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 $750,000 in scholarships to 290 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 70 Minnesota schools offer ProStart programs, reaching more than 4,200 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 12 schools across Minnesota.

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

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Learn how HMEF impacts students lives:

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 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
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)

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)

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) 778-2400

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

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