Birth of ICHRIE

Foundations of a Professional Organization: The Birth of International CHRIE

by Robert H. Bosselman

At the time of publication, Robert H. Bosselman, Ph.D., was a professor in the Department of Food and Beverage Management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. At the time of this reprint in 2002, Dr. Bosselman is currently director of the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

Readers of American history recall that the founding fathers were numerous, but that one assumed the mantle of leadership—George Washington, the first president of the United States and widely recognized as the “father of his country.” The organization now known as the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (CHRIE) was formed in 1946 by a group of dedicated hospitality professionals. Similar to George Washington, one individual, Howard Bagnall Meek, rose to a position of prominence among his peers, and today would be considered the “father of hospitality education.”

Because of this, over the years, there has been conflicting opinions as to who was responsible for CHRIE’s formation. Since late fall 1995, the author has been engaged in a research project examining the organization’s history. This current paper will report on the roots of the organization —the years 1946 to 1951, the formative years of CHRIE. The objective in this paper will be to provide a glimpse of how the organization began and how it was nurtured to youth by a relatively small, diverse group of interested hospitality professionals.

A Meeting is Called

Following the end of activities associated with World War II, thousands of former service personnel flooded back to their hometowns or to newly adopted cities. Many went to colleges, funded by the G.I. Bill, while others chose to enter the working world. There were several hospitality programs, both at the 2 and 4-year level, and even one M.B.A. program in Restaurant Administration at the University of Chicago. In addition, there were many vocational-oriented programs at the high school or trade school level. For the most part, the programs developed independently, and considerable duplication was thought to exist. At the same time, the U.S. economy was expanding, with noticeable growth in the hospitality field. Industry called for more qualified workers, and noted the lack of preparation of many of its workers.

While educators did, apparently, take note of the situation, one person did more. Paul F. Muellet of the Broadway-Edison Technical School in Seattle wrote to several colleagues urging a meeting to discuss common concerns. He also wrote to the American Hotel Association (AHA), seeking sponsorship of the meeting (Hotel Monthly, 1946). Joe H. Adams, manager of the El Commodore Hotel in Miami and second vice president of AHA, took particular interest in the request. Adams also served as chair of AHA’s Vocational Education Committee. AHA took over responsibility for the meeting, scheduling it for late November in Chicago.

The Planning Committee for the meeting was comprised of Muellet, James F. Walsh of the AHA office, Alberta Macfarlane, education director for the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and Hilda L. Watson of San Francisco Junior College. The AHA, NRA and U.S. Office of Education sponsored the meeting. During the Roosevelt era, the U.S. Office of Education was led by Commissioner John Ward Studebaker. Studebaker was a strong proponent of education for work, and vocational education did well during his administration (Brown, 1983; Pickett, 1957; Smith, 1967). In August of 1946, then President Truman signed the George-Barden Act, which made $28.5 million in Federal funds available for expansion of vocational education. John B. Pope, an adult education specialist with the U.S. Office of Education, was named Conference Leader, while Adams served as Conference Chair.

The First Gathering

The initial conference was held at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago, from November 25-27, 1946. At that time, the Morrison Hotel was one of the premier properties in the United States, standing 44 stories with over 1500 rooms. For those curious about the site selection, it turns out that the AHA president at the time was Leonard Hickes, managing director of the Morrison Hotel.

In his opening remarks, Joe Adams noted, “...we are so far behind in training in the hotel field that we’ve really got to get on the beam without further delay” (Hotel Monthly, 1946, p.52). He encouraged educators and industry professionals to work together. Charles A. Horrwath, executive vice president of AHA, spoke of the AHA’s commitment to the organization. He told attendees that he perceived the organization as a planning board which would develop a program for industry training needs. “Tell us what you need, what we can do, and how” (Horrwath, 1946, p. 52).

A total of 49 professionals attended the first meeting. They represented a variety of groups within the field. There were 12 hotel and restaurant association representatives from both national and state organizations. The largest group, 15, were those from vocational, trade and high school groups. Seven union representatives from the hotel and restaurant field were in attendance. They also represented national, state and regional associations. A writer from the trade publication Hotel Monthly attended and reported on the meeting. Two officials from the Veteran’s Administration office in Chicago were there, as well as Pope from Washington, D.C. San Francisco Junior College was the only 2-year program represented, while Washington State College, the University of Illinois, New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, the University of Denver, Mississippi State College, Cornell University, Michigan State College, Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College and the University of Chicago represented 4-year programs in hotel and restaurant management. One food manufacturing industry executive also attended the meeting.

