Above: Members of the Beemok Hospitality Collection with the 2023–24 Beemok Service Leadership Scholars at the fall kickoff retreat at The Charleston Place (l–r): Casey Lavin, BHC president and CEO; LeeAnn Boissière-Rigault, director of people and culture, The Charleston Place; Becky Hubbard, managing director, The Charleston Place; BHC Service Leadership Scholars Sara O’Brien, Holly Hutchinson and Lydia Johnson; Frank Fredericks, CofC adjunct professor and executive advisor of the BHC Service Leadership Program; BHC Service Leadership Scholars Emma Peters, Annie Burton, Bethany Brown and MiaBella Provenzano; Jeremy Clement, CofC senior instructor and intern coordinator and director of the BHC Service Leadership Program; BHC Service Leadership Scholars Julia Schultz, Caroline Orchard, Kylie Fender, Aubrianna Boland and Annaliesse Cantera

With beaches, historic charm and an amazing restaurant scene, the city of Charleston is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world – a boon for College of Charleston hospitality and tourism management students. The city provides an abundance of hands-on learning opportunities with access to some of the best hospitality organizations in the industry, including Beemok Hospitality Collection.

As a company committed to fostering the growth of future hospitality leaders, the Charleston-based luxury hospitality company – whose portfolio includes The Charleston Place, Sorelle, The Riviera, Credit One Stadium and The Cooper – has partnered with the School of Business to establish a scholarship and leadership program for hospitality and tourism management majors.

“The hospitality industry was significantly impacted due to the pandemic, so our goal with these programs is to inspire future generations of leaders by exposing them to the numerous opportunities available when they choose a career in hospitality,” says Casey Lavin, BHC president. “We believe in the power of purpose-driven hospitality and creating meaningful ways for people to connect and share extraordinary experiences, and we are excited to share our passion with these exceptional students.”

“I am really pleased that the College of Charleston has formed this partnership with BHC,” says CofC President Andrew T. Hsu, “because their mission aligns closely with the best practices our faculty teach and instill in our hospitality and tourism management graduates.”

Offered in the fall or spring semester of students’ junior year, the new BHC Service Leadership Scholars Program aims to develop talented hospitality and tourism management majors, minors and concentrations. BHC Service Leadership Scholars will receive personal assessment, professional development, mentoring and exclusive access to a variety of leaders in the hospitality industry both locally and around the world. The program will focus on effective communications, problem solving, synthesis, and ethical and global awareness.

To join the program, students undergo a rigorous application and interview process. Six students have been selected as BHC Service Leadership Scholars for the fall 2023 semester and six for the spring 2024 semester.

In addition, every academic year beginning in the fall of 2024, six declared hospitality and tourism management majors with a proven interest in community service will be awarded a $5,000 Beemok Hospitality Collection Scholarship. Throughout the tenure of the scholarship, the students will be encouraged to meet with BHC representatives to learn about the art of hospitality.

“The BHC Service Leadership Scholars Program and Beemok Hospitality Collection Scholarship are a testament to the power of collaboration between academia and industry,” says Paul Schwager, dean of the College of Charleston School of Business. “Our students will benefit from enriching experiences beyond the classroom, and the business community will directly benefit. We thank Beemok Hospitality Collection for its generous support of this important program that will guarantee student success.”