, as well as in its nearly 1,000 best-in-class hotels around the world.  Among them is 1983 graduate Simon Turner, who is President of Global Development for Starwood and an active member of the Dean’s Advisory Board.

“The Leadership Development Program has established a benchmark of excellence that we at Starwood recognize as a valuable professional supplement to Cornell’s fine academic program,” said Turner.  “Many of us at Starwood have enjoyed a long association with Cornell and are delighted to have the opportunity to further foster this relationship in a more formal way.  We consider an investment in these current Cornell students to be an excellent investment in Starwood’s future.”