Conference participants believed that the solution to common training problems would be found through a series of conferences and studies. Alberta Macfarlane of the NRA stated, “ is our conviction that a series of area and national conferences will result which will have as an outcome the upgrading of hotel and restaurant training programs at all levels” (The National Planning Conference on the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education, 1946, p.4). Specific issues conference attendees brought up included matching curricula with industry needs, the role of advisory committees, a lack of qualified instructors, and how to finance the Council. It is quite interesting to note that such issues remain with us 50 years later.

Like any organization, committees were created. The Planning Committee handled several charges. Their first project was coming up with a name which would present the purpose of the group. Seven names were proposed, with “Council of Hotel and Restaurant Education of the American Hotel Association and National Restaurant Association” being the name presented to the general group for consideration. The second issue the committee focused on was participation in Council discussions. In addition to educators, the AHA, NRA, other trade associations, and other organizations interested in the educational aspects of the hotel and restaurant industry were invited to participate. It was suggested that discussion of education topics be organized by level: vocational/ technical, junior college, and 4-year college. With respect to finances, the Committee recommended that the NRA contribute funds for specific purposes, and grants from other organizations be channeled through the Educational Committee of each association. It was also suggested to appoint a 3-person Finance Committee. Finally, the Planning Committee requested that Adams, as Chair, appoint an Executive Committee whose main purpose was to plan for the next meeting. Members of the Council’s first Executive Committee were Adams (hotels), Howard B. Meek (4-year colleges), Hilda L. Watson (junior colleges), Charles A. Rovetta (restaurants), Paul F. Muellet (trade schools), Helen Evans (girl’s trade school), and H.F. Hinton (state departments of education).

The Curriculum Committee determined that a survey of curricula in food trade schools be undertaken, with the goal of creating a standard course of study. It was suggested that this might lead to a certificate upon completion of work universally recognized (The National Planning Conference of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Education, 1946). What this represents is the seed that eventually became what we know today as the American Culinary Federation (ACF) accreditation. With members of the Curriculum Committee including Herman Breithaupt, Hilda Watson and Alberta Macfarlane, it is not hard to understand the focus on culinary-based education. In addition to these two major committees, a Reporting Committee was responsible for all transcriptions of meeting minutes, and an Editing Committee (consisting of Pope) was responsible for producing the document (The National Planning Conference of the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education). They subsequently appear in later materials produced by the Council. There is no record of them being discussed or how they were written. However, it is important for us to examine them, for the basic goal of our organization has not altered.

Objectives of the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education

  1. To exchange information concerning formal, technical, junior college, and university education pertaining to the hotel and restaurant industry.
  2. To exchange information by the above groups concerning adult education and in-service programs at all levels of operation and management.
  3. To initiate improvement in teaching methods and subject content.
  4. To coordinate and act as a clearing house for all research undertaken by educational institutions and trade associations which affect the industry.
  5. To attract to all levels of the industry alert, competent and productive individuals by emphasizing the advantages and opportunities of our industry from the point of personal satisfaction as well as financial remuneration.

Numerous educational institutions made brief presentations on their specific hotel/restaurant programs. Twenty bachelor degree programs were represented through reports, including the schools mentioned previously. Several of the schools reporting were home economics programs which provided hotel and restaurant classes through a nutrition-based program. Among the vocational and trade schools presenting was the newly incorporated New Haven Restaurant Institute (today known as the Culinary Institute of America.) Represented by attorney Frances L. Roth, the private school was created to train veterans and to establish a trade school with emphasis on quality cooking and baking (The National Planning Conference of the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education, 1946). We would certainly agree that this particular institution is today one of the finest vocational programs of its type in the world.

In its general meeting, participants agreed on three issues. First, they agreed that the Council remain an informal organization, with further discussion planned for the second meeting. Second, they decided that the name for the organization would be “Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education” (The National Planning Conference of the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education, 1946, p.90). Finally, the group agreed to meet on an annual basis, and the second gathering was planned for summer, 1947, in Chicago.

