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EIU Hospitality and Tourism

Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Council

The Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Council is comprised of industry professionals who graciously donate their time and expertise to help guide the development of the HTM program. The goals of the council are to:

  • Provide a link between the program and professional hospitality and tourism community.
  • Provide a source from which the faculty, chair, and dean may seek and receive advice relating to curriculum development, faculty involvement in the profession, faculty research, facility development, student engagement, and other matters necessary to ensure continued development of the Hospitality and Tourism Program.
  • Provide a source from which students may obtain information regarding current issues and trends, professional associations, and internship or job opportunities.
  • Promote a positive image for the program within the professional community and to the public.


Current Members



haasLindsie Hass is owner and co-founder of Scout Hospitality, a full service event planning company in Chicago. Previous to that she was a Senior Account Executive with Marriott International, where she provided total account management support for 25 corporate accounts in the Mid-Market segment in the Chicago-land area.  Her focus was on growing market share from transient, group, extended stay business, and catering sales revenue.. Lindsie has a bachelor’s degree in the hospitality concentration at EIU and a Master of Science in Hospitality Management from Roosevelt University.



Dominique DeWeese is the Assistant Front Office Manager of the University Club of Chicago. Previously she was Operations Manager, and Event Operations Manager at Hotel EMC2 in Chicago.  She was hired as Manager in Development for Hotel EMC2 during the pre-opening stage of the property and oversaw all private dining experiences in the Albert restaurant & hotel private spaces. Dominique majored in Family and Consumer Science at EIU with a concentration in Hospitality Management and minors in Business Administration and Journalism, and completed the Disney College Fall Advantage Program. Originally from Fairbury, IL, her hobbies include MasterClass, Biking and dining at Chicago restaurants. Fun fact: she stays in a different hotel once per month.


hamannTimothy Hamann is Senior Director, Hospitality-Workplace Services at Citadel, an investment firm. Previous to that he was executive in Accenture’s Travel and Hospitality Practice, where he worked with travel and hospitality clients to offer expertise in developing successful operational processes and strategies, individual and team training, and strategic revenue generation with the end goal of internal and external customer satisfaction. Prior to Accenture, Timothy held multiple roles at Orbitz Worldwide (revenue management and private label account management), Hyatt International (luxury tier revenue management), and Marriott International (operations, task force, food and beverage, revenue management).  Timothy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Eastern Illinois University, where he recently served on the Alumni Board of Directors. 


denanyKatie Devany is the Director of Leadership and Organizational Behavior Program in the School for Professional Studies at St. Louis University. She has worked as an administrator and faculty member at Saint Louis University since 2013, teaching in the disciplines of hospitality and leadership. Prior to academia her industry experience includes more than seven years of managing both branded and boutique hotel properties in Illinois, Missouri, and Florida. Katie received a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Central Florida, and a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in hospitality from Eastern Illinois University. Currently she is working toward completing a PhD in Higher Education Administration from Saint Louis University.  She and her husband Kevin have two children, Claire and Brooks.



Amanda Tucker is the Alumni Engagement and Special Events Coordinator at Lake Land College in Mattoon Illinois. Previously she was Director of Weddings and Events at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham Illinois. Amanda serves on the YBNext Effingham and Shelby Countty Fair Pagent Board. She received an Associate of degree from Lake Land College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, Hospitality Management concentration, from Eastern Illinois University in 2017. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, reading, and shopping



hudsonStacy Hudson is an Operations Support Manager with the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG). She provides operational support and guidance for the entire extended stay portfolio of hotels in the United States, Candlewood and Staybridge Suites, while serving as one of two senior team leads for the operations department. Previously she held the role of Training and Brand Consultant for IHG. Before joining IHG, she worked as a general manager for multiple properties in Southern Illinois. Stacy lives in Belleville Illinois with her husband Wayne and son Malcolm. She recently made the leap into entrepreneurship and opened a mobile yoga studio, Nomadic Flow. Stacey is a 2006 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family & Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Hospitality Management. 



Heather Vanmetre is General Manager for Horve Hospitality, currently at Hampton by Hilton in Paris Illinois. Her career includes over 20 years of hospitality experience in Charleston, Effingham, and Mattoon Illinois at Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Hilton Garden Inn properties. Her work has been recognized numerous times, including the 2018 Aimbridge President’s Award. Heather received a Bachelor of Arts degree from EIU in 2005 and resides in Charleston, IL, where she enjoys spending time with family, decorating and traveling. She is a member of the Paris Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and the EIU Panther Club. Heather is chair of the advisory Council 2021-2022.




Chelsea Rowe, CMP,is the Senior Director Corporate Events and CPG Industry at Catalina USA. Catalina is the market leader in shopper intelligence and highly targeted in-store and digital media that personalize the shopper journey. Previous to Catalina, she served as event/marketing director for ZS, Colorado Technical College, and Baxter Healthcare. Chelsea has a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Science, concentration in Hospitality Management, from Eastern Illinois University in 2006.



Jodi Thoele is the Director of Tourism at the Effingham Convention and Visitor's Bureau, in Effingham Illinois.  Jody has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Eastern Illinois University.



Susan DeRousse is the Foodservice Director with Sodexo at Indiana State University in Terre Haute Indiana. Previously she was Catering Director and Retail Manager there, and Residential Dining Director at Eastern Illinois University. She loves all aspects of the foodservice industry and has a primary focus of providing superb customer service. Susan is a 2007 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family & Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Hospitality Management.


sykes Renee Dews Sykes is the Area Director of Human Resources for Sage Hospitality and the HR Director for the Ritz- Carlton in Chicago. Previous to that she served in senior level human resources positions with Morton’s The Steak House, Hyatt Hotels, and Coca-Cola. She specializes in employee relations, talent acquisition, performance management, labor management, relationship building, company restructure, employee engagement, multi-state employment law and compliance. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.


mahanCourtney Mahan is Senior Sales Manager at Hyatt Centric Magnificent Mile in Chicago. She is passionate about developing, managing, and nurturing client relationships while delivering exceptional service and exceeding expectations. She specializes in sales leadership, sales strategy, revenue growth, new business development, coaching and mentoring, and partnership development. Courtney was a founding member of the Young Professionals Board for the Southside Center of Hope and serves as the Fundraising Chair. Courtney has a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Illinois in Hospitality Management.



Rory Flot is Corporate Director of Food and Beverage Operations for the Reliance Hotel Group. Prior to that he was General Manager for Marriott, Director of Operations for Westin, and Director of Food and beverage for Wyndham and holds a wine Certification from Shula’s Steakhouse. Rory has a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Illinois University in Hospitality Management.  



Kay Sarver is a Hospitality Consultant and Co-owner at LLK Hospitality Services, LTD in Lakewood, Ohio. Her company provides interim management services, consulting projects, pre-opening assistance, staff training in sales and service, ServSafe training, and hospitality educational programs. Prior to that she spent over 20 years in hotel operations management with Marriott in various locations. Kay has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institute in Pittsburgh and at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. Kay has a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Illinois University in Human Resource Management and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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