Students Present Business Plans for New Chicago Hotel Concept

Awards in Eight Categories Presented for 2012 Integrative Senior Capstone Project

Chicago—March 26, 2012—Kendall College presented its senior students with eight awards for their work in the Winter 2012 Integrative Senior Capstone Project course. The capstone project challenges students from the Schools of Business, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management to create a comprehensive business plan for a Chicago hotel concept.  Students receive a unique cross-disciplinary experience with relevant real world skills for careers after college.

The 75 students enrolled in this year’s capstone course had to design a multi-use property in downtown Chicago that included a hotel, restaurant and retail elements, and would draw visitors to Chicago and positively impact the local economy. Their final design also had to include a display of the cooking and service outlet, a business plan presentation and a tradeshow booth.

For the first 10 weeks of the course, students learned about a wide range of topics including building development, building management, marketing, finance and culinary industries. The second part of the course was devoted to developing the final business plan. On March 9, culinary and hospitality management students presented the overall concept for their restaurant with a three-course meal, and on March 16, students presented their business plan and set-up a tradeshow booth for review. The judges included Kendall faculty and a variety of business professionals, including “Top Chef: Texas” contestants Richie Farina and Chris Jones from Moto, Kendall advisory board members and more.

Awards winners include:

  • Leadership Award: Sarah Runde (Team 2 - Windy City Forum: Hotel Castello)
  • Culinary Award: Jim Ortiz (Team 9 - International Icons: Rio Centro)
  • Best Tradeshow Booth: Nancy Allen, Erick Hussong, Ninorta Kasso, Emma Mei, Mattias Sevensson, Cara Watkins (Team 5 – Wu Organization: Chi Hotels and Towers)
  • Best Business Plan Pitch: Holly Amore, Benjamin Berger, Zane Hoffman, Ji in Jeong, Janelle Nicole Jara, Kudzayi Tamayi (Team 6 – JB KHAZ & Co.: The Element Hotel)
  • Best Business Plan: Araceli Duarte, Yuntian Jiang, David Gonzalez Kamerow, Thomas Moquet, Jim Ortiz, Rodolfo Vital (Team 9 – International Icons: Rio Centro)
  • Best Service Performance: Alora Frazier, G. Charles Gitter, Dan Olson, Ellen Pierce, Sevan Sultanian (Team 7 – UrbanCity Consulting: Le Meridien; Resaurant: Capri)
  • Best Overall: Samantha Clavey, Nathan Katz, Shannon McGrath, Marco Rummenigge, Leonardo Angel Chiriboga Serrano (Team 11 – Mediterranean Property Management: The Mediterranean)
  • Best Meeting Planner: April Pizzotti

“The capstone project is a truly unique experience for students to combine their academic strengths from hospitality management, business and culinary arts,” said Kendall College President Emily Knight. “Their work was truly remarkable, and a wonderful application of the knowledge, skills and experience they gained during their studies at Kendall. We know this practical experience will give these students an advantage no matter what careers they pursue.”

Kendall College is part of Laureate International Universities, a global network of more than 55 accredited campus-based and online universities.  This offers Kendall students a unique global perspective with not only a chance to study abroad, but also the opportunity to interact with international students in the classroom, further preparing them to succeed in a global workforce upon graduation. Of the 75 students participating in the capstone project, more than 25 percent were international students representing 15 countries, including Venezuela, Turkey, South Korea, Israel, Vietnam, Sweden, Zimbabwe, China and more.

About Kendall College:
Kendall College, founded in 1934, is located in Chicago, Illinois. Kendall offers undergraduate degrees in businessculinary artsearly childhood education and hospitality management to a diverse and passionate community of more than 2200 students. The curriculum combines strong academics with practical experience and international educational opportunities that help give students in business, hospitality and culinary arts programs the skills and expertise to be leaders in their professions. Kendall College was ranked the number one program in Chicago for preparing students for careers in hospitality management and culinary arts in a survey of management at Chicago’s leading hotels and Michelin Guide restaurants (ORC International - 2011 Survey). Kendall College, a member of the Laureate International Universities network, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Amber Cerda, 312-752-2472,