Meeting at International House

The second and third meetings of the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education took place on the campus of the University of Chicago. At that time, the institution had an M.B.A. program in Restaurant Administration, chaired by Chares A. Rovetta. International House, which still stands on the campus, was the site for the Council’s meetings. The Second Conference was held there from June 19-24, 1947.

In addition to remarks from industry association leaders, committee reports, and institution reports, five individual presentations were made. They were all brief, and represented a synopsis of literature or a theoretical perspective. In essence, they were not that different from Annual Meeting presentations of recent years, with the exception of brevity and no references. Among the presenters was William F. Whyte, who spoke on the relevance of general education subjects in the curriculum. Other presentations, which were aimed at industry, focused on training programs, preparation and service problems with food, and developing in-service education programs. The group also listened to a presentation on the use of audio-visual instructional materials.

There were 47 attendees at the second meeting. Again, they represented a cross-section of the industry. Nine individuals were from the hotel and restaurant associations or industry; 16 were from high school or trade schools; two represented labor unions; one was from the Veteran’s Administration; two were from the U.S. Office of Education; one represented junior colleges; and 16 represented senior college level institutions, including a graduate student in restaurant administration.

In just a span of six months, the committee structure had expanded significantly. However, on closer examination, the growth in committee numbers actually reflected a segmentation of the Curriculum Committee. The College Curriculum Committee, the Junior College Curriculum Committee, the Post-High School Curriculum Committee, the High School Curriculum Committee, a Committee on Food Service Training, a Committee on Library Facilities, and a Committee on Teaching Facilities all developed from the original group, now called the General Curriculum Committee.

The College Curriculum Committee, led by Howard B. Meek, focused on student admission and degree standards, and faculty requirements. The Committee generally agreed that no single program completely conformed to every single standard proposed, but they also agreed that their standards were not so high as to prevent a program from reaching them, and more importantly, no lesser standards could be approved (Pope, 1947, p. 35). They agreed on a 4-year curriculum, complemented by a 30-week supervised field practice. Their proposed curriculum included one full year of general education classes, nine hours of accounting (including statistics), 12 hours of food science (chemistry, nutrition, sanitation), 12 hours of food production and service (including hands-on work in an operating facility) 16 hours in engineering and maintenance, 24 hours in general management, and elective work in the professional areas to give the student exposure beyond the minimum level of instruction. The committee suggested a student-faculty ratio of 20:1, and that half of the faculty should have a doctorate or an equivalent professional degree. The committee also recommended adequate library facilities, proper laboratories for science, food production and service, and front office operations. The committee charged a subcommittee to develop a list of books and periodicals that college-level libraries should possess. It is interesting that their deliberations were similar to the accreditation process eventually developed 40 years later by the organization.

The Junior College Curriculum Committee, lead by Hilda L. Watson, proposed a basic curriculum with emphasis on food preparation. Additional classes were suggested in applied areas such as arithmetic, English, supervision and training, and nutrition. Considerable attention was paid to working in the industry. They recommended that faculty in these programs have a minimum of seven years of experience in the hotel and restaurant industry, and that student-faculty ratios not exceed 18:1. The Post-High School Curriculum Committee focused on a proposed course of study. Committee members (including Alberta Macfarlane, Matthew Bernatsky, and Frances L. Roth) used the course of study outline from August Forster of Chicago’s Washburne Trade School as their guide because it was considered the finest of those consulted (Pope, 1947). Because the students in these particular institutions were not expected to be traditional college-level and in some cases not even high school graduates, the emphasis of the program of study was on principles and practices of cooking, baking and butchering. The Committee agreed that the course of study cover two years, with a heavy emphasis on the hands-on classes.

Moving Toward an Organization

Moving Toward an Organization

In the general meeting, the participants again decided to maintain an informal organization. However, they recognized that the work being created and the widespread interest in their group merited further consideration. It was decided that members of the Executive Committee would meet with officials of the U.S. Office of Education in Washington, D.C., later that year. In addition to discussing plans for a formal organization, the group would plan the 1948 Conference and propose a study on education and training needs in the hotel and restaurant industry. Meek was placed in charge of the formal organization process, while Rovetta had the responsibility of writing the research proposal.

