Penn State names John Metz Conti Professor

May 21, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) has named John Metz, executive chairman of Metz Culinary Management, as the Walter J. Conti Professor of Hospitality Management in the Penn State College of Health and Human Development. Metz is the 76th Conti Professor.

“John Metz is a true visionary and entrepreneur who leads a company based on core values we should all live by,” says John O’Neill, director of the School of Hospitality Management. “He is a valuable asset to Penn State by serving as Conti Professor.”

Conti professors provide additional knowledge and expertise to the School of Hospitality Management, serve as advisers to the director of the school and interact with students in educational forums. They visit the school to present guest lectures in hospitality management and to speak at graduate and undergraduate colloquia.

In addition to his guest lectures on campus, Metz also will be hosting approximately 40 students in the fall for a day at his company’s commissary in Erie, Pa. Students will learn about the company’s sustainability practices and the logistics of preparing, transporting and serving fresh food to an estimated 15,000 students in the Erie school district.

“It’s an incredible honor to be selected as Conti Professor -- one that I humbly accept,” said Metz. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students at Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management and will offer any insight or guidance I can provide them.”

Metz began his career in the food-service management industry in 1967 with the founding of Custom Management Corporation. Custom Management Corporation was acquired by Morrison’s Hospitality Group. During this time, Metz oversaw the growth of more than 900 accounts. In 1993, he was awarded franchise rights from T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant chain and currently operates thirteen franchises across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

In 1994, Metz introduced Metz and Associates, Ltd., the management company for dining services, which expanded into facilities management in 2000. Metz Culinary Management has become one of the fastest growing regional food service providers in the nation and has 150 clients in businesses, industries, health care facilities, school districts, colleges and universities.

Throughout his career Metz has received a variety of awards, including industry prizes such as the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s Silver Plate Award and Restaurant Business magazine’s Leadership award. He is a trustee board member and board director of the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation, a member of the board of overseers of Harvard University, a trustee board member at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa. and an active member of the Culinary Institute of America.

The Conti Professorship Program was established by alumni and friends of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management in 1987 to honor Walter J. Conti for his contributions to the school, to Penn State and to the hospitality profession. Conti, for whom the professorship is named, is a well-known restaurateur and industry leader from Doylestown, Pa. He is the retired owner and chief executive officer of Conti Cross Keys Inn and the Historic Piper Tavern, both located in Bucks County, Pa. Conti has held various leadership positions in the National Restaurant Association, including chairman and “diplomat” of the association’s educational foundation.

Past Conti Professors include Plato Ghinos, president, Shaner Hotels Group; Bill Fortier senior vice president, Development, Hilton Worldwide; Everette James, former secretary of health, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Steve Rushmore, president and founder, HVS; Franco Harris, president and owner, Super Bakery, Inc.; Ferdinand Metz, president emeritus, Culinary Institute of America; Tim Ryan, president, Culinary Institute of America; Wallace Doolin, former president and CEO, Friday's Hospitality Worldwide, Inc.; Raymond Shultz, former president and CEO, Promus Hotel Corporation; William Shaw, former president and COO, Marriott International and Jim Evans, CEO, Brand USA.

Metz is a family-driven company that collaborates with its clients to deliver restaurant-inspired hospitality to each and every guest. In 2011, Food Management Magazine named Metz one of the Top 20 Management Companies in the U.S. and one of the Top 5 Firms to Watch. For more information on Metz Culinary Management, visit



  • John Metz

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated May 21, 2012