Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sullivan University’s NCHS adds two new faculty members

Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies (NCHS), Louisville, Ky., recently announced the addition of two celebrated hospitality professionals to its faculty: E. Jon Bjornson has joined the staff as chair of hotel and restaurant management, replacing the late Kerry Sommerville, and Michael Cunha has joined the staff as a faculty instructor on skills and purchasing.

Bjornson comes to Sullivan University from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J., where he was an adjunct professor in the field of hospitality, teaching courses on the concepts of Rooms Division Management and Property Management. Prior to his work at Fairleigh Dickinson, Bjornson was vice president of sales and marketing for The Ultimate Sweet Tooth in Bushkill, Pa. Bjornson also has a remarkable background in hotel management and has held the positions of franchise services manager for Howard Johnson and Travelodge and lead technology specialist for all nine Cendant hotel brands in the United States and Canada.

Cunha, who was operating partner and executive chef of the four-star Limestone Restaurant for six years, served as a member of Sullivan University’s Advisory Panel for 10 years. Cunha is transitioning to this academic position with Sullivan so that he can spend more time with his family than a restaurant career allows. Prior to opening Limestone in 2003, Cunha was executive chef de cuisine at the AAA five-diamond Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel (Louisville, Ky.) and executive chef at the Austin Hilton Hotel in Texas. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation, the Chaine de Rotisseurs and the James Beard Foundation. Cunha received his culinary training from Johnson & Wales University, where he earned degrees in culinary arts, hospitality management and pastry arts.

“Both Bjornson and Cunha have the passion for the hospitality industry that is so important in a Sullivan University faculty member,” said Tom Hickey, Director of the NCHS. “They bring a considerable amount of expertise in their respective fields, and I think they will inspire a lot of enthusiasm in our students.”