Kathleen "Katie" Taylor has been named recipient of the 2012 Cornell Hospitality Innovator Award, an honor given annually by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA).
Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, will receive the award at the fourth annual Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards, Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
"We are delighted to recognize Katie Taylor for her outstanding leadership and innovation in the hospitality industry," says Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at SHA. "Katie's innovative approaches to building memorable experiences for guests and quality relationships with employees and business partners will solidify Four Seasons as the world's premier luxury hospitality company for years to come."
Since joining Four Seasons in 1989, Taylor has played a key role in its continued growth and success. The company's portfolio includes 86 hotels and resorts in 35 countries, and there are currently more than 50 projects in some stage of planning or development.
Before assuming the role of chief executive officer in August 2010, Taylor was chief operating officer. She also served as president of worldwide business operations for seven years.
Taylor has received numerous accolades for her business achievements. She received the Schulich Award for Outstanding Executive Leadership in 2001 and was recognized with a Chairman's Award from the Industry Real Estate Financing Advisory Council (IREFAC) of the American Hotel and Lodging Association in 2003.
In 2006 Taylor received the Award for Business Achievement from the Canadian General Counsel; was inducted to the Marketing Hall of Legends in 2009; and accepted the Hennick Centre for Business and Law Medal for Career Achievement in 2010.
In 2011, she was honored with the International Society of Hospitality Consultants Pioneer Award, the Chairman's Gold Award from the Ontario Hostelry Institute, was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women's Executive Network, and became the first woman to receive HOTELS magazine’s Corporate Hotelier of the World award.
A member of IREFAC, Taylor is also a director of the Royal Bank of Canada and a board member for the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation in Toronto. She is also an avid supporter of United Way Toronto and an active volunteer.
At the awards event in June, Cornell will also honor the Tisch family with the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award. Since its inception in 2009, Cornell Hospitality Icon & Innovator Awards has grown to be the largest event on the SHA calendar, attracting more than 800 of the most influential leaders and innovators in the hospitality and travel industry.
The event raises funds to support SHA's scholarships and programs.