NENA Federation President Dr. Michael O'Fallon
In July 2013, School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management professor Dr. Michael O’Fallon was named president of the North East North American (NENA) Federation of the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE).
Since its founding in 1946, the ICHRIE has been a global advocate for improving the quality of hospitality and tourism education in schools and universities around the world. The ICHRIE functions as a networking platform for members to meet and exchange ideas, products, services, and research in areas relevant to education within the hospitality and tourism industry.
After receiving his M.B.A. and a B.A. in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Washington State University, O’Fallon worked as the district manager for two restaurants in Pullman, Wa. and Moscow, Idaho. Later, O’Fallon returned to Washington State University in order to pursue his Ph.D. in Management, which he received in 1997. In August 2006, O’Fallon began working at JMU, bringing with him the experience he gained from being a member of ICHRIE. “I joined ICHRIE when I was in graduate school. My mentor advised that I should attend the 2005 ICHRIE conference as I was on the job market. At the conference, I was able to begin networking with many individuals from various schools. I have been a member ever since—and the knowledge I have gained from the ICHRIE is immeasurable,” he says.
In the ICHRIE, federation presidencies are determined through an election process. As president, O’Fallon’s duties include representing the NENA federation on the ICHRIE Board of Directors, attending various meetings and conferences throughout the year, as well as providing support, leadership, and guidance to ICHRIE members. His term as president ends in July of next year.
As a global nonprofit professional association, the mission of ICHRIE is to unite educators with executives in the industry in order to enhance education by combining disciplinary research with professional experience. For O’Fallon, the ICHRIE is a great opportunity to collaborate with professionals and educators within the industry from around the globe. He describes, “Beyond the great professional development and research opportunities that ICHRIE provides for its members, the networking aspect is invaluable. Over the years, I have met many colleagues that I would never have met if it weren't for ICHRIE. Today, some of my good friends and most trusted colleagues are members of ICHRIE.”
Thanks to the efforts of the ICHRIE members, and Dr. O’Fallon in particular, the quality of education that students are receiving within the hospitality and tourism discipline continues to increase. As president, Dr. O’Fallon is a valuable asset to the ICHRIE and specifically to the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management here at JMU.