The purpose of Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation is to:

  • Implement career-building educational programs that promote the hospitality industry to high school students:

    • ProStart – a two-year curriculum for culinary arts and foodservice management that includes classroom study, mentored work experiences and an optional ProStart Invitational competition. Affiliated with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, ProStart is offered in 70 Minnesota schools with more than 3,000 student participants. 

    • Hospitality & Tourism Management Program (HTMP) – 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. 

  • Provide scholarships to students pursuing careers in foodservice or lodging management. Since 2008, HMEF has awarded $710,000 in scholarships to 290 students. 

  • To highlight the excellent career opportunities within the hospitality industry and demonstrate to key policy makers, educators, the media and the public the essential role our industry plays in Minnesota's economy.

The Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, relies on donations to fund its educational and outreach efforts. Donations may be designated for general foundation support, scholarships or for travel expenses for Minnesota teams competing in the National ProStart Invitational each spring. Donate

Learn how HMEF impacts students lives through this video:

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 through scholarships, programs like ProStart and HTMP and to provide our industry with a workforce solution leveraging educated, enthusiastic and energetic high school graduates.

HMEF Board of Directors

Chair: Tim Murray - Murray's Restaurant
Chair Elect:  Jim Benson - Sourcewell
Treasurer & Secretary:  Doug Karle - LHR Hospitality
Past Chair: Peter Mihajlov - Parasole Family of Restaurants

Jim Bradshaw - Upper Lakes Foods
Dean Breuer - MN Dept. of Education, Mktg & Bus.
Rollie Carlson - Upper Midwest CMAA Chapter
Andrea Cummings - Luthern Social Services
Jodi DePonty - Ecolab
Gayle Durand - Hopkins High School
Scott Foster - Nova Restaurant Group
Dave Garvey - Grand Casino Hinckley
Joyce Hwang, PhD. - Southwest Minnesota State Univ
Maya Hua - Mall of America
Ann Hutchinson - Pillager High School
Tom Kavanaugh - Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort

Mark Lanctot - Sysco Minnesota

Hal Langevin - US Foods

Mary Levinski - Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

Jennifer Lueck - Strategy Factory

Dennis McGuire - Vader and Landgraf, Inc.

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

Leopoldo Navorro - Cargill Foodservice

Michael “Pinto” Pantaleo - Reinhart Foodservice

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

Glenn Rivers - 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)

Jason Subbert - TPI Hospitality

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

Liz Rammer - CEO
Cyndi Keesee - Administrative Coordinator, 651.925.4012

(651) 778-2400

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

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