Happy Valley Hospitality

29 articles

IMG 2414

Becky Burger: More than anything, my role allows me to connect with people

Seasoned hospitality veteran Becky Burger is the General Manager at the Allen Street Grill in downtown State College. With 40 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality business (19 of them with the Allen Street Grill), Burger feels she can truly make a difference by treating staff and customers with compassion and care. Years ago, she was nicknamed “Momma Bear” by her team, and she feels it has been a fitting title... her door is always open to council, to mentor, to encourage.

IMG 8674

Kristina Goldhorn: I’m participating in a beautiful part of State College tradition

Penn State third-year student Kristina Goldhorn has been living the iconic Penn State experience since she transferred from the Brandywine campus to University Park in 2021. While she studies Supply Chain Management, she serves as a tour guide with Lion Ambassadors on campus, and is the director of Brotherhood for the professional development fraternity Omega Chi Sigma, and works at The Corner Room. “The Corner Room is the place where I made my first friends in State College, the place where I immediately felt comfortable, and the place where I can positively affect my customer’s day with just a smile,” she said.

Image 9 3

Brian Adair: I love turning a guest’s bad day into a good day

For Brian Adair, his career in hospitality started two days after graduation. “I started working as a doorman at Zeno’s Pub on the Monday after commencement,” he said. That was five years ago. From that first job, he moved to serving, and then bartending. “Zeno’s Pub has been the place where I have celebrated my undergraduate and graduate graduations, family reunions, and was my usual hangout spot during my college career. I made countless friends and witnessed awesome musical performances. It has a special place in my heart and I am happy to contribute to the sense of community I have found there,” he said.

Ellen Braun

Ellen Braun: I love being part of cultivating diversity in Happy Valley

Ellen Braun’s hospitality story started with a detour. “I graduated from Penn State in 1984 with a degree in English and quickly realized that I was so shy and introverted that I wasn’t emotionally prepared for any of the career paths I’d dreamed of,” she said. So, to overcome it, she got what she calls “assertiveness training” — a job at The All American Rathskeller. The job turned out to be a crash course, not only in confidence, but also in her career path.

PXL 20220327 185323436

Joe Belle: “There Is So Much Value And Impact In Keeping State College Beautiful”

Joe Belle and the rest of the Clean Team is the reason that you and I get to enjoy a beautiful downtown State College. But he wants to get one thing straight: “We aren’t grouchy garbagemen — we’re pretty cool guys. So stop and talk to us! Everyone on my team is involved in artistic endeavors in the community after work — I am a musician, Damian Cabrera is an artist, and Michael David is into juggling. We’re anything but grouchy.”

Happy Valley Hospitality

HVAB Awards To Recognize Excellence In The Hospitality Industry

State College, PA, Sept. 6, 2022 – The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau (HVAB) is now accepting nominations for the first annual Happy Valley Hospitality Awards.

The awards will recognize excellence in the local food and beverage, and lodging industries, with a special award open to employees working in any hospitality-related establishment,
including performance venues, museums and other attractions. The awards are a component of the HVAB’s Happy Valley Hospitality campaign, launched earlier this summer to recognize and appreciate those working in the industry.

Fritz Smith happy valley

Fritz Smith: Fate Kept Bringing Me To This Magical, Thriving Community

For Fritz Smith, president and CEO of The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, the love for hospitality started at a very early age, in a place fueled by tourism.

“I grew up in Washington, D.C., a place where the two major industries were government and tourism,” he said. “You saw thousands of people visiting the Washington Monument and going in and out of the Smithsonian Museum buildings almost year-round. Something inside me said, “I bet those people are spending a whole lot of money while they are here!”

Zach Lorber Photo credti State College Area School District Nabil K Mark 4

Zach Lorber: I Want My Students To Make The World A Better Place

Zach Lorber lived the transient chef life before coming to State College. “My wife, Megan, grew up in State College and is a Penn State alum of the hospitality program. We met while both working at Bedford Springs Resort, fell in love, and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I moved here in the winter of 2009 and Happy Valley has been home since. In just a few more years, this will be the longest I've lived anywhere and that makes me happy.”

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at HappyValley.com/events