Boston University School of Hospitality Administration presents its First Icon Award to Richard L. Friedman, President & CEO of Carpenter & Company

The Hospitality Leadership Summit Logo about the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration logo

February 11, 2020

BU Hospitality also presents Alumni and Summit Leaders Awards at its Hospitality Leadership Summit, March 20, 2020

(February 11, 2020) Boston, MA – Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) is pleased to announce Richard L. Friedman as the first recipient of its Icon Award, to be presented  Friday, March 20, 2020 at the School’s Hospitality Leadership Summit held at the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square, Boston. The Summit is a two-day event bringing together hospitality graduate and undergraduate students with leaders in the lodging, food and beverage, meetings, events and tourism industries. The Awards presentation will be held Friday, March 20, 5-5:30pm in the Ballroom of the Hotel Commonwealth.

Friedman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Carpenter & Company Inc., a private firm involved in real estate and private investments, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At Carpenter, Friedman has developed dozens of real estate projects, including hotels, office buildings, and shopping centers. One of his most notable projects is the development of the Liberty Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, located in the former Charles Street Jail, a historic landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Other notable projects include the St. Regis Hotel San Francisco, Charles Square and the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, the Brookline Marriott Courtyard in Brookline, Massachusetts, and numerous Hyatt hotels. More recently, a team led by Friedman was selected to redevelop the former New Orleans World Trade Center into the Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences. He is currently developing a 250-room, $160 million EDITION hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland, and he has just transformed the Boston skyline with the opening of one of New England’s tallest residential buildings, The Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences at One Dalton.

Friedman was appointed by President Clinton as Chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission and led its Interagency Security Task Force. Later, he was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Export Council, where he served as the Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Manufacturing and Services.

Friedman has also been extensively involved in civic and charitable endeavors including the Steppingstone Foundation, Mount Auburn Foundation, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

“Honoring Dick Friedman is significant for us in so many ways,” said Arun Upneja, PhD., Dean of Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. “First, he’s based right here in the great city of Boston and his impact in our local area is tremendous; he has significantly contributed to, and changed, the skyline and landscape of an international primary market. His developments throughout the United States and beyond, further emphasize his global impact. His contributions as a citizen of our country to support our nation, demonstrates how his vision and knowledge transcends our business sector. He is a true leader and undoubtedly an icon. With 40+ years in the business and still active, we look forward to so much more.”

The Boston University School of Hospitality Administration will also present two more sets of awards:

Alumni of The Year Awards to:

SHA Summit Leaders Awards to:

  • Adam Sperling – General Manager, Hotel Commonwealth;
  • Rachel Roginsky – Principal, Pinnacle Advisory Group.

“As BU SHA approaches our 40th anniversary (2021) we are proud to boast about our alumni who are in leading roles in various sectors of our business,” added Dean Upneja. “Alec Dalton’s achievements as an undergraduate were notable; honoring his professional accomplishments so soon after his graduation is not surprising. We look forward to following along with him through what will no doubt be an illustrious career.”

“And Alison Birdwell, just recently promoted to President of Aramark’s Sports and Entertainment, has remained an active participant in the SHA family. As a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board and with a passion for our graduate and undergraduate programs, we are thrilled to honor her professional accomplishments as our Alumni of the Year.”

“Our school is so grateful to Rachel Roginsky and Adam Sperling, for their generosity and enthusiastic encouragement and support of our students,” said Leora Lanz, Chair of the Master of Management in Hospitality program and Chair of the SHA Hospitality Leadership Summit. “This will no doubt be a memorable event because of their contributions connecting industry and hospitality graduate and undergraduate students.”

(Photography Available Upon Request)

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Summit Sponsors
BU SHA is grateful to the generous support from our Summit Sponsors* who helped shape this unique opportunity for the hospitality community to network and learn: Diamond Sponsor: Hotel Commonwealth; Platinum Sponsor: Access Point Financial; Gold Sponsors: Aramark, Hilton Hotels, Pinnacle Advisory Group; Silver Sponsors: HHM, HMS Host, Longwood Venues and Destinations, Seaport Hotel, Spot On Ventures, The Newbury / Boston Park Plaza, PSAV Inc.; Supporters: Sid Wainer & Son.
*The Sponsor List is current as of February 11, 2020.

About Boston University School of Hospitality Administration: Established in 1981, Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA) offers students a combination of rigorous academics, liberal arts curriculum, and international experiences for the pursuit of success in lodging, restaurants, food service, and other avenues of the hospitality industry. SHA has a unique relationship with the city of Boston, where the area’s hotels and restaurants provide students with numerous opportunities for internships to satisfy work experience requirements for their degree. BU SHA launched its graduate program, the Masters of Management in Hospitality, in 2017 to strong international acclaim.


Mara Littman, BU SHA MMH ‘20 / 617-304-9488
Emily Fletcher, BU SHA ‘20 / 949-378-2129