HSMAI Foundation Announces 2024 Mike Dimond Student Career Success Grant Recipients and Global Collegiate Case Competition Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: McLean, VA (June 24, 2024) – The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Foundation is proud to announce this year’s Mike Dimond Student Career Success Grant recipients, Daniel Ruppenicker, Grace Rucker, Bailey Jacque, and Tre Wilke, and the Global Collegiate Commercial Strategy Case Competition winner, Brigham Young University, Hawaii, with honors also to Republic Polytechnic and University of Macau.

“We’re honored to recognize both the recipients of this year’s Mike Dimond Student Career Success Grant and the Global Collegiate Commercial Strategy Case Competition winner,” said Lori Kiel, CHDM, HSMAI Foundation Chair and Chief Commercial Officer, The Boca Raton. “It’s the HSMAI Foundation’s mission to foster professional development and drive innovation in the next generation of commercial leaders. These outstanding recipients exemplify the excellence that defines the future of the hospitality industry.”

About the Mike Dimond Student Career Success Grant:

Established by his family, the HSMAI Foundation Mike Dimond Student Career Success Grant honors Mike Dimond, a distinguished hotel marketing executive and HSMAI Hall of Fame member, to support degree-seeking students aiming for careers in hospitality. Awardees are selected through a competitive process evaluating industry work experience, personal essays, professional recommendations, and academic consistency and each benefits from a specially selected mentor for a year, coverage of application fees for HSMAI Certifications, a one-year Premium LinkedIn subscription, and complimentary registration plus a travel honorarium up to $1000 for an HSMAI Regional Strategy Conference.

The Mike Dimond Student Career Success Grant Recipients are:

Daniel Ruppenicker expects to graduate from Virginia Tech in the spring of 2025 with a Bachelor of Science in business, hospitality, and tourism management and marketing management. He has interned as a banquet captain and sales intern at Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Connecticut. At Virginia Tech, he directed operations for hospitality career fairs and led event operations for the advisory board dinner. He serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board of Students and the Student Senate, and he is working to start an HSMAI student chapter. Daniel, an Eagle Scout, has been hired as a media intern at Hilton Corporate. His long-term goals include law school and becoming a hospitality lawyer.

Grace Rucker expects to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Stout in December with a double major in hotel, restaurant, and tourism management and real estate property management. She is co-president of the HSMAI UW Stout student chapter. Grace has worked at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, in the dean’s office at the university, and at Catering By Design. She is a certified American Red Cross lifeguard and water safety instructor. She volunteered at HSMAI’s Adrian Awards in New York in 2024, gaining insights into successful advertising campaigns and networking with industry leaders. She looks forward to a long and successful career in hospitality.

Bailey Jacque expects to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Stout in May 2025 with a Bachelor of Science in real estate property management and hotel, restaurant, and tourism management. She has been on the dean’s list every year since 2021 and won the Outstanding Student Leader of the Year award. Bailey has interned at Weidner Apartment Homes and IDeaS Revenue Solutions and worked as a front desk attendant at Fairbridge Inn & Suites. She is co-president of the HSMAI UW Stout student chapter, a student ambassador, and a student board representative.

Tre Wilke expects to receive his associate of science degree from San Diego Mesa College in May 2025. He works full time as a sales manager at Evans Hotels in San Diego and has experience as a sales coordinator, meetings concierge, and front desk supervisor. Tre aspires to become a director of sales and eventually own a hotel and resort. He is a board member of HSMAI’s San Diego chapter and a member of HSMAI’s Rising Sales Leaders Council.

HSMAI Foundation Board Members rated submissions based on the applicants’ demonstrated interest in hospitality sales, marketing, revenue management, or distribution. For more information, visit the Mike Dimond Student Career Success Grant page.

About the Global Collegiate Marketing Case Competition

The goal of the HSMAI Foundation Global Collegiate Case Competition is to establish a cross-institution platform for future hospitality leaders to showcase professional excellence, empower hospitality education through experiential learning, and enable industry-academia collaborations to champion future hospitality leaders.

The 2023-24 competition was case based, with a broader focus on overall commercial strategy. Entered teams across elite universities had the opportunity to work on real-world industry cases to solve practical challenges and ideate better commercial strategies at their chosen strategic level of company, brand, or property. To determine the competition’s winners, a panel evaluated the submissions and selected the top three teams from the undergraduate track. The finalist teams then presented their work virtually to the HSMAI Foundation Board. For more information, visit the Global Collegiate Marketing Case Competition page.

The Undergraduate Finalists are:

  • 1st Place: Brigham Young University, Hawaii

    • Students: Eimeo Lee Cip Sao, Ether Portugal, Taakentemwanoku Betaia, Teaitara Baraka

    • Faculty Advisor: Jeff Christensen

  • 2nd Place: Republic Polytechnic

    • Students: Chong Ting Ting Nicole, Jordan Lee Kah Yang, Joseph Yim Zhi Yong

    • Faculty Advisors: Celine Quek & Aston Chan

  • 3rd Place: University of Macau

    • Students: Yuting Lang, Yuqi Guo, Zihan Huang

    • Faculty Advisor: Huiling Huang


About the HSMAI Foundation

The HSMAI Foundation is a 501c3 organization established in 1983 to serve as the research and educational arm of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. The Foundation’s mission is to elevate the overall caliber and performance of sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals in the global hospitality industry by driving initiatives that will attract new talent, develop emerging talent and engage existing talent. The work of the Foundation is supported by private donations and Corporate Talent Partners. Visit www.hsmaifoundation.org for more information.

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