Posted by Anna-Mae Kobbe on Jun 22, 2020
New member John Berndt, General Manager of the Gettysburg Hotel, (pictured above) presented highlights about the hotel and his personal journey in his classification of hospitality management that brought him to Gettysburg.  John was born in Upstate New York but grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City.  He graduated from high school in Philadelphia and from Cornell University in Hospitality Management.  John has four daughters and five grandchildren.  When the entire family is together there are 21 of them.
The hotel, established in 1797, survived the Civil War and was the temporary White House for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Years later it survived a fire that left it vacant for 10 years. Today it is a showpiece on Lincoln Square.  Planned renovations were put on hold when the pandemic hit.  After being closed for 12 weeks due to the virus, the hotel is open and booking groups for meetings and weddings.  This fall the hotel will house Gettysburg College students as the college makes provisions for social distancing in student housing.
John’s career has allowed him to manage hotel properties throughout the world.  He first joined Rotary in 1995 in Seoul South Korea and has continued to be an active Rotarian as his career took him to some of the most interesting travel destinations.
In addition to working in Seoul, John has worked in Canandaigua and Rochester, New York; Waikiki, Hawaii, Bali, Indonesia; and San Francisco, California.  In each of these cities, John was active in Rotary.  He described Rotary service projects, membership recruitment efforts, and fellowship projects that he has been involved with during his 25-year Rotary tenure.
Because of his Rotary experience with member recruitment, John was a great selection to be Club Membership Chair this year.   He is eager to increase club attendance and recruit new members.