Hospitality Management Hosts 35th Annual Executive in Residence Lecture Series
December 12, 2011

The Hospitality Management Program hosted its 35th annual Executive in Residence (EIR) Lecture Series on Tuesday, November 22 at the University of North Texas' Gateway Center Ballroom. Over the years, UNT's Hospitality Management Program has been able to attract Presidents and CEOs representing a variety of segments of the hospitality industry. This year the EIR lecturer was Lane Cardwell, President of P.F. Chang's China Bistro, a 1 billion dollar upscale restaurant chain serving American Chinese cuisine. Mr. Cardwell spoke to the students about his company and career, and he provided sage advice to students regarding their preparation for leadership in the hospitality industry.

Lane Cardwell is a UNT Distinguished Alumnus and founding member of the UNT Hospitality Management Board of Governors. Mr. Cardwell brings over 32 years of experience in the restaurant business including his most recent post as president and CEO of Boston Market, Inc. He has worked on the development of 35 different restaurant chains, holding executive positions with industry leaders such as Brinker International, Eatzi's Market and Bakery, and S & A Restaurant Corporation.

During the lecture, Lane Cardwell stated, "One of the most important things you can do in the restaurant business is to keep up with current trends." Cardwell makes it a point to eat in at least 600 restaurants each year to understand evolving consumer tastes within the industry. Mr. Cardwell left the students with a lasting thought, "Never take a bad job just because it pays well." Furthermore, he stated, "If you plan on entering the restaurant business, you have to have passion!"

After the lecture, Mr. Cardwell stayed for an additional 30 minutes while students networked with him and asked him questions.  Ashley Walling, Special Event Manager and Student Intern coordinating the even, stated, "I think the EIR lecture series is a way for students to connect with industry leaders. When you learn something in a classroom you might not really 'get it' or connect it to real life but when a distinguished guest speaker mentions something you've been talking about in classes it really sticks with you and helps to bridge the gap between classroom and reality."

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