Who We Are
The Mission of the LIHA, formed for charitable purposes, is to provide a network for members to review common hospitality industry challenges, best practices, to exchange ideas and raise awareness about services that the members, industry leaders and industry partners can utilize to address pertinent issues.
The LIHA seeks to promote a vibrant hospitality industry on Long Island and to provide a platform for various industry and affiliated sectors to collaborate and support one another. Association activities will seek to engage local hospitality students to participate in association meetings and events enabling them to network with industry leaders for career development and advancement.
The fundraising endeavors of the association are intended to raise funds primarily for the purpose of financial scholarships for students studying Hospitality related fields at local schools, with the goal of retaining tomorrow’s industry leaders to continue to work and reside on Long Island.
Meet the Executive Board
Our association is made up of companies, firms, ownership, management, educational institute representatives, and hospitality students from lodging and hospitality establishments (restaurants, catering facilities, theme parks, museums, historical sites, tourist attractions, entertainment facilities, and other affiliated organizations) throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Meet our Executive Board below:
Mark Irgang is currently the Regional Vice President for Flex Point Hospitality, which currently manages over 70 hotels throughout the United States for Navika Capital LLC., and is based out of Long Island, New York.
A graduate of the prestigious Cornell University School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Management, Mr. Irgang worked for Marriott International for over 21 years and several other prominent hotel management companies including Millennium Hotels, Interstate Hotels and Concord Hospitality. Mr. Irgang has held the General Manager position at several hotels including the- JFK Hilton, Newark Airport Courtyard Marriott, Millennium Broadway-a 750 room/$100M annual revenue Hotel, Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, Melville Marriott Hotel, Marriott Residence Inn Times Square NYC Hotel, Renaissance Marriott in Rutherford, New Jersey and the Inn At Fox Hollow Boutique Hotel in Woodbury, NY. He also held prominent positions as the Resident Manager of the NY Marriott Marquis-a 2000 room/$250M annual revenue hotel, Resident Manager of the NY Eastside Marriott-a 646 room/$75M annual revenue Hotel, Regional Director for all Courtyard Marriott’s in the Northeast Region overseeing 38 Hotels and $250M in annual revenue and also held the Regional Director role for Concord Hospitality’s hotel portfolio in the NY/NJ Region.
Mark Irgang is a member of the Cornell University Hotel Society and the Cornell Alumni Association. Mark is also President of Skål, which is a professional organization of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. Mark has also been involved with the LIHA for several years and became President of the Long Island Hospitality Association in 2018. Mr. Irgang is also a Board Member for Discover Long Island-the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission. Mr. Irgang was an adjunct professor for Cornell University’s summer Professional Development Program for 7 years teaching Hospitality Management to international hotel managers and owners. Mark has also been a visiting lecturer/speaker locally at NYIT, Nassau Community College, St. Josephs College and is currently teaching a Hospitality Management class at Suffolk Community College at their Eastern Campus. Mr. Irgang recently was asked to be on the Board of Directors for the JFK Chamber of Commerce in Queens, NY and starting in 2019, will be on the Board of Directors for the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association.
He actively participates in charitable work and during his employment with the Marriott Corporation; Mr. Irgang was named “Regional Director of the Year” for the entire Marriott Courtyard Brand and was also honored with winning “Region of the Year” for his Northeast Region hotels. Recently, Mr. Irgang won “Hotel of The Year” at his JFK Hilton Hotel for overall best results in 2017.
Mark completed the 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2008 NYC Marathons and most recently the 2017-10k Cow Harbor race in East Northport, Long island and presently resides in Greenlawn, Long Island with his wife Laura and 2 children, Hannah and Dylan.
Michael Newman is currently the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Hilton Long Island a 305-room hotel with 26K square feet of meeting space located in Melville, NY.
A graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of degree in Hospitality Management, Mr. Newman worked for Hyatt Hotels for over 11 years and several other hotel management companies including Millennium Hotels, Magna Hospitality Interstate Hotels and Melia Hotels. Mr. Newman has held the DOSM position since 2003 at several hotels including- Hyatt Regency Jersey City, Grand Hyatt New York, The Millennium UN Plaza, INNSIDE New York amongst others.
