Friday, November 6, 2009

Building Scholarships for Service benefit dinner at Lexington College honors McDonald's Fields

The Lexington College scholarship event and benefit dinner was held Nov. 2 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. In honoring Jan Fields, executive vice president and chief operating officer of McDonald's USA, Lexington acknowledged her exemplary leadership in the foodservice and hospitality industry as well as her continued support of the college. During her acceptance speech, Fields said, "I am honored to receive this award and to help provide students with opportunities I did not have. It is a wonderful thing to have us help them."

The honoree at this annual event, established over a decade ago, is chosen from among professionals who are committed to furthering the mission of the college. Fields is a consistent supporter of Lexington's growth and is a strong role model for students.

The event raised nearly half a million dollars in scholarship funds for a diverse group of women studying to earn a degree in hospitality management, the largest amount in the history of the college.

Mai Martinez, co-anchor and reporter of CBS Channel 2 joined as master of ceremonies for the evening, and Rita Cuddihy, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the central region of Marriott International, served as co-chair.

The event premiered a video created by Sheffield Institute, featuring a day in the life of successful alum in her career and a current student, both on campus and in her place of work. The video highlighted student testimonials on receiving a Lexington education, as well as featuring Ms. Fields' visit to Lexington this fall (previously posted about here). It exemplified her role as an advocate for people development as well as her strong involvement with the college.

Forty Lexington students served as volunteers at the event and helped raise additional funds through the sale of raffle tickets for donated gifts. They also facilitated the running of the silent auction before dinner.

More than 700 guests including board members, industry leaders, friends and benefactors of the college enjoyed the evening surrounded by familiar faces and colleagues.

(l to r) Mai Martinez, co-anchor and reporter of CBS Channel 2 and the evening's master of ceremonies; Javier C. Goizueta, president, McDonald's Division and vice president, The Coca-Cola Co.; Jan Fields, executive vice president and chief operating officer of McDonald's USA, and honoree, Lexington Award for Excellence; Rita Cuddihy, senior vice president, chief operating officer, Central Region of Marriot International; and Lexington president Dr. Susan Mangels