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The Glion Institute of Higher Education and the Les Roches School of Hotel Management welcome new leaders

Philippe Attia and Sonia Tatar bring decades of experience to the world’s leading schools of hospitality management


New Leaders at Les Roches and Glion

Ceremony officially marks entry of Sonia Tatar as CEO/Director General of Les Roches

Though Sonia Tatar entered Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in January 2011, a ceremony conducted on Wednesday 20 April 2011 marked her entry as CEO and Director General of one of the best hospitality management schools. Under the eyes of almost 100 invitees, Sonia Tatar officially succeeded Arie A. J. van der Spek, who has led Les Roches to success since 2005.

Under Van der Spek's leadership, Les Roches made enormous progress. The number of students grew from 600 to over 1,200 per semester and he oversaw CHF 60 million in investments over the last five years. Van der Spek will not be away or far from Les Roches, as he has been appointed as Senior Vice-President of Laureate Hospitality Education worldwide.

"I am happy that after a detailed and careful search, we were able to find Mrs Sonia Tatar to take the position as my successor", stated Arie van der Spek. "Mrs Tatar has a long standing career in the hospitality world in addition to outstanding executive education experience. I am pleased to officially handover my responsibilities to her."

To mark the hand-over, Arie van der Spek offered the new CEO/DG a model of a staircase by Michelangelo. "Over the years we have taken Les Roches to a higher level. Now it is for Sonia to take it to further heights. This staircase if well placed on your desk will remind you every day of this challenge", explained Arie van der Spek to Sonia Tatar.

"Though it has been three months since I joined Les Roches, it feels like I have been part of the Canton of Valais, part of Bluche and part of the school for much longer time", said Sonia Tatar. "I like being among our motivated students, among our professional faculty and staff. I am honored to accept the challenge and dedicate myself to building a continuous success for Les Roches in the future. I am confident that together we can take Les Roches to further heights, further aspirations."

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Arie van der Spek for his visionary, successful leadership and for making Les Roches what it is today a way of life", Sonia Tatar continued.

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management is part of Laureate Hospitality Education and was recently ranked 5-star hotel hiring managers as number 2 among all international hospitality management schools for an international career.

Philippe Attia new Director General/CEO of Glion Institute of Higher Education

Philippe Attia has been appointed the new Director General/CEO of Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE), one of the leading hospitality management schools in the world. The 49-years old French citizen succeeds Christian Beek, who has been GIHE's DG/CEO since 2007. Philippe Attia will commence at GIHE on 1 July 2011.

GIHE is one of the world's leading hospitality management schools and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012. Glion has more than 8,000 alumni in 100 countries and has direct links with all major hotel chains and other companies in the hospitality business. Glion is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) and offers programs in the fields of hospitality, tourism, event, sports and entertainment management.

Philippe Attia has 22 years of experience in hospitality management. He previously worked for major companies like Club Med, Walt Disney Co., Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Allegro Resorts and Dolce Hotels & Resorts, where he filled a variety of different roles like General Manager, Operations Manager and Managing Director. He has worked in 11 different countries all around the world. Philippe Attia is currently Senior Vice President Development, EMEA of Dolce Hotels & Resorts.

Philippe Attia holds a Master of the 'Institut Europeen des Affaires' (European Business Institute) in hospitality management in Neully sur Seine, France and a Certification in Hotel Management of the American Hotel & Motel Association. He speaks five languages: French, English, Spanish, Italian and German.

"I would like to welcome Philippe Attia to GIHE and Laureate Hospitality Education", says Arie van der Spek, Senior Vice President of Laureate Hospitality Education worldwide. "I wish him success in his new challenge and am convinced that he will bring added value to GIHE. I also would like to take the opportunity to thank Christian Beek for his excellent work and contribution to GIHE over the last four years. He decided to relocate back to Belgium for personal reasons and we are really sorry to see him leave."