Student Spotlight: Gus Vonderheide
Major: Culinary and
The summer Gus Vonderheide graduated from high school, a new resort was opening near his home. After touring the Indian Lakes Resort property in Bloomingdale and learning about the open positions, he joined the Convention Service team.
This first exposure to the hospitality industry convinced him to pursue it further, and he began to look for educational institutions.
"College of DuPage had a program that interested me," Vonderheide explained. "After researching the program content, I decided to attend in the fall of 1980."
Two years later, he graduated with an associate's degree and began working full-time in the hotel industry. For the past 16 years, Vonderheide has worked for Hyatt and has led the sales teams in Louisville, Dearborn and Grand Hyatt Washington. He also spent time in the Worldwide Reservation Center in Omaha, Neb., where he managed the Western Worldwide Sales Office and group call desk.
Currently he is the vice president of sales and has responsibility over the corporate worldwide sales force. This team of 75 directors generates approximately $1 billion in group room production annually for all 500 "Hyatt" branded hotels worldwide.
He still believes in the College of DuPage Culinary and Hospitality Management program and was honored in 2009 by the program as its first Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.
"I take great pride in my beginnings, because COD confirmed in my mind that the Hospitality industry was where I wanted to spend my time," he said. "The program gave me a look at many operating departments and clearly showed how they work together to provide the 'experience.' It allowed me the flexibility to hold a part-time job in the community I lived while earning a solid foundation in the industry where I would spend the next 30 years."
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL
60137 (630) 942-2800
2012 College of DuPage