A veteran of the hospitality industry, Dieter Huckestein is former president and chief executive officer of Yellowstone Club World, the world’s premier private club, overseeing all operations, sales, marketing, and development. Mr. Huckestein came to YCW after 35 years of service at the Hilton Hotels Corporation, one of the top three largest hospitality companies in the world. He most recently served as chairman and chief executive officer of Conrad Hotels, the global, luxury brand in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and as president of Hilton Global Alliance, responsible for all operational aspects of Hilton Hotels Corporation’s strategic alliance with Hilton International. Mr. Huckestein also was a member of the Board of Directors of Hilton Hotels Corporation for 10 years.
Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hotel Administration from Heidelberg Hotel School, Mr. Huckestein was subsequently the recipient of an academic scholarship at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. He holds a diploma in International Business from Columbia University and an honorary doctorate degree from Webber University. He is also a member of the West Coast Ventura-North Los Angeles Chapter of Legatus, an organization for Catholic CEOs.
Mr. Huckestein was the 2006 President of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association and the 2004 Chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. He served on the board of Unified Western Grocers and was a member of the President’s Advisory Council at California Lutheran University. Mr. Huckestein is also the recipient of the Academy of Hospitality Lifetime Achievement Award, a prestigious award that recognizes outstanding hoteliers for demonstrated leadership and skill, and for substantial contributions to the global hospitality industry.
Mr. Huckestein and his wife, Cecilia, have two married sons and four grandchildren. Cecilia holds a master’s degree in English literature and a doctorate in cognitive and educational psychology from the University of Southern California. She is an adjunct professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and the author of numerous professional articles. The Huckesteins reside at Lake Sherwood, in Westlake Village, California.
Mr. Huckestein was appointed to the College’s Board of Governors in May 2007, and sits on its development and campus planning committees. In speaking of why he was moved to serve the College in this way he says, “The Church has become so horizontal and community-focused on both academic and diocesan levels, that I was drawn to the sense of transcendence that imbues the campus and intellectual life at Thomas Aquinas College. Catholic holiness abides there.”