Boston University School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) Announces the Fall 2022 Dean’s Distinguished Speakers Series

Updated on August 19, 2022

Boston, MA – Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) announces the Dean’s Distinguished Speakers Series for Fall 2022. The Dean’s Distinguished Speakers Series presents an outstanding line-up of influential C-Suite executives, representing the various avenues of the hospitality business. These leaders join in conversation with Dean Arun Upneja, Ph.D., in a lively conversation about the innovations and trends that will shape the future of the industry. These fireside-style talks at BU SHA are open to everyone passionate about the business and pleasure of Hospitality. The series takes place on Friday, September 16 and October 21 in the fall semester, from 11am to 12pm EST. (Spring speakers and dates to be announced later this year.) See below for in-person and virtual attendance options.

Registration & Information: 

Dean’s Distinguished Speakers Series | School of Hospitality Administration 

In-person: Boston University School of Hospitality Administration
928 Commonwealth Ave., Boston (Auditorium) 

Advance registration is required. Guests have the option of attending the series virtually via Zoom.

“We are honored to host such esteemed speakers. This much-anticipated series presents a special opportunity to hear leaders speak candidly about their personal journeys and careers — the challenges as well as the success that they faced along the way,” said Arun Upneja, Ph.D., Dean of Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. “Our hope is to provide inspiration as well as one-of-a-kind access to and engagement with accomplished executives. We are grateful for their commitment to supporting the next generation of Hospitality professionals.”

Fall Speakers 2022

Friday, September 16, 2022 at 11am-12pm EST

Kevin Davis, Chief Executive Officer of JLL Hotels & Hospitality, Americas 

Kevin Davis is the Chief Executive Officer of JLL Hotels & Hospitality, Americas, where he is responsible for investment sales, debt and equity placement, strategic advisory, and asset management. Since joining JLL in 2013, he has been involved in more than $20 billion of hotel debt and equity financings. With a deep background in capital markets, he spent 13 years prior to JLL working in the commercial real estate groups at Merrill Lynch and UBS, in addition to co-founding a debt fund business following the Financial Crisis. In these prior roles, he executed over $10 billion of transactions in hospitality, multi-housing, retail, office, and industrial assets. Widely recognized in the hospitality industry, Kevin Davis won the 2019 Jack A. Shaffer Financial Advisor of the Year Award at the American Lodging Investment Summit, which honors industry leaders that showcase outstanding ability to foster client relationships and close deals that benefit both parties in a transaction. Davis has been recognized on Crain’s New York Business Notable Black Leaders and Executives List in 2021. He holds a B.A. with Honors in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.


Friday, October 21, 2022 at 11am-12pm EST

Ed Kane, Co-Owner, Big Night Entertainment

Ed Kane is the visionary leader behind first-of-its-kind entertainment, hospitality, creative, marketing, music, and media company, Big Night Entertainment. His leadership and expertise have earned him a spot in the Massachusetts Hospitality Hall of Fame and most recently in Boston Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Bostonians” for 2022.

For over 30 years, Kane has been expanding his portfolio of award-winning restaurants, nightlife venues, and one-of-a-kind concepts across New England. In 2006, Ed Kane, along with his brother and business partner Joe Kane, teamed up with Randy Greenstein to launch Big Night. Together, they developed and debuted 19 innovative restaurant and nightlife destinations including Big Night Live featuring Studio B and Guy Fieri’s Tequila Cocina, Mystique and Mémoire at Encore Boston Harbor, The Grand, Empire, Guy Fieri’s Boston Kitchen + Bar, Red Lantern, Scorpion Bar, and Versus in Boston; CBS Sporting Club, the Card Vault and Scorpion Bar at Foxboro’s Patriot Place; Shrine, Red Lantern, High Rollers, Scorpion Bar, Guy Fieri’s Foxwoods Kitchen + Bar, and the Card Vault at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. Big Night has grown to include a dynamic range of newly developed business ventures like Big Night Breaks, Big Night Fitness, Big Night Talent, Big Night Media, Big Night Creative, Big Night Radio, and Big Night Gaming. Kane is a Harvard University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics.


About Boston University School of Hospitality Administration: Established in 1981 and now celebrating over 40 years of Innovating the Business of Hospitality, 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 degrees. For more information about the powerful SHA undergraduate program, visit Boston University School of Hospitality Administration Undergraduate Program | School of Hospitality Administration and to learn more about the internationally recognized graduate programs (MMH and MS), visit Graduate Programs | School of Hospitality Administration.




Dean Arun Upneja
Office: 617-358-6744

Mara Littman, Director of Corporate and Public Relations
Office: 617-353-4496