Metropolitan State University of Denver Announces Spring 2016 Dimond Fellows

Dave Farmer Uncategorized

For Immediate Release

February 24, 2016

Contact Information:

Tim Carroll, Metro State University of Denver
(o) 303-556-5136
(c) 303-870-7705


Stonebridge Companies celebrates the achievements of past participants in the Rita and Navin Dimond Hotel Management Fellowship

DENVER – Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Rita and Navin Dimond Hotel Management Program announced the recipients of the 2016 Rita and Navin Dimond Hotel Management Fellowship for the spring semester.

The Dimond Fellowship Program, endowed through a generous gift from the Dimond family, was established to foster excellence and passion for providing distinguished hospitality in future industry leaders. Dimond fellows are provided unique professional development opportunities including a paid internship with the executive teams at Stonebridge Companies hotels for one semester as part of their senior experience.

“Having the opportunity to participate in this fellowship taught me the ins and outs and best practices of the hotel industry,” said Joe Boss, member of the inaugural 2014 class who now serves as the food and beverage and front desk supervisor at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cherry Creek, one of Stonebridge Companies’ 40-plus properties across the country. “The fellowship taught me how hotels function and everything that goes on behind the scenes. I don’t think I would have the skills I have today if I hadn’t been able to participate in the fellowship.”

Boss is not the only former fellow to benefit from the Dimond Fellowship. Of the inaugural class, half of the 14 participants were offered positions to continue working for Stonebridge Companies in varying capacities after completing their internships.

“I am impressed with what our fellows have accomplished in such a short time,” said Navin Dimond, who is founder, president and CEO of Stonebridge Companies and a member of the MSU Denver Foundation Board. “I am confident that our latest class of students will continue to excel and be prepared to make a strong impact on the hospitality profession.”

Members of the spring semester class were welcomed at a ceremony on Feb. 4. The class includes:

LeAnn Tousley Gunnell

A mother to six children, LeAnn Tousley Gunnell is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in hospitality, tourism and events with a concentration in event management. Her experiences include organizing classroom and schoolwide parties for 30 to 500 guests; managing and coordinating travel for youth, JV and varsity sports teams; and working as a front-of-house staff member for Epicurean Catering. As a person who likes to make special moments for others on a professional level and help clients and staff celebrate each day, Tousley Gunnell aspires to be a meeting planner or work in human resources for a large hotel in Denver.

Elizabeth Settambrino

Elizabeth Settambrino is a first-generation college student and anticipates graduating in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, tourism and events with a concentration in event management. She studied abroad at Prague University of Economics in summer 2015, with a concentration in international event management and sports and event management. She worked as an event coordinator intern for the Colorado Open Golf Foundation in 2014. Currently, she is a visual merchandising associate with Pottery Barn and student club president of Meeting Professionals International.

Amanda Dinan

Amanda Dinan grew up in Michigan and was raised in the hospitality industry. Her parents owned two restaurants and she was always eager to help out as much as possible, developing a passion for the industry. Having spent two years studying health care management, she realized it was not the right career path for her. Having always dreamed of moving to Colorado, she turned that dream into a reality and moved to Denver and enrolled in MSU Denver’s hospitality, tourism and events program. Currently, she is a bartender and certified trainer at the Grand Hyatt Denver and plans to graduate in December 2016. Her concentration is in hotel management.

Bridget “Birdie” Meyers

A transfer student from Colorado State University, Bridget “Birdie” Meyers approaches life with a sunny outlook. She first realized her interest in the hospitality industry when she was a counselor at “Teen Camp,” where she had to keep it safe, keep it fun, keep everyone engaged and keep them coming back for more. She is pursuing a concentration in events management with the goal of having a career in sales, marketing or management. Currently, she works at Texas Roadhouse as a server and trainer.


About Stonebridge Companies

Founded in 1991 by Navin C. Dimond, Stonebridge Companies is a privately owned, innovative hotel owner, operator and developer headquartered near Denver, Colorado. The diverse portfolio of properties includes select-service, extended-stay, mid-scale and full-service hotels in markets throughout the U.S.

 About Metropolitan State University of Denver

For 50 years, Metropolitan State University of Denver has transformed the lives of students, served as a courageous leader in higher education and boldly advanced the well-being of metro Denver communities. Throughout its history, the University has been known as a gateway to opportunity through broad access, quality academics and education relevant to the Colorado economy. The yearlong MSU Denver anniversary celebration commemorates the creation in 1965 by the Colorado General Assembly of the state’s first urban higher education institution.