By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado couple responsible for some of the most highly rated restaurants in the state are hoping a donation to Metro State University of Denver will build the next generation of leaders. Gina and Frank Day gave more than a million dollars to the university’s hospitality degree program to inspire students.

Gina and Frank Day donate more than $1 million to Metro State University's hospitality degree program.

Gina and Frank Day donate more than $1 million to Metro State University’s hospitality degree program. (credit: CBS4)

“The unified purpose should be in the hospitality business, take care of your guest. Please your guest,” Frank Day said. “Leadership has a lot to do with how well a hospitality operation runs.

Frank built a hospitality empire from a hot dog stand. He’s always specialized in people-focused industries. He now owns several restaurants and the Hotel Boulderado. Gina is the CEO of Boulder Beer Company.

“Really anything that is a people business requires the ability to put together people where your goals and their goals come together,” Frank said.

“He’s kind of part of every aspect (of hospitality). So he’s not just preaching to the hotel people or just the restaurant people. He’s got his hand in a lot of pockets, which is really cool,” said MSU Denver Hospitality student Jackie Ikola.

A packed room listened to the Days give some of the leadership advice that the Academy will put into courses for students. The conversation was led by MSU Denver president Janine Davidson who once worked as a waitress at a Day-run facility.

“Leadership is really needed anywhere. It’s not just hospitality. It really is for all kids, all majors. All everything. We get to have people come from anywhere, any age, on how they can make themselves better and help others be better,” said Ikola.

Frank says he just hopes to inspire the next generation of hospitality workers and get quality teamwork and service put back into the industry.

“Try and teach them what is helpful and what is not helpful,” He said.

Jeff Todd

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