Mr. Newman is currently at the Hilton Long Island for the 2nd time around. After working there from 2009 to 2013 he went back into the city for about four years. His Vice President from Navika (current ownership) called him back to take the hotel to the next level.
Mr. Newman has been responsible for revenues up to 175 Million Dollars at the Grand Hyatt New York.
He actively participates in charitable work during his employment with the Hyatt Corporation and has recently took part in a charitable race for the Hydrocephalus Association.
Michael presently resides in Long Island with his wife Kerrianne and 2 children, Aidan and Natalie.
Dorothy grew up on Long Island in Dix Hills, NY. She attended Averett University in Virginia. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and minor in Broadcast Journalism she moved to Washington, D.C. Her career in Hospitality began when Hilton Corporation recruited Dorothy for a position in Sales and Marketing for a new corporate owned flagship hotel. She was fortunate to be professionally trained in a Hilton corporate program.
As her career grew in D.C., she worked in various types of hotels including boutique luxury Inns, large conventions hotels with over 1,000 guest rooms, upscale corporate hotels, extended stay hotels and airport/destination properties. During that time, she had positions that included roles in DC, MD, VA, NC, and PA. She was promoted to Director of Catering, Director of Sales & Marketing, Regional Director of Sales, and Regional Director of Operations. She met with world and military leaders and top government officials while attaining top accounts for hotels such as Fortune 100 companies, Secret Service, DEA, FBI, CIA, NSA, and various international organizations. Dorothy earned top awards for her achievements in the hospitality industry. She has been formally trained in Hilton, IHG, Hyatt and Marriott corporate programs.
Dorothy made the decision to move back to Long Island in order to bring her business and hospitality experience to the Northeast market. She worked with various management companies and ownerships while on Long Island including upscale catering venues and hotels such as Marriott and Hilton. She worked as a Regional Director for Benchmark Hospitality overseeing operations in Washington D.C., Texas, Virginia, Long Island and New York City. Dorothy has worked with hotel owners and developers to perform financial analysis, asset management, and market research on new projects and existing properties. Dorothy began a Hospitality consulting company called HotelPro Consulting and worked with catering, restaurant and hotel venues to assist in all areas of sales and operations to improve profit and generate additional revenue. She is driven to assist companies and employees to overcome obstacles and achieve goals.
In 2016, Dorothy partnered with a leading hotel owner and commercial real estate developer to form Oxford Hospitality Advisors. In her role as VP of Hotel Operations, Dorothy oversees hotel operations on behalf of ownership and in conjunction with hotel management companies. She also oversees the asset management team on development of new hotels and operation/sales of existing hotels.
Dorothy has received numerous awards for outstanding performance, community volunteerism and top sales recognition. She likes to think "outside the box" because her experience has shown her that the business world is anything but predictable. She offers professionalism, financial knowledge, hospitality expertise and dedication to all her clients. She was recently awarded the Long Island Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business.
Dorothy donates much of her time as a volunteer and mentor. She spent many years as a volunteer leader in PTA, community organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and numerous fundraiser activities. Dorothy has been elected 3 separate times to the Sachem Board of Education in which the board members direct a budget of 310 million dollars. Her position on the school board enables her to have an impact on education and a voice for community members. She is also an active member of the Sachem Audit Advisory Committee, Legislative Committee and Policy Committee.
Dorothy has been working with school districts and area colleges to implement Hospitality courses in the high schools. This enables students to be exposed to an industry that has enormous opportunities for employment worldwide but more importantly on Long Island. Dorothy works with young professionals to assist in job placement and their career path such as Launchpad Huntington. She accepted a position on the St. Joseph's College Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Board. She is also a guest speaker at area colleges for Hospitality and as a mentor. She performs radio talks programs relating to women in business. Dorothy is married and has four children.
• Chairperson, Sachem Citizen Advisory Audit Committee
• Sachem Board of Education Trustee, 3rd term
• Member & Board Liaison, Sachem Policy Committee
• Member & Board Liaison, Sachem Legislative Committee
• St. Joseph's College Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Board.
