Our Team

The core of the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS) is its team members. Nearly 1,400 full- and part-time employees deliver outstanding Spartan experiences daily to Michigan State University (MSU) students and guests. Meet the RHS Leadership Team who lead by example and encourage all team members to advance the culture of high performance within the division and across campus.

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    Tariq Abdelhamid is the chief lean performance officer for the Division of RHS. Tariq devotes much of his time on campus facilitating divisional growth while remaining an active faculty member for the Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction. He continues to guide RHS as it modernizes practices and facilities.

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    Diane Barker, officer for the Planning and Projects Office, has more than 30 years of experience working for Michigan State University (MSU). She has worked in food service, facilities, housing management and operations, sustainable initiative, and project coordination within the Division of RHS and enjoys the dynamic, collegiate environment of MSU. 

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    Kat Cooper is director of communications for the Division of RHS. During her tenure at Michigan State University, she has served as marketing and sales manager of the MSU Union, communications manager of Auxiliary Resources and of Auxiliary Enterprises. In 2010, Kat was named as one of their “10 over 10” award winners by the Lansing Chamber of Commerce.

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    Mike Dawisha, chief information officer (CIO) for the Division of RHS, grew up in Windsor, Ontario, where he started a tech consulting business. Upon moving to the U.S., he worked as the CIO for a large nonprofit before moving to a private business college, where he oversaw the IT department. 

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    Kathleen Duncan is the executive assistant to the vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises. She attended Northwood University, earning a bachelor's degree in business administration. She also received an associate degree from Lansing Community College in hospitality business and food service management.

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    Jane Emery, strategic initiatives officer, leads Auxiliary Enterprises/Residential and Hospitality Services on collaborative strategic initiatives, transitional and organizational change management projects, process/protocol and systems analysis, and special projects, including divisional space management. She represents the vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises on several university and divisional planning workgroups and committees.

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    Ray Gasser is the director of Residence Education and Housing Services at Michigan State University. Previously, he was director of University Housing at the University of Idaho. He has worked in housing since 1997 at six different institutions. He earned his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arizona. 

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    Vennie Gore is the vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises at Michigan State University. He oversees all operations within the division of RHS and contributes to the oversight of MSU's University Licensing Program as well as the Land Management Office. Among other notable accomplishments, Vennie earned the 2016 Elizabeth A. Greenleaf Alumni Award from Indiana University and recently completed Harvard's Institute for Educational Management. 

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    Joel Heberlein, director of Spartan Hospitality Group, has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality sales and management. Joel oversees the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, Breslin Student Events Center, MSU Tennis Center, Forest Akers Golf Courses, Spartan Signature Catering, Cowles House, SHG Sales, SHG Retail Shops and the MSU Alumni Memorial Chapel. He has received numerous industry awards including Hotelier of the Year by the Michigan Hotel, Motel and Resort Association.

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    Ken Horvath, chief of staff for the Division of RHS, has a depth of experience in operations and business management, marketing, and strategic planning and development as well as media relations and community outreach. He is a member of the Association of College and University Housing Offices-International and the Professional Golf Association.

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    Lauren Marinez, director of human resources for the Division of RHS, has more than 20 years experience in strategic leadership and has a detailed understanding of the intricacies of the university’s complex human resources policies, procedures and union contracts. Lauren has a BA in Marketing and an MA in Human Resources and Labor Relations, both from Michigan State University.

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    Robert Patterson is chief financial officer for the Division of RHS. He has 30 years experience in financial and managerial accounting, with 21 years at Michigan State University (MSU). He earned a degree in accounting from MSU and is a Certified Public Accountant with the state of Michigan.

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    Guy Procopio, director of Culinary Services for the Division of RHS, oversees all facets of residential dining, retail operations, procurement, concessions and sustainable food practices across Michigan State University’s campus. He has served on numerous boards and is a founding member of the National Association of Collegiate Concessionaires.