Starwood Becomes Senior Partner for Cornell School of Hotel Administration's Leadership Development Program

Starwood to Participate in the Program's Seminar Series, Conduct In-Hotel Student Training Sessions and Host Educational Programs at its Corporate Office

ITHACA, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Cornell School of Hotel Administration and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), two recognized leaders in the hospitality industry, have developed a corporate alliance that will begin Starwood's three-year senior partnership with the school's Leadership Development Program (LDP). The alliance will formally begin January 1, 2010, and continue through December 31, 2013.

"With its diverse portfolio of nine global brands and reputation for the highest standards of service, Starwood Hotels and Resorts is an ideal partner for the Leadership Development Program," said Michael D. Johnson, Dean and E. M. Statler Professor for the School of Hotel Administration. "This is a great first step to developing a more comprehensive relationship with Starwood."

LDP is a progressive, hands-on three-year training program for a select number of sophomore, junior and senior students who are aiming for careers in the hospitality industry. Participants in the program advance through several paid employment phases—from entry-level to supervisor, manager, and director positions—at the Statler Hotel. Each phase requires approximately 200 hours work.

As the senior partner of the program, Starwood will provide LDP with practical resources and input by participating in the LDP Seminar Series, conducting activities and training sessions for LDP participants at Starwood-owned properties, and hosting LDP students at the Starwood corporate office to engage in educational programs. Starwood will also provide financial support to the program.

"We are excited to be partnering with the School of Hotel Administration's Leadership Development Program," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. "These students are being trained to be the next generation of leaders and innovators in hotel operations, and we are confident that the 'real life' experience that Starwood can provide will enhance their supervisory and managerial skills."

Today, Starwood employs many Cornell School of Hotel Administration alumni in its corporate and divisional offices, as well as in its nearly 1,000 best-in-class hotels around the world. Among them is 1983 graduate Simon Turner, who is President of Global Development for Starwood and an active member of the Dean's Advisory Board.

"The Leadership Development Program has established a benchmark of excellence that we at Starwood recognize as a valuable professional supplement to Cornell's fine academic program," said Turner. "Many of us at Starwood have enjoyed a long association with Cornell and are delighted to have the opportunity to further foster this relationship in a more formal way. We consider an investment in these current Cornell students to be an excellent investment in Starwood's future."

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 982 properties in more than 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.

About The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration

The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement. The school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field.

Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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