• Member, National Association of Female Executives
• Awarded Long Island Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business 2017
• Hospitality Mentor, Huntington Launchpad Huntington
• Guest Speaker, St. Joseph's College Hospitality Management
Professor Fairbairn received his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University where he majored in Hospitality Management. His career has encompassed corporate positions in sales, marketing and operations for companies such as Pan American Airways, regional restaurant chains and a national hospitality supply Co. He served as the General Manager for the Hawksbill Beach Hotel in Antigua in the 1970’s. In the United States, he developed, designed, opened and operated half a dozen restaurant concepts for himself and associates, to include well known Kipling’s Pub and Panama Hatties which was awarded four stars
In the 1980’s he started teaching Hospitality Management at New York Institute of Technology where he went on to attain his master’s Degree in communication arts. Professor Fairbairn spent summers in the late 80’s and early 90’s as a visiting Professor for UNLV teaching at Lausanne ‘Ecole Hoteliere’ in Switzerland.
Professor Fairbairn was also the East Coast licensed commercial Real Estate broker for Marcus and Millichap’s hotel division personally responsible for marketing $150+ million in hotel assets in the late 90’s. He and Lou Salvatico launched their own management company in 2000, contracted from ground breaking through opening and operating the first Wingate Inn on Long Island where he employed graduating seniors from NYIT’s Hospitality program as department heads. Under his guidance, the Wingate went on to win the National Award for Best Wingate Inn two years in a row, competing with over 100 similar hotels nationwide. The Professor went on to provide consulting for their expansion into Riverhead.
Professor Fairbairn hired NYIT students again when he served as the Regional Director of Operations from 2005-9 for Arcadia Management. During his tenure, the company grew from $16 million in revenue to $23 million, and a net operating loss of $1.2 million turned to a net operating profit of almost $3 million. He is also CEO and founder of Highland Service Industries, a hospitality consulting firm with a National and International client base.
Professor Fairbairn has over 50 years of progressive industry experience and over 30 years of teaching experience. He is a Certified Hotel Administrator and a certified instructor for (CHIA) Certified Hotel Investment Analyst. He has occupied a seat on the Board of Directors for the Discover Long Island, the tourism board for Long Island, NY for almost 10 years. He is also and Executive board member of the Long Island Hospitality Association and an active member of the local SKAL chapter and a member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. As part of his teaching load he currently teaches a travel class in Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica each intersession.
Most recently, in 2013 he presented a research paper at the 2nd World Tourism Conference and Chaired a session at that conference. In 2014 he chaired a panel at the Eye for Travel Conference in New York. Professor Fairbairn won the NYIT President’s Award for Global Student Engagement in 2015 for his efforts in experiential education in sustainable tourism. He served as a co-Director and co-Founder of NYIT’s first conference on Sustainable Tourism and served as a director for their Second Summit on Sustainable tourism held in China in October 2017. Professor Fairbairn and his program were awarded third place by Skal at their International convention for their work on Sustainable Tourism. As an NYIT Professor, he was also presented the first ever Industry Advancement Award by Discover Long Island in November 2017 for his life-time support of the Hospitality Industry on Long Island.
Tina Ferro is the St. Joseph’s College Hospitality and Tourism Management Department Chairperson, Assistant Professor and the Director of the Institute for Hospitality & Tourism Management. She has been in the hospitality industry for over twenty years. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Nassau Community College, a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from New York Institute of Technology, and is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Management with a specialization in Leadership and Organizational Strategy from Walden University. Tina was awarded the 2018 New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association Award for “Outstanding Tourism Educator of The Year” and the “2018 Industry Advancement” award from Discover Long Island. In her twenty-year career she has opened, renovated and managed multiple properties. Along with operating hotels, Tina has also taught hospitality courses at New York Institute of Technology and Suffolk Community College.
James Henry Dunne, Esq.
