City Tech hosts hospitality industry roundtable

Back row: Noel Nelson – Affinia Dumont; Deannie Joseph – B.J.D. Club Sec; Jovany Bravo - B.J.D. Club PRO; Laura Chierchia – B.J.D. Club Pres; Thomas Quinn B.J.D. Club Tres; Kevin Mejia — Affinia Dumont; Professor Patrick O’Halloran. Front row: Su Mui - Bentley Hotel; Dynia Mariano - Double Tree; Nicole Young – Sheraton NY; Erika Frias – Edison NY; Professor Ekland - Skifteri InterContiental; Carlos Santiago - Bear Dallis Associates. Photo courtesy of City Tech

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

On Thursday March 27, the first ever hospitality industry round table forum titled “Getting Started in the Front of the House” took place at New York City College Of Technology. A capacity crowd was present as the industry professionals chronicled their rise from entry level positions to senior management within the industry. The forum was hosted by Professor Patrick O’Halloran of the hospitality management department and sponsored by The Denihan Hospitality Group (DHG).

Guest speakers were Erika Frias of Edison NY Times Square, Kevin Mejia and Noel Nelson of Affinia Dumont, Affinia Dumont, Ekland Skifteri of InterContiental Times Square and Nicole Young of Sheraton NY Times Square. Members of the audience included Su Mui Bentley Hotel, Dynia Mariano Double Tree, Fand Carlos Santiago of Bear Dallis Associates. At the conclusion of the presentations an enlightened question-and-answer session took place.

Denihan Hospitality Group has been owned and operated by members of the Denihan family since 1963, when patriarch and founder Benjamin J. (“Bud”) Denihan Sr. entered into the world of hospitality by building New York’s first apartment hotel, which today is the Affinia Gardens on East 64th Street. Constructed on the former site of the family’s exclusive laundry and dry cleaning business which Bud established in the 1930’s, the property was the first development for Denihan. Today, this leader in owning and operating upper upscale and luxury boutique hotels boasts a portfolio of 15 properties in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Miami.  

Bud’s legacy continues today under the watchful eyes of two of his children, co-CEOs Benjamin Patrick Denihan and Brooke Denihan Barrett. In early 2006, Patrick and Brooke consolidated ownership and continue to propel Denihan onto the national hospitality scene with the continued expansion outside of New York. Today, Denihan owns and/or manages $1 billion in assets, comprised of The James and Affinia brands, and luxury independents including The Benjamin and The Surrey, both located in Manhattan. The Denihan Family is the sponsor of the B.J. Denihan Scholarship program for Hospitality Management students.

Professor Patrick O’Halloran, of the Hospital Management Department, works cooperatively to ensure that all Hospitality Management Department students are aware of the teaching option and give it full consideration in their career decision-making process.

For further information, email Professor O’Halloran at

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of the City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest public college of technology in New York State. Located at 300 Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn, the college enrolls more than 14,000 students in 60 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificate programs. An additional 15, 000 annually enroll in Continuing Education and Workforce Development Programs.

May 2, 2014 - 10:30am



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