April 22, 2013

Monta Vista High School wins annual Lodging Management Program Competition


Sacramento, CA – High school hospitality students from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California took home the international title in the tenth annual American Hotel & Lodging Educational Instititute (EI) International Lodging Management Program (LMP) Competition, held April 10-12 in Orlando, FL.
The Monta Vista team of Emily Hong, Michelle Li, Sonal Patel, and Isabella Zhang, a team of 10th grade girls, under the leadership of teacher Carl Schmidt, took top honors at the annual competition.   This was the first ever entry from a California high school into this competition.  “The key is no one wins alone”, stated Carl Schmidt when asked about his team’s victory.
Teacher Carl Schmidt incorporated the Lodging Management Program into his curriculum in September 2012, recognizing there was a need to teach about the fundamentals of the lodging industry.  He wished to thank the California Hotel & Lodging Association for supporting their team, and also the management and staff at the Doubletree San Jose, for their support including interviews, hotel tours and time.  General Manager Rob Balmer, who also serves on the CH&LAEF has been an advocate for the hospitality career training programs at the high school and community college levels.
Carl Schmidt is a teacher and founder of the hospitality program at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, as well as the DECA advisor, and also the Director of the Silicon Valley DECA.
The students on the winning team were awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships from universities and colleges from across the country.
The California Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (CH&LAEF) is the not-for-profit educational arm of the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA). CH&LAEF is dedicated to developing hospitality leaders of the future, providing continuing education for current hospitality employees, and funding research to shape the future of California’s lodging industry. Since its inception, over $1 million has been distributed through CH&LAEF’s scholarship, education, outreach, and research programs. CH&LAEF is funded solely by charitable donations from generous leaders and companies within the hospitality industry.
For more information, please contact: Susan Ragtz, Education Director, (916) 554-2678,

About California DECA
California DECA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Career and Technical Student Organization, endorsed by the California Department of Education. With over 4,500 members in 59 schools throughout California, California DECA works to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. For more information about California DECA, visit


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California DECA