October 8, 2015 | | Internal Press Release
Chattanooga, TN (October 8, 2015) --- Following more a year of carefully detailed planning and remodeling, the Michael P. Hennen Hospitality and Culinary Center at Chattanooga State was opened for a sneak peek. Donors, including family and friends of the late restaurateur, gathered together recently at Chattanooga State Community College to celebrate and honor Michael.
Shannon Johnson, Director of the Michael P. Hennen Hospitality & Culinary Center knew Michael and worked with his family when he first entered the hospitality business. “We are just getting started, and we are going to take careful steps to make sure we have a very dynamic program in tune with what we have to give in the Tennessee Valley. We want this to be a place of choice for students to learn all things hospitality.”
Alexis Bogo, Hamico executive director, remarked, “As our city continues to win accolades and be a destination city, the need for culinary and hospitality talent has never been greater in our community.”
Former Chattanooga Mayor Jon Kinsey shared, “To have gotten this up and running in a year is phenomenal…It is going to make us a better city.”
But no one was more proud than Michael’s mother, Corinne Hennen, who expressed gratitude on behalf of her and her husband Tim during the dedication ceremony. She noted that Michael would be really proud of this Center. “It is exuding love and good energy and just fierceness as we come together out of love for Michael and out of love for the greater good and see what can happen here. To be given this opportunity at ChattState is just a beautiful gift, and of course is the perfect place.”
Immediate members of the Hennen family and close friends joined Chattanooga State’s President, Dr. Flora Tydings, in the doorway of the new classroom and culinary kitchen for a ribbon-cutting officially establishing the Michael P. Hennen Hospitality and Culinary Center.
Currently more than 30 students have enrolled in the new Hospitality Management program at Chattanooga State. Finishing touches are being made on the center for the first culinary students to begin hands-on training in the new culinary kitchen later this semester.
The dedication plaque outside the Michael P. Hennen Hospitality and Culinary Center reads:
“Michael epitomized the highest level of hospitality, ensuring each guest at Hennen’s received the best possible experience. May his passion for hospitality and willingness to serve others inspire each and every student who passes through these doors.”