Peter Zacchilli

Associate Professor

JWU Faculty Since 1990

Professor Peter Zacchilli

Contact Info


Peter Zacchilli brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom and his interactions with students. Throughout his career he has built a solid foundation and understanding of front office operations, sales & meeting management, resort management, hotel property operations, human resource management and quality service management. Prior to joining JWU, he gained valuable first-hand experience working for several major world-renown hotel corporations including Hilton, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn Hotels—a transformational career which deepened his understanding of the industry and how each position is integral to the overall operation of a hotel. Prior to bringing his vision and energy to academia, he rose through the ranks to the level of Assistant General Manager. Continuing to remain actively involved in the industry, his connections provide students with access to industry leaders and alumni willing to attend campus forums and panel discussions to share their insights into the evolving hospitality industry.


  • B.S., Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration, University of Massachusetts
  • M.S., Training and Development, Leslie University
  • Certified Hospitality Educator

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Colin Powell

Teaching Interests

Hotel and Resort Operations
Human Resources
Sales and Meeting Management
Dynamics of Tourism industry


  • Orientation to the Hospitality Industry
  • Managing the Guest Experience
  • Hospitality Sales and Meeting Management
  • Human Resource Management in Service Organizations
  • Leading Service excellence in the Hospitality Industry
  • Resort, Vacation Ownership, and Spa Management

Extra Curricular Roles

Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School-Advisory Board member


Professional Affiliations

Society of Human Resource Management


Honors And Awards

  • Faculty of The Year
  • Alumni Appreciation Award
  • Member of Johnson & Wales University’s Theta Leadership Class

Q&A with Peter

How Did You Get Started?

While pursuing a master’s degree in training and development, which required an internship component, I reached out to several universities which I felt not only provided students with avenues to success in the hospitality industry, but included a true understanding of customer service in their mission and vision. Johnson & Wales stood out on all counts. Completing my internship, I was offered a full-time position for the following school year and my journey at Johnson & Wales began. Over the past 31 rewarding years I have had the privilege of watching students with a variety of talents and skill sets enter continuously evolving hospitality-related programs at the University—from customer service to human resource management—and blossom into career professionals destined to make their mark in the industry

What Is Your Favorite Teaching Moment?

Every day is rewarding. Having the opportunity to share the classroom with enthusiastic students, hungry to expand their visions and chase dreams, is invigorating and leads to an interesting sharing of ideas. Students have a burning desire to develop themselves and lead others, something that will leave their mark not only here at the University but in the world in general. Seeing them turn that spark turn into passion is very rewarding and something I look forward to with every class.
My most rewarding moment comes each May and participating in Commencement. It is truly an unbelievable feeling to see students who four years earlier were beginning their collegiate journey, walk across the stage and embark on their professional careers. Their smiling faces, warm embraces, and cheering families gives me great joy knowing that I had an impact along the way.
Equally rewarding are those moments when a student stops by the office to share exciting news about a job offer, request a reference/letter of recommendation, or when they reach out later in life to update me on their career and reflect on how a certain class played a critical role in their success. It is said you never stop learning, whether you are teaching or being taught. I firmly believe that and see it reflected in my interactions with my students.

What Advice Do You Have For Incoming Freshmen?

You came to college for a reason, with a destination in mind, a dream you want to pursue, an industry you want to explore. Never stop searching or opening doors. Keep asking questions. You never know when an opportunity will arise or where it will be hidden. Over the next four years your journey will take twists and turns you didn’t expect or plan for. That’s part of life. But if you keep exploring, keep your mind open, keep stretching beyond your comfort zone and hang on to your dream/your goal, you will be the master of your success.

What College Do You Teach In?

The College of Hospitality Management