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Ten Years After: Widener Hospitality Graduates Lead Way for Philadelphia Area Club Management

September 21, 2010

Rob Anen, CCM, ‘00 and Joe Mendez, CCM, ’00, started out more than a decade ago in the Academic Center North working together on projects in Widener’s Hospitality Management Program.  During this instrumental time, they both focused their attention on club management and were very involved in the student chapter of the Club Managers Association of America.  Before their graduation, the chapter was awarded Student Chapter of the Year, which energized their future in club management.

After graduation, Anen moved to New Jersey and Mendez worked locally at some of the area’s top clubs.  Ten years later, they are back together again — not in the classroom but in the board room, changing the future of club management. Anen, assistant general manager at The Merion Cricket Club in Haverford, is president of the Philadelphia and Vicinity Chapter of Club Managers Association, and Mendez, general manager of Radley Run in West Chester, is vice president.

(Left to right) Rob Anen, CCM; Widener Associate Professor Connie Holt; Kim Brady; Melissa Hostler; Joe Mendez, CCM; Kate Wilkens, manager Student Development for Club Managers Association of America.

Both Anen and Mendez have spent numerous hours in education classes and workshops to obtain the prestigious CCM status which is the hallmark of an educated manager.   Additionally, they both sit on the board for the Club Foundation which raises money for students at Widener that work in local clubs as well as for continuing education for managers in the area.   Every year, the Foundation donates money to the students of Widener to cut expenses and to send interested students to the CMAA national conference.  Mendez and Anen continue to visit Widener every semester to talk about the profession to eager students in the club class.

This year marks ten years they graduated from Widener and both are still excited about the future of Widener and the hospitality industry, especially as it relates to club management.  This fall, Anen and Mendez are co-chairing the three-day National Student Education Conference in Philadelphia which will bring students from all over the country to learn about the history of clubs, networking and education.  As with Mendez and Anen, this will make a huge impact not only on Widener students, but students from around the country.

Mendez and Anen have harbored the thought of giving back to Widener and students involved in clubs.  Both of the clubs where they are employed have great internship and co-op programs and have molded some of the young professionals in the area.  Kim Brady ’08 is the food and beverage manager at The Merion Cricket Club, and Melissa Hostler ’08 is membership director for Llanarch Country Club.  Additionally, they have both employed numerous interns from Widener as well as co-op employees.

Mendez and Anen want to continue to give back to Widener for all that the University has done for them and they continue to invest their time and energy to the future of this industry and the students.  The future is bright not only for Anen and Mendez but the entire club industry as a result of their thoughts, vision and relationship with Widener.

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