James Henry Dunne, Esq., is a practicing Attorney and Counselor-at-Law (www.JHDunneLaw.com). James is admitted in the State of New York by the 2nd Judicial Department's 10th Judicial District, providing General Practice Counsel, focusing on matters related to the Hospitality Industry and Small Business Entrepreneurs. James has been a Professor for NYIT's Department of Hospitality Studies within the School of Management for over two decades, and is past Assistant Dean and Hospitality Studies Chair (www.nyit.edu/bio/jdunne). His areas of specialty include business and hospitality law, service excellence, operations management, menu design, facility design, strategic marketing, human resources and leadership, cost control, and wine / beer / spirits. He has published a book (“Service Dynamics” ©2000), as well as over two dozen articles in research journals and trade periodicals. He is also the President of Service Dynamics® (www.Service-Dynamics.com), a consulting company that provides profitable strategies and training programs to re-design facilities, market restaurants, and help to improve food and beverage sales, product knowledge, cost control, team morale, and guest satisfaction.
Since the fall of 2013, Jerry Kornbluth has been the Interim Dean for Professional Studies at Nassau Community College. He earned his B.S. Degree in Statistics from Bowling Green State University and his M.B.A and Ph.D. from Hofstra University. He taught Math and Statistics for 35 years at Nassau Community College. Dr. Kornbluth achieved the rank of Full Professor in 1979.
Dr. Kornbluth was also an Adjunct Professor at La Guardia CC and Queensborough CC for 32 years. He has also worked with school districts throughout New York City and Long Island, as well as with Federal Agencies as a statistical research consultant. Dr. Kornbluth was also Vice-President of Academic Affairs for 5 years at Interboro Institute, a for-profit 2-year college with campuses in Manhattan, Queens and Yonkers. Dr. Kornbluth returned to Nassau Community College as the Interim Dean of Nursing and Allied Health in the spring of 2013.
Dr. Kornbluth has been an active member of the Freeport-Roosevelt Branch of the NAACP. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Brotherhood of Rockville Centre. Jerry is also member of the Executive Board of the Long Island Hospitality Association. (LIHA), as well as an Executive Board Member of the NEST at NCC. The NEST is a Food Pantry that has served students, staff and faculty at NCC since 2014.Dr. Kornbluth was a member of the Board of Trustees at the New York Career Institute, a for-profit 2-year college located in New York City from 2009-2015. It must also be noted that Dr. Kornbluth co-published 5 textbooks in Mathematics and Statistics for Cengage Publishing Company.
Stephanie Lambert is currently the Director of Sales for the Holiday Inn Plainview. Prior to joining the Holiday Inn Plainview team, she worked as the Director of Sales for the Holiday Inn Westbury for over 4 years, and at the Inn at Great Neck for 6 years, where she started as a Guest Service Agent, and advanced as the Front Office Supervisor, Sales Coordinator, and then Social Sales Manager. Stephanie graduated from New York City College of Technology in 2011 with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Hospitality Management. It was through a class project that she met with a member of the Samar Hospitality team and was offered her first hotel job at the Inn at Great Neck, beginning her career in hospitality. Stephanie is a member of the Long Island Hospitality Association’s Executive Board and has been their Secretary since 2017. Stephanie and her husband presently reside in Howard Beach, Queens, and just recently welcomed their first child in July 2018.
By-Laws/Nominating Committee Chair
A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, Gary Wood has an extensive background in the hospitality industry. His nearly 20-year tenure with Marriott International afforded him the opportunity to work at 7 hotels (including opening 4 hotels from pre-construction) in New Jersey, Long Island and New York City where he held positions as Sous Chef, Director of Restaurants, Banquet Maitre’d, Director of Catering, and Director of Sales.
Gary was also the Vice President of Sales for internet start-up travel provider, b-there.com. Locally, Gary was the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Southampton Inn and was General Manager at the Montauk Yacht Club.
He has also been General Manager for two East End restaurants, including the Plaza Cafe in Southampton and the Jedediah Hawkins Inn and Restaurant in Jamesport, earning NY Times 3-star ratings at both. Gary serves on the Board of Directors for the Eastern Long Island Chapter of the American Culinary Federation, and the Executive Board for the Long Island Hospitality Association.
