Monta Vista High School Wins Annual Lodging Management Program Competition

California Hotel & Lodging Association Education Foundation

Sacramento, CA – High school hospitality students from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California took home the international title in the tenth annual American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI) International Lodging Management Program (LMP) Competition, held last week in Orlando, Florida. 

The Monta Vista team of 10th graders Emily Hong, Michelle Li, Sonal Patel, and Isabella Zhang, under the leadership of teacher Carl Schmidt, took top honors at the annual competition. This was the first ever entry from a California high school into this competition. “The key is no one wins alone,” stated Carl Schmidt when asked about his team’s victory.

Each year, the Lodging Management Program (LMP) hosts students from around the world to showcase their skills in a 2-day competition that challenges participants with events based on real-world job scenarios. Students compete for scholarship dollars from leading hospitality universities and a trip to New York City for the AH&LA Fall Conference and the Int’l Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show where they meet and network with the leaders of the lodging industry.

Mr. Schmidt incorporated the newly revised Lodging Management Program into his curriculum in September 2012, recognizing there was a need to teach about the fundamentals of the lodging industry. As well as a teacher, Mr. Schmidt is the founder of the hospitality program at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, as well as the DECA advisor, and also the Director of the Silicon Valley DECA. DECA is a non-profit organization with a 60 year history of preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA) and its Education Foundation provided support and guidance to Monta Vista High School program and assisted with the launch of Lodging Management Program at the school. Additionally, the staff at the Doubletree San Jose, under the direction of General Manager Rob Balmer, supported the team by providing interviews and hotel tours, among other things. Mr. Balmer, who also serves on the CH&LA Education Foundation Board of Directors, has been a long-time advocate for the hospitality career training programs at the high school and community college levels.

“Congratulations to the team at the Monta Vista High School and Carl Schmidt, for winning this international competition,” said Lynn Mohrfeld, CAE, President & CEO of the CH&LA Education Foundation. “This is clearly the result of industry working in tandem with education, and it’s truly amazing to see what can be accomplished when everyone works together.”  


The California Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (CH&LAEF) is the not-for-profit educational arm of the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA). CH&LAEF is dedicated to developing hospitality leaders of the future, providing continuing education for current hospitality employees, and funding research to shape the future of California’s lodging industry. Since its inception, over $1 million has been distributed through CH&LAEF’s scholarship, education, outreach, and research programs. CH&LAEF is funded solely by charitable donations from generous leaders and companies within the hospitality industry.