CH&LA Education Foundation

The California Hotel & Lodging Association Education Foundation provides funding and assistance to California institutions and individuals as well as for related activities which further research and knowledge in the field of hotel management with respect to the lodging, hospitality, and food service industries. In just the past two decades, CH&LA’s Education Foundation has contributed more than $500,000 to the future benefit on the California lodging industry.

The CH&LAEF has most recently been working closely with California Community Colleges' Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Initiative, providing networking opportunities with industry members, to assist in the development of curriculum that will serve the needs of those industry members.   The CH&LAEF has supported high school hospitality conferences, where students from high school hospitality programs are provided with information, hands-on tours, and a better understanding of career opportunities in the industry. CH&LA’s Education Foundation is also involved in the continued education of the industry, teachers and instructors of hospitality programs.For more information on how to get involved, please contact Education Director, Susan Ragatz at, or by calling her, 916-554-2678.

Academic & Working Professional Scholarships

For information on CH&LAEF scholarships, including application requirements, and to view a list of 2014 recipients, please click here.

Lodging Service Award

In 2014, the CH&LAEF launch the pilot program, Lodging Service Award, a "scholarship" for member properties.  Member properties competed for the award which would provide the recipient property with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute's Guest (AH&LEI) Service Gold Program.

Guest Service Gold is a comprehensive program designed to accomplish the goal of creating guest service-oriented line level employees who know how to engage with their guests to provide memorable guest services.

The recipient of the award for 2014 was the 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach, whose innkeeper, Susan Nelson prepared a stellar application describing why her staff was deserving of this award.  The property trained and certified their entire line staff, and then went on to become the first Certified Guest Service Property in California.

How Can You Help Grow Hospitality Education?

The CH&LAEF will be holding an online auction on the premiere online bidding site,, from Monday, November 3 through Wednesday, November 12

Funds raised through the auction will ultimately benefit the lodging industry in CA!  They will fund scholarships for students, at all levels, studying for careers, or studying to advance a current position in the lodging industry.  CH&LA and its Foundation have been working with high schools, community colleges and workforce development agencies to help raise the awareness of careers in the hospitality industry.  This increased focus on the industry has resulted in an increase in available courses, and in the number of students who are making career changes.  We need a well-trained and excited workforce pool!

CH&LAEF is now accepting donations which showcase overnight stays, and memorable packages, which might include one or multiple night stays, packages which include recreational activities, professional lessons, brunch or dinner, or perhaps even an item donated by a supportive supplier who recognizes the value of training for careers in the lodging industry (i.e. golf club, gift basket, coffee basket, wine basket, etc.). All donors and supporting vendors will be recognized on the CH&LA website,, the CH&LA monthly newsletter and in an upcoming issue of the CH&LA Lodging News magazine.

If you would prefer to make a tax deductible donation, either in-kind or monetary, please contact Education Director, Susan Ragatz at, or complete the donation form.