On October 28, 1947, members of the Executive Committee met with John Ward Studebaker, U.S. commissioner of education, and R.W. Gregory, assistant commissioner for Vocational Education. The Commissioner characterized the hotel and restaurant industry as one of opportunity, and saw the Council’s work as service to public welfare. Gregory pointed out the opportunity for the Council (and its members) to write books for the hotel and restaurant field. While there was verbal endorsement of the Council, no Federal funds were allocated to the Council. However, Pope and his assistant, Louisa Moore, had managed to prepare the initial meeting proceedings, as well as a listing of educational programs and their descriptions. (From the materials available, it appears this work was done under the auspices of Pope’s position with the U.S. Office of Education.)

Rovetta’s proposal noted that there was scant reliable information as to the hotel and restaurant industry’s needs. The study would determine the need for education in the field at various levels. Standards of education and methods of evaluation would be included. The goal would be a specific educational pattern and recommendations which would become the objective of educational effort and direction (Pope, 1947). He recommended a Joint Commission on Education for Hotel and Food Service to supervise the study and implement its findings. This Commission would be composed of two university-level educators and three educators from below university level, all chosen by the Council’s Executive Committee. In addition, there would be a single representative from the AHA, the NRA, the American Council on Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the American Medical Association, the American Dietetic Association, and two representatives from the U.S. Office of Education. The proposal suggested a two-to-three year time frame with a budget of $50,000. Rovetta suggested the director of the study come from outside the hotel and restaurant field, preferably in education.

The Organization Takes Structure

The Council did not meet again until its third conference, again held at International House on the University of Chicago campus, from November 26-29, 1948. In her welcoming remarks, Alberta Macfarlane noted the importance of the core curriculum project, “...the industry sorely needs such a curriculum, one that will indicate the time required for effective training in each of the different activities” (as cited by Pope, 1948, p.3). Her comments further support the Council’s work at that time in preparing statements with respect to desirable standards and procedures in training programs. Perhaps the reader will note the similarity to today’s skills standards work. In his opening remarks, Chairman Joe H. Adams cited three goals for participants: adoption of constitution and bylaws, election of the Executive Board, and providing for the Council’s finances (Pope, 1948). There was little else at this conference other than committee reports and organizational discussions. Attendance was not listed as in the first two meetings. Instead, anyone whom had attended the first two meetings, or had been involved with any committee work, was listed as a Council participant. It can be assumed that the actual attendance was similar to the initial two conclaves.

The reader will recall the complexity of committees created at the Council’s second meeting. The dispersion of work had already led to confusion by the third meeting. It was noted that committees had not shared their work with one another. Instead, the General Curriculum Committee was reconstituted to include the chairs of the four major committees (high school, trade school, junior college, and senior college). This group would consolidate and correlate the reports on core curriculum. Each area represented would then recommend variations required to adapt the core to its specific area. One committee which had accomplished substantial work was the Committee on Library Facilities. While their report noted there was considerably more material to collect, they provided a bibliography courtesy of the City College of San Francisco.

Initial Board of Directors (BOD) elected include Adams (now president of the Council), Meek (vice president), Pope (secretary), Watson (treasurer), Paul M. Hawkins (general counsel), Herman Breithaupt, Paul F. Muellet, Charles A. Rovetta, Bernard Proulx, Frances Roth, Grace O. Hunt and Gladys Dobson.

The Constitution of the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education identifies the general purpose of the Council as advancing education and training in the hotel and restaurant industry (Pope, 1948). This goal would be achieved via the exchange of information among educational institutions and the hotel and restaurant industry. The Council would also have as objectives encouraging teaching improvement, coordination of research which would affect the hotel and restaurant industry, and attracting talented personnel to all levels of the industry.

Membership in the Council was both individual and institutional. Active membership; however, was limited to institutions. Each institution was allotted three delegates to attend Council business meetings, but they had to vote as a single unit. Associate memberships were offered to industry organizations, companies and government agencies interested in the work of the Council. Again, these bodies were limited to three delegates at business meetings, voting as one. Individual memberships allowed the person to hold office and attend meetings, but came with no voting rights.

