Duncan R. Dickson

Duncan began his career in the hospitality industry at the age of fourteen bussing tables at the Howard Johnson's hotel on route 50 near Annapolis, MD. Although he continued to work in the industry during his years at the University of Maryland (McDonald's and the University Dining Service), Duncan never thought of the hospitality industry as a career field until he was graduating from Engineer Officer Candidate School and was approached by the US Army Quartermaster Corps to become a military club manager.

After completing his military service, Duncan did his graduate work at the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University earning a Master of Professional Studies Degree. After completion of the program Duncan began his twenty year association with the Walt Disney World Co. He started his career at the Lake Buena Vista Golf Club, then developed the menus for the Empress Lily Riverboat Restaurant, and managed the Village Restaurant Complex prior to moving into a staffing role.

As a staffing executive Duncan was instrumental in the planning and the execution of all manpower planning for all the Disney openings up until his departure in 1995. These include EPCOT Center, Disney/MGM Studios Theme Park, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, sixteen Disney owned and operated hotels (six at Disneyland Paris), two water parks and the Reedy Creek golf courses. As part of his duties Duncan represented Disney in all of the World Showcase countries traveling extensively for the company. He was instrumental in the creation of the Walt Disney World college Program and the international staffing initiatives. He successfully lobbied the US Congress for the Q visa.

Duncan left Disney in November of 1995 to become the Vice President of Human Resources - Staffing for Kelly Services in Troy, Michigan. After a year up north he returned to Florida and founded A&D Partners - a consulting firm specializing in recruitment advertising, staffing solutions, and training. Duncan and his partner Paul Austermuehle, work with a wide variety of clients including Darden Restaurants, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, ARAMARK, Bristol Hotels, CIGNA, Vistana, Inc., Horry County Schools, etc.

Duncan has served on the advisory boards of six university hospitality programs including the Commission Scholaire of the Centre International de Glion (Switzerland). Currently he serves on the boards of The University of Central Florida, The University of Delaware, and Coastal Carolina University. Duncan is also a Director of the New World Association of Tourism Training and an adjunct Professor of Hospitality Management at The University of Central Florida. He is a Director of the Asociacion Mundial Para La Formacion Hostelera y Turistica and on the Executive Committee of the Association for International Practical Training and the Advisory Council of the International Institute for Quality and Ethics in Service and Tourism (IIQuest). Duncan is active in Rotary (Past President) and has served for ten years on the Board of Directors of the Dr. Phillips YMCA (two years as Chairman).

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