Department: Student Advancement Programs & Hospitality School: School of Management Campus: Manhattan
Member of NYIT Since: 1994
From NYIT's Weekly Update:
Recipe for Success He has cooked for celebrities Frank Sinatra, Bill Cosby, William Shatner, and Bonnie Raitt, and assisted in the preparations for a U.S. presidential inauguration. In 1994, after a run as the manager of catering operations for several mid- and large-size companies and co-owner of a seaside restaurant, Robert Koenig, Ed.D., joined NYIT as an assistant professor and helped build the Manhattan campus hospitality program. He brought along his “gold standards” and today continues to blend theory with practice and share with students his unique perspectives that have allowed them to thrive in the multibillion-dollar global hospitality industry. His research, which he has presented at national and international conferences, focuses on traditional and new technology course delivery modes. Robert currently serves as associate dean of the School of Management’s Student Advancement Programs, where his responsibilities include oversight of mentoring, ambassador, and literacy programs, and coordination of all faculty-led educational trips. As the advisor to the Society of Hosteurs and the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society, he promotes community involvement in charitable activities such as the City Harvest Food Drive, Autism Speaks fundraisers, and the Covenant House Toy and Clothes Drives. Robert teaches his students that professionalism, customer service, and teamwork are key ingredients to success, and, most importantly, he encourages them to act ethically and with integrity in all that they do—no matter what career path they may choose.
Describe your experience as the executive sous chef at President Ronald Reagan’s 1985 inauguration. Without a doubt, it was one of the most exciting professional experiences of my life. I worked with the “cream of the crop” and met world-renowned politicians and celebrities. I received a Presidential Inauguration Recognition Certificate, a gold medal, and a red, white, and blue ribbon.
Which business luminary do you most admire? Steve Wynn, the casino/resort owner and real-estate developer, for being a visionary and risk taker.
What are some of the new initiatives offered through the Student Advancement Program? The School of Management Student Advisory Board serves as the main channel of communication with our students and operates in the same manner as a professional board. We have also been actively promoting membership in professional organizations, which provides students the opportunity to travel to national conferences, network with industry professionals, and expand their employment options.
If you could open a restaurant anywhere in the world, where would it be? Jeju Island, South Korea, also known as the “Island of the Gods.” The island’s mixture of volcanic rock, frequent rains, waterfalls, and temperate climate make it very similar to the Hawaiian Islands. The concept would be creative American and international cuisine.
What matters most to you and what do you want to be your legacy? My faith and my family matter most. I want to impart to my daughter and my students the value of community service, the importance of being lifelong learners, and the positive outcomes of continually seeking challenges.
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Michael Klein Class of 1987 Profession: President and CEO of Xoft Inc.