His credentials said, “Al Wrisley, PhD., Professor in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst”, but the undergraduates in the program knew him as a special kind of professor and mentor. He was not my academic adviser, but he always took the time to review what I was considering because he knew I did not have confidence in my assigned adviser. He did not convince me actually to “like” hospitality accounting courses, but he did make me realize the critical nature of understanding financial controls.
I recall he led an honors discussion course at a time when these were being tested for their value and I remember how much the class learned from those give and take debates on a range of issues that would affect our industry and livelihood.
Al was an authority on certain food and beverage specialties, authored several academic textbooks and worked with a consortium of consultants who helped establish many of the practices and operating standards used today in the urban gas station/food convenience stores.
My best reflection of Al is his storytelling about the “real world” of hospitality and hotels. He shared stories of the heart and soul of the people who are the industry and the stories he told influenced those of us who elected to enter and remain in the business.
Al is retired now and he and Lynda split their time between Michigan and Florida, although they were considering a Carolina option the last time we spoke.
Al, Thank you and your efforts were appreciated by many of us.