The Constitution formally established the BOD of the Council, identified as its governing body. The BOD consisted of the president, secretary, and two representatives from each classification of active membership (high school, trade school, junior college, and senior college). The vice president, treasurer, and general counsel were non-voting ex-official members. A Nominating Committee for Council Officers would be appointed by the president, and be composed of the incumbent president, vice president, and one delegate from each active classification. The officers consisted of the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and general counsel. The latter was an appointed position. All officers served for one year, although the President and Vice President were eligible for one immediate re-election. Of interest to current CHRIE members was the stipulation that the Annual Meeting be held between November 1 and December 31 of each year.

The first formal BOD meeting took place on November 29, 1948, following the approval of the Constitution by the meeting attendees. The first item of business was an annual registration fee of $5.00 to attend the business meeting. Fifteen persons attending this gathering paid such a fee —the first funds collected by the Council. The second item of business was to declare annual dues of $10.00 for active and individual memberships. The third item was to declare annual dues of $500.00 for associate memberships. In other business, the BOD requested that the secretary prepare a list of individual members and institutions, letterhead and associated supplies, a certificate for those charter members and a statement of objectives and principal activities of the Council itself.

1949 —An Eventful Year

The BOD met again at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago on March 9, 1949. The major item of business was the decision to have Hawkins, general counsel, draft the organizational bylaws. Among other agenda items was a discussion of the need for a central office. It was decided to seek the opinions of the U.S. Office of Education, the American Council on Education, and the American Vocational Association. Of significance was the final agenda item, incorporation. The general counsel was instructed to incorporate the Council with a minimum of expense and a maximum of freedom of operation. On July 15, 1949, the Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education was incorporated in the District of Columbia. General Counsel Hawkins, Secretary Pope and M.O. Ryan of the AHA were the signers of the incorporation certificate.

Although the fourth meeting of the Council was not scheduled until November, several groups met in Chicago at the Morrison Hotel, from August 11-13. The various curriculum committees had been attempting to draft a core curriculum for the field. The City College of San Francisco had developed a significant manuscript which was shared with the Council. The instructors at City College of San Francisco had met during the previous academic year to standardize procedures and develop basic materials for training. They also involved their students and industry representatives in the process. The General Curriculum Committee recommended that the material be used as the foundation for the skills and materials manual. The committee estimated it would require a budget of $20,000 to complete the project by the Council’s meeting in 1950. It was suggested to seek funding from industry associations, or state agencies. It was also suggested to sell the existing document, and charge for the additional revisions. In order to accomplish these and other activities of the Council, the committee recommended that a director of publicity be hired.

The BOD met on August 13, 1949, with the main agenda item a report on Council By-Laws (Pope, 1949). Article II of the By-Laws, Membership, recommended the formation of a Membership Committee whose function was to solicit memberships. Candidates would need to be sponsored by two members in good standing from the membership class to which the candidate was applying. It was also suggested to form an Admissions Committee which would review all applications for membership. This committee would then send its recommendation on admittance to the BOD. Article III of the By-Laws, Fiscal Matters, suggested the formation of a Budget Committee to prepare and submit an annual operating budget to the BOD. The treasurer had the responsibility of providing financial statements at each BOD meeting, current to the most recent month preceding the meeting. Article IV, Secretary, identified this person as in charge of the administration of the Council office. Since 1945, Pope had handled the Council’s affairs from his office at the U.S. Office of Education in Washington.

The first treasurer’s report was made following adoption of the By-Laws. Watson reported a balance of $1,118.00, the result of seven active memberships, ten individual memberships and two associate memberships. The first disbursement was $102, paid to Mary S. Ludtke for stenographic work in May and June, 1949. The seven active memberships were City College of San Francisco, Cornell University, Florida State University, Food Trades Vocational High School of New York City, Mississippi State College, the University of Chicago, and the University of Denver. Among individual members were Joe Adams, H.F. Hinton, Paul Muellet and John Pope. Both the AHA and NRA held associate memberships. The treasurer report that 19 additional institutions had applied for memberships including Michigan State College, Oklahoma A & M College, Pennsylvania State College, Restaurant Institute of New Haven, Tuskegee Institute, and Washington State College. Secretary Pope reported that he was experiencing difficulty in obtaining committee reports for inclusion in the Conference Proceedings. He also reported on the work of a stenographer who worked in his office two days a week handling Council correspondence, preparing reports and keeping records. The secretary noted that numerous requests for informational materials were received by his office, but little printed material was available for use in replies. Finally, the first amendment to the Constitution was proposed, changing the name of the Council to “National Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education” (Pope, 1949, p. 101). A second amendment proposed to rotate BOD membership by electing one member from each active classification each year.

