A member of the Penn State faculty since 2001, his research focuses on strategic management, lodging management and development, real estate valuation, work-life balance in the lodging industry and hotel branding.
“John brings to the job strong ties to industry, an impressive record of research and scholarship, the ability to work well with others and firsthand understanding of the school,” said Ann C. Crouter, the Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz dean of the College of Health and Human Development.
Prior to working at Penn State, O’Neill was an assistant professor, associate professor and professor at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I,, from 1994 to 2001. He was a visiting faculty member at Novgorod State University in Russia in 2000 and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Rhode Island in 1997. He also has worked in industry, notably as a senior associate for Coopers & Lybrand from 1991 to 1994; the director of hotel market planning for Holiday Inn Worldwide from 1990 to 1991; the manager and senior manager of hotel development planning for Marriott Corporation from 1988 to 1990; a consultant and senior consultant for Laventhol & Horwath from 1985 to 1988; and the front office manager and housekeeping manager for the Hyatt Corporation from 1984 to 1985.
O’Neill stated, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be taking on the new responsibilities of representing the School of Hospitality Management's faculty and staff and working with the Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society to continue to strengthen the school’s industry links and promote its innovation and success in teaching, research and service as it approaches its 75th anniversary.”
In addition to his professional and academic roles, O’Neill has been a consultant for dozens of companies, including the Darien Hospitality Group, Hilton Hotels, Marriott International, American Express, Citizens Bank, GMAC Commercial Mortgage, Kaplan Publishing, and Prentice Hall, as well as a number of law firms.
O’Neill is the recipient of several awards, including a favorite professor award from Penn State, the Teacher of the Year Award from Johnson & Wales University and excellence awards from the Marriott and Hyatt Corporations. He has given invited talks throughout the United States and has been quoted or mentioned in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, and Business Week.
He earned a doctoral degree in business administration at the University of Rhode Island in 1999, a master’s degree in real estate at New York University in 1994 and a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration at Cornell University in 1984. A licensed real estate appraiser, he holds the Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) designation from the Appraisal Institute and the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) designation from the American Hotel & Lodging Association. He lives in State College, Pa., with his wife Alicia and their three children.