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Frequently Asked Questions

The Marriott China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI) is a charitable effort funded by The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. The initiative’s purpose is to enhance hospitality education, leading to rewarding careers for the next generation of China’s hospitality leaders. Developed in partnership with San Diego State University, this multi-faceted program enables Chinese educators and students to gain knowledge and real-world experiences in hotel operations.

Our vision is to create world-class hospitality education that leads to life-changing careers for youth in China. Our mission is to prepare youth in China for rewarding careers in the hotel industry by enhancing education curricula, offering real-world operational experiences, and engaging a community of inspired educators.

In November 2012, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation committed funding for a five-year period to support China’s youth through the Marriott China Hospitality Initiative (CHEI) and a portfolio of programs. The initiative reflects the Marriott family’s ongoing efforts to help young people fulfill their potential and realize their ambitions.

CHEI is a charitable initiative with programs that are broadly distributed across China. The initiative’s focus is on universities and vocational schools and offering several programs to faculty members and students that expose them to real-life hotel operations and experiences. Unique and China-centric hospitality curricula for a variety of courses that focus on soft skills and English are being developed that will be offered to all interested schools in China.

Management Team

Anne Gunsteens, Executive Director

Anne Gunsteens

Executive Director

Anne Gunsteens joined Marriott International in 1997, and in 2000, she was appointed executive director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to helping youth secure a promising future, especially through education, mentoring, and youth leadership programs. Read More

Carl Winston, Managing Director, China Hospitality Education Initiative

Carl Winston

Managing Director, China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI)

Carl Winston has more than 35 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and is program director of the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at San Diego State University (SDSU). He is responsible for providing oversight and leadership for CHEI. Read More

Laura Weigle, Senior Director, Programs, Operations and Finance

Laura Weigle

Senior Director, Programs, Operations and Finance

Prior to joining the Marriott Foundation, Laura Weigle spent 25 years with Marriott International and most recently was the senior director for the Global Learning Deployment division, leading a team of professionals who design, develop, and deploy learning programs for key Marriott systems and process transformations. In her role with the Marriott Foundation, Laura provides project oversight for the CHEI portfolio of programs and budget. Read More

Brian Blake, Director, China Hospitality Education Initiative

Brian Blake

Director, China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI)

Prior to joining San Diego State University (SDSU) in 2005, Brian Blake spent 20 years in the hospitality industry. Brian is internship and placement director for the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at SDSU and provides operational leadership for CHEI. Read More

Joy Dong, China Project Manager, China Hospitality Education Initiative

Joy Dong

China Project Manager, China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI)

Joy Dong worked for Marriott International for 10 years prior to joining the Marriott Foundation in 2013. As the China project manager for CHEI, she oversees the implementation of all CHEI programs, actively builds relationships with hospitality-related schools, and interacts with hotels engaged in CHEI activities. Read More

Gene Lamke, Curriculum Development Coordinator, China Hospitality Education Initiative

Gene Lamke

Curriculum Development Coordinator, China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI)

Gene Lamke completed his forty-fifth year on San Diego State University’s (SDSU) faculty and is currently professor emeritus. Gene leads the CHEI curricula design and development team. Over the years, Gene has received numerous prestigious awards for his work at SDSU, in the community, and in the hospitality profession. Read More