2014 CH&LA Education Foundation Donors

Amy Arbuckle

San Francisco Marriott at Fisherman's Wharf


Rob Balmer

Beverly Heritage Hotel


Luis Barrios

Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel


Tom Beedon

Residence Inn Beverly Hills


Sandy Beno

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa


Pamela Bonner

Hilton Garden Inn Bakersfield


René Boskoff

Monterey Marriott


Peter Bowes

Hotel Shattuck Plaza


Naomi Briones

Embassy Suites Arcadia-Pasadena


John Brissenden

Sorensen's Resort


Paul Bullock

Eagle Inn

  Keith Butz

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport


Olivia Chavez

Hyatt Regency Long Beach


Mark Clement

Hilton Oakland Airport


Cathy Cluff

The Oaks at Ojai


Gloria Cortez

Irvine Marriott


Kelley Cosgrove

The Fairmont Hotel San Jose


Mary M. Crowe

La Playa Carmel


Michael Czarcinski

Westin Bonaventure


Michael Damodio

Embassy Suites LAX North Hotel


Don Dennis

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa


Paul Devitt

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach


Shelly Domondon

Dolce Hayes Mansion


Jeff Durham

Redwood Fortuna Riverwalk Hotel


Cally Dym

Little River Inn


Karen Earp

Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara


Vania Earp

Ocean Park Inn


Hermann Elger

Montage Beverly Hills


Pete Ells

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa


Diana Eulloqui

Manhattan Beach Marriott


Mia Garlow

San Francisco Marriott Marquis


Rob Gauthier

Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa


Jeroen Gerrese

Lions Gate Hotel


Kevin Goebel

Hilton Pleasanton at the Club


Scott Gold

Hotel Erwin


Pilar Gonzalez

Bardessono Hotel & Spa


Bruce J. Gorelick

JW Marriott San Francisco


James Greene

Bahia Resort Hotel


Barbara Gross

Garden Court Hotel


Nelum Gunewardane

Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel


Terri Haack

Terranea Resort


Liz Hall

Inn at Playa Del Rey


Michael Hammer

Doubletree Hotel Bakersfield


Jon Handlery

Handlery Hotels


Lawrence Havlick

Old Monterey Inn


Scott Hermes

Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina


Richard Hill

Sheraton Grand Sacramento


John Hutar

Sofitel San Francisco Bay


John Kalinski

Marriott Anaheim


Thomas Klein

The Fairmont San Francisco


Clark Latterell

Laurel Inn


Kristine Lehew

West Inn & Suites


Hee-Won Lim

Pacific Palms Resort & Conference Center


James Lim

Galleria Park Hotel


Peter Lynn

Hilton San Diego Bayfront


Kathryn Mace

Casa Laguna Inn & Spa


Isabelle Matter

Moorpark Hotel


Silvano Merlo

Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach Downtown


Susan Mesick

Tallman Hotel


Jamie Metcalf

W San Diego


Irby Morvant

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay


Peggy Mosley

Groveland Hotel


Sietse Nabben

The Lodge at Tiburon


John Narigi

Monterey Plaza Hotel


Norval Nelson

Crowne Plaza San Francisco International Airport


Offer Nissinbaum

The Peninsula Beverly Hills


Malia Osterbauer

Portofino Hotel & Marina


Josephine Pallera

Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel


Michael Pace

Hotel Adagio


Bimal Patel

Hotel Zico


Suresh Patel

Best Western Plus Posada Royale Hotel & Suites


Pragna Patel-Mueller

El Colibri Boutique Hotel & Spa


Tom Patton

Ramada Limited


Michael Payton

Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach & Marina

  Arthur John Pekrul

Handlery Foundation


Denise Pflum

Doubletree Hotel Anaheim/Orange County


Sandy Piazza

Doubletree Hotel San Jose


Ken Pilgrim

The Westin San Francisco Market Street


John Porter

Benbow Inn


Bruce Pressman

Maple Tree Inn


Diane Proulx

Grand Pacific Resorts


Jessica Puccinelli

Hotel Angeleno


Kathy Quast

Roman Hot Springs Resort


Bill Reider

Doubletree by Hilton


Rick Ross

Desert Princess Golf Resort

  Michael Rotunno

Courtyard by Marriott John Wayne Airport


Pam Ryan

Renaissance Long Beach Hotel


Candace Savage

USA Today


Tom Scaramellino

Westin San Francisco Airport


John Schafer

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego


Greg Schmidt

Residence Inn Rancho Bernardo

  Pat Seminario

Costa Mesa Marriott & Newport Beach Bayview Marriott Hotel

  Debbie Snavely

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa


Sandra Sooklal

Crowne Plaza Hotel L.A. Harbor

  Sal Soto

Hilton Garden Inn Emeryville


John Southwell

Hilton San Jose


Dan Stenz

Sheraton San Diego Hotel Mission Valley


Susan Stilwell

Tradewinds Carmel


Matt Swanson

Crowne Plaza Palo Alto


Lee Swetnika

Inn at Rolling Hills

  Marcy Tanner

Disney Hotels & Resorts


Christophe Thomas

Palace Hotel


Alyssa Turowski

Westin San Diego


Wes Tyler

Chancellor Hotel on Union Square


Justin Underwood

Doubletree Suites Hotel Doheny Beach

  Alissa Van Keuren

Ventura Marriott


Scott VandenBerg

Hyatt Regency Sacramento


John Vlahos

Hotel Potter


David Von Winckler

Argonaut Hotel


Lisa Walter

Holiday Inn Express Solvang


Camden Wirick

Santa Ynez Marriott Hotel


Amber Woods

L'Auberge Carmel

  Carolyn Yim



Candace Zuetel

Homewood Suites San Diego Airport


Cathlene Wong

Doubletree by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley


Joseph Zarrahy

Crowne Plaza Hotel at Commerce Casino