Academic Advisory Board

Dr. Peter Ricci

Clinical Associate Professor & Director, Hospitality and Tourism Management Program, Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Peter Ricci, CHA, CHSE, CRME, CHIA, CHRM, HIFIA is Clinical Associate Professor/Director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). The program is top-ranked globally.

Peter has published over 30 peer-reviewed tourism journals as well as The Little Book of Big Cases for the Hospitality Manager.

Peter earned many top certifications within the industry including CHA, CHSE, CRME, CHIA, CHRM, HIFIA, and CHBA.

Peter is a two-time graduate of the University of Florida with a BA in sociology and a MSRS. Peter is a University of Florida’s distinguished alumnus. His doctorate (EdD) was completed in 2005 at the University of Central Florida.

Peter started in hospitality at the age of 14. His 41-year hospitality career spans F&B, incentive travel, destination marketing, hotel leadership, and tourism education.

His proudest accomplishment is the HSMAI South Florida Dr. Peter Ricci Scholarship which has raised over $20,000 since its inception.

Dr. Erinn Tucker

Faculty Director, Associate Professor of the Practice, Global Hospitality Leadership, Georgetown University

A thought leader, hospitality industry advocate, professor, speaker, and relationship cultivator, Dr. Tucker's (she/her) political astuteness and decision-making skills interacting effectively and partnering with university/college internal and external constituencies, governing boards, committees, governmental agencies, FORTUNE 500 businesses, and the industry as well as grass-root efforts have made her a sought after knowledge maker.

She is the co-founder of DMV Black Restaurant Week and creator of platforms that bridge small hospitality businesses to the local resources they need to thrive. A Clinton Foundation 20/30 Advisory Board member and HELF Leadership Fellow, her first book is under contract with Columbia University Press.

She has worked as an Assistant Professor at Boston University and Temple University.
She is currently Director, Associate Professor of the Practice at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, and also Principal at LOOP NOW, LLC.

Dr. Ethan Cheng

Assistant Professor, Western Carolina University

Dr. Ethan (Yi-Sung) Cheng is an Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the College of Business at Western Carolina University. He holds a Ph.D. in Food and Hospitality Systems from the University of Missouri-Columbia. His teaching interests include lodging management, hospitality human resource management, hospitality finance management, and hospitality sales and marketing. He brings his international industry experience and a global perspective to his courses.

Dr. Cheng's research interests include human resource management, information technology, service marketing, and consumer behavior. His papers have been published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals, such as International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, and Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research.

Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC

Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs, and Faculty Chair, Master of Management in Hospitality program.

Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC has been an active leader and participant in the field of hospitality branding, marketing communications, and public relations since 1985 and strives to stay at the forefront. She joined the faculty at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA) in January 2015 and currently serves as Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of the Practice, and Faculty Chair of the Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) program. She teaches Advanced Strategic Marketing and Digital Marketing Strategies for Hotels & Restaurants (at the undergraduate and graduate levels, respectively). She is Chair of the School’s annual Hospitality Leadership Summit.

Additionally, Leora is the Principal of LHL Communications, specializing in branding and marketing strategy for hotels, hospitality management and advisory companies, hotel and regional hospitality investment conferences (Caribbean, North America, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Cuba), leisure experiences, and more.

Early in 2020, she was nominated as “Business Partner of the Year” by the Massachusetts Lodging Association. In 2019, she was recognized as one of the "18 Women Paving the Way in Hospitality" in the November edition of Lodging. In February 2017, she was named one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales and Marketing in the Americas by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). In April 2017, she was named Professor of the Year by the Student Government of the Boston University School of Hospitality. And in 2010 she earned the distinction as Sales & Marketing Professional of the Year by the New York chapter of HSMAI.

Previously, Leora worked for 15 years as the Global Director of Marketing & Communications for global hospitality consulting giant HVS, also running the firm’s marketing practice for hospitality clients. Prior to joining HVS, Leora served for nine years as Director of Public Relations & Advertising for ITT Sheraton Hotels of New York and for five years as Director of Public Relations for the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. She is a member of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and the International Society of Hospitality Consultants.

Leora earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Boston University. Her articles have been reprinted in dozens of industry publications. She resides in New York and admires the rocks, minerals and gemstones she’s collected since childhood. Leora enjoys independent and foreign movies and documentaries, non-fiction books and articles, mint chocolate desserts, and the beach – particularly on the East End of Long Island, the Mediterranean, or anywhere in warm weather destinations or with palm trees.

Dr. James C. Ellerbe

SEA Support Specialist

James is a State Education Agency Support Specialist. Prior to his current role, he served as the Superintendent of the Innovative School District in North Carolina. He was also Director of Administration and Strategy with the Center for Responsive Schools (CRS).

James has worked as a Teaching Assistant Professor with North Carolina State University and as a  Supervisor with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

He holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision from North Carolina State University. He earned his Ed. S. in Educational Leadership and Supervision from North Carolina State University where he also earned his Master of Education in Educational Administration and Leadership.