The Council’s First Crisis

The Fourth Conference of what was now called the National Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education was held at the Morrison Hotel in Chicago, from November 25-27, 1949. The 39 attendees were challenged by Secretary Pope and outgoing President Adams. The secretary noted the lack of effort in completing the curriculum materials, and he questioned the Council’s responsibility should accreditation practices be proposed for hotel and restaurant education. Adams praised Secretary Pope for his efforts and that of Louisa Moore, also with the U.S. Office of Education. Noting that Moore was devoting four months of her time to the Council with her work on library holdings and curriculum material, he told those assembled that educators must carry the torch or industry would seek what it needed elsewhere. Frank J. Wiffler, executive vice president of the NRA, stated clearly, “...if you want the financial support of industry you are going to have to give leadership, you are going to have to give direction and then you are going to have to pass information along so we can all pitch in and help sell it.” (as cited by Pope, 1949, p. 19). He went on to praise the AHA’s support of educational programs, and Meek’s program at Cornell, in particular the Summer Program designed for industry. Of interest to readers was the fact that Meek was not in attendance at this conference.

Treasurer Watson reported a balance of $638.32 as additional disbursements for secretarial assistance and supplies had accumulated. General Counsel Hawkins reported to the attendees on the incorporation of the Council and the adoption of By-Laws. He also reported on the likely tax position of the Council, as it was operating as a non-profit educational organization. Of interest to the reader was the decision by Meek, newly elected president, to resign before even taking office. Rovetta, as vice president, then became president. Adams was elected vice president to replace Rovetta. Watson, Pope, and Hawkins all retained their positions. Those present approved the amendments to the Constitution, thus the name changed to the National Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education. On the final day of this meeting attendees made suggestions at a brainstorming session. Proulx suggested forming a committee to work with accrediting agencies to secure material on accrediting teachers and programs in the field. Watson suggested informing other national organizations, both inside and outside the United States, of the activities of the Council. The members present agreed to seek the possibility of a booth at the Hotel Show, the Restaurant Exposition, and other professional conventions where the interests of the Council would be promoted. Muellet suggested a monthly newsletter to keep members informed, and the establishment of a complete roster of programs in the field.

Setting the Future Agenda

The Fifth Annual Conference of the National Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education was held at Cornell’s Statler Hall in Ithaca on November 24-26, 1950. The 32 attendees braved a snowstorm to reach the Cornell campus. Several prospective attendees could not make the meeting due to the weather. This gathering was Meek’s opportunity to show off the facilities on the Cornell campus, and attendees were impressed by what they saw. The Council had a productive year between the Fourth and Fifth Conferences. They had succeeded, with the assistance of the AHA, in publishing three informational documents: Food Preparation and Related Subjects: A Selected Annotated List of Books; Food Preparation and Related Subjects: A Selected Annotated List of Visual Aids, and Directory of Schools and Colleges Offering Courses for Training of Managers, Supervisors, and Workers in the Hotel and Restaurant Industry (Pope, 1950). The material appears to have been compiled, but not written, by Louisa Moore, from the U.S. Office of Education.

Meek gave a presentation on the Cornell program. He praised the Statler Foundation for its gift, noting that the building cost $2.5 million and took two years to build. The building was designed as a teaching facility, and contained in addition to classrooms, the Statler Club (a faculty club), the Statler Inn, and a cafeteria. He briefly described how the program integrated practice with classroom activities. He continued by illuminating how a student worked in different areas of the hotel and restaurant industry while in school, then complemented it with a supervised work experience over the summer months.

