Pa. Department of Health secretary named Conti professor by Penn State

September 20, 2010

The Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) has named Everette James, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as the Walter J. Conti professor of hospitality management in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, starting spring semester 2011. James is the 73rd Conti professor.

“We are pleased that Mr. James has accepted this honor. He has led many important initiatives in the Department of Health. His experience working with the food service industry to improve the health of Pennsylvania children will resound with our students and supports the College of Health and Human Development’s mission,” said Bert Van Hoof, director of the School of Hospitality Management. “He will be a valuable asset to Penn State by serving as Conti professor.”

Conti professors supplement Penn State 's School of Hospitality Management faculty with industry knowledge and expertise, 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.

As Pennsylvania's top health regulator, James is responsible for carrying out the Department of Health’s mission to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent injury and disease, and assure the safe delivery of high-quality health care for all Pennsylvania citizens. He leads the state agency that regulates all of the commonwealth's hospitals, nursing homes and managed care plans; operates 60 state health centers; and carries out numerous disease prevention and control programs. He created the nationally acclaimed Active Schools program, which works with schools to engage children in daily moderate to vigorous physical activity and teaches them about the benefits and health risks of overweight. James also has led statewide efforts to improve nutrition environments in school cafeterias and vending machines.

James received a bachelor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree and master of business administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

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 (formerly Conti’s Pipersville Inn), both located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Conti has held various leadership positions in the National Restaurant Association, including a term as chairman from 1981 to 1982 and a "diplomat" of the association’s educational foundation.

For more information about Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management, contact Brian A. Black, director of hospitality industry relations in the School of Hospitality Management, at 814-865-6728 or

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Last Updated September 20, 2010