• Stephen Starr & Philadelphia’s Schools

    POSTED April 4, 2014

It was announced in late February that during the month of March uber-restaurateur Stephen Starr would be introducing a unique "Support our Schools" program in his 20 Philadelphia restaurants.

Philadelphia schools have long been a subject of discontent and Starr’s plans to raise $100,000 during the one-month period would help support multimedia labs, elementary school playgrounds and six-week summer internships. Starr’s restaurants average 40,000 customers per week and diners would be encouraged to add a donation when paying their bill.

It’s too early to know how much money was raised through this program, but it got me thinking about how meetings and events are often tied to a particular charity or organization. I was at a meeting recently where I was given a package of sunflower seeds in honor of an organ donation group. It was the organization’s chosen charity for 2014 and was a nice takeaway from the event that got me thinking beyond how tasty the hors d’oeuvres were. 

Whether it’s a corporation or a club, sponsoring a charity or a particular cause shines a spotlight on that organization in ways they might not have previously enjoyed. It also often contributes generously to their bottom line. I’m curious…what are some of the ways that you’ve incorporated charitable awareness or giving to your meetings or events?

I’d love to hear from you and we’ll post your responses on our website, pa.meetingsmags.com. Email me at nancy.depalma@tigeroak.com and let me know.

The Duniway, located in Portland, Oregon, has announced the appointment of Lemmy Cooper as its Director of Food and Beverage. In his new role, Cooper will ensure detailed execution of the hotel’s food and beverage plans at both the Jackrabbit restaurant as well as Abigail’s Hideaway, the new guest-only rooftop, while focusing on the hotel’s values of creativity, innovation and guest satisfaction. 


Thomas J.W. Voss has just been appointed managing director of the 1,048-room-Fairmont Austin, opening the summer of next year. He will be responsible for overall operations, performance and strategic direction for the newest and largest Fairmont hotel in the U.S.

With more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Voss has held a number of positions, including executive roles with Starwood Hotels.