Rovetta, the current president, spoke on the function of the Council. He noted that the group had a common interest in education. However, he also noted that the AHA and NRA could direct educational resources if there were no other alternatives. He then identified the scarcity of education in certain areas of the field, notably cooking and baking. “We do admit, however that it is much easier to initiate a college program and keep it going than it is to initiate a trade school” (as cited by Pope, 1950, p. 34). He stated that much discussion had taken place between industry and educators, and that they identified the need for individuals between supervisors and production work. There was an awareness that there were enough college-level programs to satisfy industry needs. In particular, the area of high school programs was considered to have been forgotten. He concluded his remarks by calling for more continuing education type classes designed for industry.

The BOD met on November 24, 1950. President Rovetta introduced the possibility of creating regional organizations of the Council which would better serve the members around the country. The treasurer’s report identified a balance of $856.13, with 20 active memberships, ten individual memberships, and three associate memberships. As materials had been produced by the Council, considerable expenses associated with their production had been incurred. Secretary Pope indicated that there was concern in the U.S. Office of Education that the Council was taking up too much of his time. He also noted that Council materials were taking up more space in his already overcrowded office. The secretary then reported the results of the officer elections. Meek was elected president and Herman Breithaupt was elected vice president, with Watson and Pope retaining their positions.

The BOD met again in Chicago on May 10, 1951, at the NRA offices. General Counsel Hawkins had resigned and was replaced by Edward A. McCabe, also from the AHA. Among the items discussed were the issues of meeting places and times. One suggestion was for all meetings to be held in Chicago. A second proposal was for the annual meeting to take place prior to or immediately following the NRA Convention. A third proposal was for the BOD to hold a meeting during the New York Hotel Show. No decisions were reached during the meeting.

The Sixth Conference of the National Council on Hotel and Restaurant Education was held at the newly opened Student Union Hotel on the campus of Oklahoma A & M College in Stillwater, Oklahoma from November 22- 24, 1951. Sixteen people attended the conclave, with Breithaupt presiding in Meek’s absence. Daisy L. Purdy of the host school provided an overview of the facility, which still operates today. [author’s note: Oklahoma State is where I earned my doctorate. My first impression of the school came when I arrived at the Student Union Hotel for a visit in early spring 1982. It retains its charm and character some 40 years after opening.] Much of the meeting was focused on BOD activities. The treasurer’s report noted a balance of $1,188.14. There were now 38 active memberships, including both individuals and institutions. Additional revenue had been earned from sale of documents. For the first time, the balance sheet reported interest earned on savings accumulated. The secretary reported that Meek had been re-elected president with Rovetta elected vice president, Watson and Pope retained their positions. Again, considerable debate took place with respect to a meeting time and place. Still, no decision was reached.

The BOD meeting continued on November 24, and what transpired was certainly one of the strangest occurrences in the history of the Council. It was revealed that a procedural error had taken place in the election with respect to deadlines of ballots. It was decided that all officers would resign. Pope did so and was immediately reelected. Watson, who was not in attendance, had been contacted, and agreed to resign but not serve again. Joseph Bradley was elected treasurer. Rovetta also declined to be nominated again and Paul Muellet was elected vice president. Meek was in South America and would be traveling for some time. There is no mention of Meek resigning then or in the future, and he continued as president. While not clear in the literature, it is possible that this was an attempted coup d’etat by those who felt the Council was not responsive to all parties involved.


What this brief look at the first six years of CHRIE reveals is an organization comprised of very dedicated individuals. There are some early heroes in this group: Joe Adams, John Pope, Louisa Moore, Howard Meek, Paul Muellet, Charles Rovetta and Hilda Watson. We can observe the structure they created in our organization today. Many of the issues they faced, we still face today. However, we also see that they wrestled with issues which might have destroyed the organization. It is a credit to their efforts that CHRIE has survived. The role of the U.S. Office of Education is absolutely vital to this first six years. Essentially, this government office supported an educational association through the efforts of two employees, John Pope and Louisa Moore. It is interesting to see that the early CHRIE was a good balance of industry and different levels of educational institutions. Further research may review where the organization became more focused on college level education. Certainly the trade school market has survived and prospered. The high school market; however, is somewhat of an unknown to CHRIE today. By examining the history of the organization, we can gain insight into decisions reached, and observe the impact of these on the organization. We might also be better prepared to make decisions which will impact the future of CHRIE.


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