The Summer of Tom(s)

Rebecca Blair Roth is a student in ICE’s Hospitality Management Program. Her class is learning about the business of the travel and tourism industry. The program is directed by Tom Voss, whose experience in hotels across the world is invaluable for the students. He is a great teacher and the students are grateful for the opportunity to learn from a true professional.

This summer I have two Toms in my life, the incredibly comfortable shoes (that I can’t seem to take off) and my Hospitality Management Department Director and instructor, Tom Voss. Just like the shoes, he gives back to his students via personal stories and hospitality industry knowledge. Tom has been in charge of the department since before its inception last year and has been our fearless leader throughout the program. His work résumé speaks for itself and having been everything from a general manager to a college professor shows us all how much time and dedication he has devoted to his craft. Back in January, on one of those snowy mornings that kept on reoccurring, I visited ICE and sat in on a Front Office Management class that Voss was teaching and after only about ten minutes into the lesson, I was totally sold on pursuing the program.

Having been an English teacher in Slovakia last year, coming into the classroom on the opposite side was jarring at first. But I knew that under Voss’s care I would learn more than just what the book was providing. I would learn real stories from someone who has succeeded in the industry and wasn’t going to sugarcoat everything for his students. Inspiring a classroom full of Hospitality Management students in the summer heat at 8:00 am takes some resilience, some strong coffee and perhaps a bit of get-up-and-go attitude. Thankfully, Voss with his ever-present smile, positive demeanor and his own “feels good, feels great” slogan is more than enough to get us to have all eyes on him and think outside of the box (even though perhaps at times we would rather have still been curled up in bed).

Basically, I can speak for the class and say that Tom is truly a mentor to us all. It is such an honor to have him not only as our teacher but a true friend and someone who can guide us in pursuit of careers in the Hospitality Management industry. Seeing the smile that he gets on his face when hearing about his past students who have succeeded, and speaking about keeping up with their accomplishments makes me realize how genuine he is. To be able to have a teacher with such enthusiasm for his trade only makes me realize that I made the right decision in my life and I can’t wait to see the path that it will take me on.

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