The Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation (HMEF) implements two hospitality industry career-building programs, ProStart and HTMP, in high schools across Minnesota. HMEF also provides scholarships to students pursuing careers in foodservice or lodging management. Since 2008, HMEF has awarded $771,000 in scholarships to 313 students.


ProStart is a two-year curriculum for culinary arts and foodservice management, which includes classroom study, mentored work experiences, and the ProStart Invitational competition. Over 80 Minnesota schools offer ProStart programs, reaching more than 5,500 students annually.

The Hospitality & Tourism Management Program (HTMP) is a curriculum that introduces high school students to the lodging industry. The curriculum covers everything from front office and housekeeping management to marketing and sales, food and beverage, as well as general management and leadership skills. Currently the HTMP program is in 13 schools across Minnesota.

The Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, relies on donations to fund its educational and outreach efforts.

Donate Now

Learn how HMEF impacts students lives:

HMEF Teacher's Training at Grand Casino August 4, 2020

Hospitality Leaders Fund


The Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation extends a special thanks to our Leaders Fund donors for their generous support. Their leadership is critical to building the Foundation by supporting programs like ProStart and HTMP and to provide our industry with a workforce solution by educating educated, enthusiastic and energetic high school students. Become a Leaders Fund Donor by calling Cyndi Keesee, 651.925.4012.

HMEF 2020 Board of Directors

Chair: Doug Karle - LHR Hospitality

Vice Chair: Jim Benson - Sourcewell
Treasurer: Dave Garvey - Grand Casino 

Immediate Past Chair: Tim Murray - Murray's Restaurant

Tim Boldt - Sysco Minnesota

Jim Bradshaw - Upper Lakes Foods
Dean Breuer - MN Dept. of Education, Mktg & Bus.
Rollie Carlson - Upper Midwest CMAA Chapter
Andrea Cummings - Lutheran Social Services
Jodi DePonty - Ecolab
Gayle Durand - Hopkins High School

Laura Garcia - Marriott Southwest
Ann Hutchinson - Pillager High School

Joyce Hwang, PhD. - Southwest Minnesota State Univ
Tom Kavanaugh - Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort

Hal Langevin - US Foods

Mary Levinski - Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

Jennifer Lueck - Strategy Factory

Dennis McGuire - Vader and Landgraf, Inc.

Peter Mihajlov - Parasole Restaurant Holdings, Inc

Leopoldo Navorro - Cargill Foodservice

William Niemer, CEC, CCE, CE- That Cooking School

Rick Oknick - Banner Year Advisors

Mike “Pinto” Pantaleo - Reinhart Foodservice

Maxine Peterson - Minnesota Department of Education (non-voting)

Mitch Peterson - TPI Hospitality, Retired CEO

Keith Reardon - Morrissey Hospitality Group

Branden Robinson - South Pier Inn

Heidi Rosati - Coca-Cola

Chris Ruttger - Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge

Monique Sabby - Elk River High School

Nathan Sartain, CEC, CCE - Saint Paul College

Beth Schupp - Fair Hills Resort

Kenneth Schelper - Davanni's (retired)

Frank Soukup - Grand View Lodge

Brandon Supernault - Normandale Community College

Past Chairs:
Tom Chase - Chase Hospitality
Bill Foussard - Best Western Plus White Bear Country Inn
Peter Mihajlov - Parasole Restaurant Holdings, Inc
Bill Naegele - Restaurants No Limit

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(651) 778-2400

1959 Sloan Place, Suite 120, St Paul, MN 55117

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©2020 Hospitality Minnesota