Meet Mark and Lori!

We’re so close to welcoming you to San Diego and having a week full of fun, learning and networking – so it’s time to meet Mark and Lori, who have been passionate about creating an inspiring program here at SDSU.

Mark Testa


Mark Testa is an internationally recognized hospitality management educator and researcher with over 10 years of hospitality management experience. Dr. Testa currently teaches leadership, strategy, and services management at SDSU.  His professional background is in the restaurant industry, but he has consulted with hotels, cruise lines, sports teams and attractions.  Mark’s research interests range from leader-employee relations to the economic impact of tourism-related events. He has a Ph.D. in leadership studies.

Lori Sipe

Lori Headshot

Lori J. Sipe, PhD, MBA

Assistant Professor, Leadership and Service Management

Lori is one of the founding faculty members in the hospitality and tourism management program at SDSU. She is passionate about inspiring leadership of organizations in the memories business through her teaching, research, and industry projects.


As an assistant professor, Lori currently teaches accounting, strategy, and leadership courses in the undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Her teaching style is engaging and interactive. She receives excellent reviews from students and was honored by ICHRIE with the Wiley Innovation in Teaching award.


Lori’s research focuses on innovation and strategic leadership in organizations whose main economic offering is an experience.  Her work has been presented at national and international conferences and published in scholarly journals and industry-related periodicals. She recently received the prestigious Foster Award for her dissertation—Leadership for innovation in the memories business: a mixed methods study of a hospitality and tourism marketplace. 

Industry Projects

Lori has more than 20 years experience in the attractions industry, most recently as the director of Business Analysis and Strategic Planning for SeaWorld California. She wrote business, financial, and marketing plans for hospitality businesses and facilitated strategic planning sessions for diverse groups ranging in size from five to fifty through Planning Gurus, a company she founded. She remains committed to working with industry leaders and facilitates executive education programs for professionals in the hospitality and tourism industry.  Lori’s clients include attractions, hotels, gaming resorts, and tourism industry associations.


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