Gary’s professional certifications include Certified Hospitality Educator from the American Hotel/Lodging Association, as well as Certified Meetings Professional from the Convention Liaison Council. He was recognized as Member of the Year for the ACF Eastern Long Island Chapter as well as Outstanding Faculty Advisor for SCCC’s eastern campus. Additionally, he serves as Suffolk County Community College’s Industry Liaison to the LI hospitality Industry, keeping their hospitality programs and students connected to local employers while spearheading the internship program. Gary is also the coordinator the College’s Study Abroad Program which has taken students to Italy to ignite their culinary passion for the past 10 years. He founded and also serves as the faculty advisor for the Hotel, Tourism, and Event Management Club.
Marketing/Social Media Chair
Danielle Parrinello is currently the General Manager of the Hampton Inn Garden City, and started her journey with the Hotel in December 2015. Managed by Urgo Hotels, she has had a great two years having the opportunity to reconnect with the same management company that hired her as a Front Desk Associate in 2001 at the Plainview Residence Inn by Marriott. Urgo Hotels also saw her through her first promotion to a leadership position of Front Office Manager after graduating from SUNY Farmingdale in 2005. Since her first promotion and college graduation, Danielle has enjoyed working for Colwen Hotels, and Island Hospitality from Foxborough, MA to Westchester, NY. Danielle looks forward to meeting all of the fresh faces, and seeing old friends within the Long Island hospitality industry, through being on the Executive Board of the LIHA.
Food & Beverage Chair
With over 40 years of experience in the Wholesale Wine & Spirits industry, of which 29 have been dedicate to the Hotels, National Accounts and the Hospitality Industry, David Silverman has become a leader and foremost authority on Adult Beverage Alcohol Sales and Marketing. He is currently the NE Regional Sales Director for the Breakthru Beverage Group, focusing on Hotels and National & Regional Chain restaurants in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
David has extensive knowledge in all areas of the hospitality industry, beverage and lodging alike. He is a current Executive Board Member of the Long Island Hospitality Association and Discover Long Island, where he serves as the membership committee Chairperson.
David has been recognized throughout the tristate area as a leader within the Wholesale Wine & Spirits and Hospitality industries with a long track record of success. In addition to his wide range of industry experience, David has spearheaded numerous charitable events in an effort to give back to the community while sitting on numerous local and regional industry advisory boards such as Wine & Wishes to benefit Make A Wish, and the Long Island Wine & Liquor Salesman Club, where he served as President and Chairman Emeritus, an organization which raises money to benefit the A.H.R.C.
For the past 4 years, David has guest lectured at both Nassau Community College and NYU where he has addressed 4 classes in the school of Hospitality and Hotel Management annually on behalf of the Wine & Spirits industry. These Students are not only the future leaders of the Hospitality Industry, but in many cases 3rd and 4th generation restaurateurs.
Marc Weinstein is President and CEO of Mark of Elegance Luxury Transportation. Mark of Elegance started as a limousine and Town Car service, which Marc has grown into Long Island’s premier, full-service transportation company with the most diversified fleet in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Marc was born and raised on Long Island where he went to school and received his B.S. degree in business. He started his career in hospitality at a Long Island catering hall while completing his education. It was there that he realized his love for customer service.
At the age of 20, he took that love and moved into transportation when he purchased his first limousine and began a journey. Three decades later, with offices in Nassau and Suffolk, Marc services Long Island’s private and professional communities. In addition, he is the recommended transportation company for many of its hotels and catering halls.
Realizing a desire to give back, Marc has been a member of the Northport Rotary, and sits on the Board of Directors for Discover Long Island and on the Executive Board of the Long Island Hospitality Association.
Marc lives in Northport with his wife, his son, Ryan, daughter, Abigail, and a menagerie of animals.
What They Do
Our Executive Board is in charge of hosting and throwing all fundraising events, special events and putting together the education and scholarships. Their years of combined experience help younger generations get a better opportunity to succeed in the industry post-graduation.