Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Marriott Food & Beverage Exec Returns to Alma Mater as Commencement Speaker

Hyde Park, NY – Brad Nelson, vice president of global food and beverage for Marriott International, delivered the commencement keynote to associate degree graduates at the New York campus of The Culinary Institute of America on December 19. Returning to his alma mater, the 1984 CIA graduate advised his newest fellow alumni to define their own futures.

“Whatever reason you came here for is really just the springboard and foundation,” Mr. Nelson told the graduating class. “Never underestimate the impact that you can have on somebody else by cooking for them or cooking with them…At the end of the day, what matters is how you decide to make your mark and how you want to impact the world, because you will have impact.”

Mr. Nelson, who has been with Marriott since 1998, oversees the culinary strategy for 30 brands under the Marriott banner. He has led company initiatives regarding sustainability, animal welfare, food waste, food safety, and single-use plastics, as well as product development, employee training, and development of Marriott’s luxury and lifestyle brands.

Mr. Nelson earned a Silver Plate Award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association in 2014 and the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in 2012. He is a supporter of the People with Disabilities Foundation and ServiceSource Foundation, where he is a board member. The Seattle, WA native is also a member of the Seafood Watch Foodservice Roundtable, American Culinary Federation, International Corporate Chefs Association, and James Beard Foundation.

Watch the entire CIA commencement ceremony online, including Brad Nelson’s address to recipients of degrees in Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts.

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:

Brad Nelson ’94 returned to The Culinary Institute of America on December 19, 2019 as keynote speaker at the associate degree graduation at the New York campus of his alma mater. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Writer

About The Culinary Institute of America:

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, food business management, hospitality management, culinary science, and applied food studies. The college also offers executive education, certificate programs, and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of more than 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food world. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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