Gov. Janet Mills presents the award for Leadership and Growth to Dr. Lee Speronis, an assistant dean, associate professor and the director of the School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management at Husson University. (Courtesy of Husson University)

School recognized for “Leadership and Growth” at the 2023 Maine Tourism Awards ceremony

BANGOR – Husson University’s School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management was honored at the 2023 Maine Tourism Awards on March 28. The School received an award for Leadership and Growth. The award presentation was part of the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

According to a video on the conference’s website, the Leadership and Growth Award was given to the School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management because of its “contributions to the growth of Maine’s tourism industry workforce. Together with industry and community partners, the School has established strong relationships that introduce students to tourism job opportunities. Since 2008, over 700 internships have directly supported Maine’s tourism economy.

The School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management is part of Husson University’s College of Business. The person who accepted the award on behalf of Husson University was Dr. Lee Speronis, an assistant dean, associate professor, and the director of the School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management.

“I graciously accepted this award on behalf of our over 500 students, 10 faculty members, Dean Hansen and Provost Coy-Ogan – all of whom are devoted to the professional success of our hospitality and tourism students,” said Speronis.

Continuing on, he said, “We also deeply appreciate the support of President Clark and our many business partners who have provided valuable internships to our students over the last 15 years. In addition, Husson is grateful for the support of the Maine Office of Tourism.”

Twenty-five Husson students attended the March 28 event with the majority serving as event ambassadors. Most of the participating students were part of Instructor Lisa Sturgeon’s event planning management course. Those Husson students who staffed the Governor’s Conference on Tourism got the opportunity to put classroom theory into practice as part of a hands-on learning experience. In addition to sitting in on planning meetings prior to the event and getting a better understanding of the preparations required to make an annual conference happen, the students had the opportunity to enhance the attendees’ event experience as members of the Maine Office of Tourism team. Five Husson graduates were also members of the team at the Cross Insurance Center, the venue where the event took place.

During his acceptance speech, Speronis thanked his colleague and former student, Lisa Sturgeon, and all of the people at the event for their passionate support of the Maine hospitality and tourism industry. “We must continue to support the new members entering Maine’s largest business industry and work together to promote the long-term sustainability of hospitality and tourism in our state,” he said.

Husson University is doing its part to make that happen. In the state of Maine, Husson is the only institution of higher education to offer a bachelor of science degree in hospitality and tourism management. It’s also the only University in Northern New England that offers a master of business administration with a concentration in hospitality management.

“We’re very proud of Lee and all of the faculty members in Husson’s School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management for all they’ve done to make our University one of the most respected educators of hospitality and tourism professionals,” said Dr. Marie Hansen, dean of the College of Business at the University. “The tourism industry is a vital part of Maine’s economy. Many people don’t realize that one in six jobs in Maine is hospitality and tourism related. Thanks to the hard work of our graduates, this vital economic sector will continue to be an important part of our state’s future.”

Each year, the Maine Office of Tourism hosts the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. This two-day event attracts hospitality professionals from across the state. In addition to a presentation of the Maine Office of Tourism’s annual report, the conference features workshops, speakers, and multiple networking opportunities. To learn more about this year’s conference, visit https://www.mainetourismconference.com/.

The Maine Office of Tourism is part of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. MOT promotes Maine as a tourism destination and works to support and expand the state’s tourism industry. A list of the key programs supported by the Maine Office of Tourism can be found online at https://www.maine.gov/decd/maine-office-of-tourism.

Offering an array of undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and certificates that can be taken on campus, on site or online, the College of Business is dedicated to providing students with an education that leads to career success, regardless of whether they choose to work in the public sector; the private and corporate sector; or for non-profit organizations. Courses in the College of Business offer students the opportunity for experiences where they “learn by doing.” Detailed degree descriptions offered by Husson University’s College of Business are easily accessible at https://www.husson.edu/college-of-business.

For nearly 125 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to an analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.