Walter J. Conti
Retired Owner, Cross Keys Inn/Pipersville Inn
Walter J. Conti is retired chief executive officer of Cross Keys/Pipersville Inn, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In 1952, he received his B.S. degree in Hotel Administration from Penn State. As an undergraduate, he was president of Kappa Sigma.
Mr. Conti was first elected to the Board of Trustees by the alumni in 1974 for a three year term and was reelected for five succeeding terms. During Mr. Conti's 18 years of service to the Board, he was elected President in January 1982 and reelected in 1983 and 1984. He also served as Vice President from 1979 to 1981. The title of Trustee Emeritus was conferred upon Mr. Conti on September 11, 1992. On September 19, 1995, he was appointed by Governor Ridge to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees; he served until November 2004 when he returned to Emeritus rank.
Mr. Conti served as chairman of the 100,000-member National Restaurant Association in 1981-82 and received the association's 1983 "Silver and Gold Plate" award--the "Oscar" of the restaurant business. He was also the 1989 "Diplomate" of the association's Educational Foundation. In addition, he was awarded the 1982 "Hospitality Executive of the Year" from the Penn State Hotel Society. He is past president of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association, the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Association, and the International Gold and Silver Plate Society. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Penn State in 1994.
He has held various positions in the National Restaurant Association; was chairman of the Culinary Institute of America in 1987 and 1990 and serves on their board of trustees. Mr. Conti serves as trustee emeritus of the National Association for Foodservice Industry, is a member of the advisory boards and the hotel, restaurant, and institutional management programs at Mercyhurst College, the University of Delaware, and Oklahoma State University.