education, reunions


~Shared by Colleen Steelman

The definition of hospitality is “the friendly reception and treatment of guests.” This is where Woodloch shines. The Kiesendahl family knows hospitality. They set a prime example for the staff, and if you’ve stayed at Woodloch, you know how great the staff is. Hospitality is so important to the Kiesendahl family that they have partnered with Lackawanna College opening The Mary and Harry Kiesendahl School of Hospitality and Tourism, at the Lake Region Center in Hawley, PA. The school’s first hospitality management class began in 2010, followed by a class of culinary majors in 2011.

hospitality, resorts in PAI am a student in the Hospitality Management School. I enjoy classes such as Strategic Hospitality Management, Green Hospitality, Human Resource Management and Food Skills. The culinary major offers courses in American Regional Cooking Studies, Culinary Concepts of the Mediterranean, Baking Techniques for the Culinary Professional and Advanced Wine Studies. The classes and instructors are terrific; I thoroughly enjoy them.


As an adult learner, I was a little nervous about going to college, but there is a nice blend of all ages at the school.  I am attending the hospitality school because I’ve always wanted my degree in hospitality management, and I want to learn as much as I can about the industry. It’s the Kiesendahl name behind it, however, that was really the deciding factor.

The Director of the Mary & Harry Kiesendahl School of Hospitality and Tourism is Stephanie Shimkus Decker. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has been named to the Society of Fellows at the C.I.A. Additionally, she and her sisters own the Euro Cafe in Clarks Summit. Stephanie is a wonderful instructor. You can tell by the way she teaches her classes that she really loves what she does. She is an endless wealth of information and knowledge.

I am so thankful that the Kiesendahl family brought the Hospitality School to this area. For those of us who work in the industry, or for those who are looking to get into it, the school is providing a quality education backed by a name that is well-respected in the hospitality industry. It goes to show how committed the Kiesendahls are to advancing the industry and ensuring that our area will continue to have a qualified and well-educated hospitality workforce.