Two Hospitality Management students formulated a new burger recipe for Red Robin. The Loaded Baked Potato Burger, created by Michelle Nicole Diaz and Yolanda Marie Suarez, will be unveiled at he SOBEWFF® Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons and hosted by Rachael Ray on Friday, February 26. Photo: FIU hospitality management student and winners of the Red Robin Golden Robin Contest Yolanda Marie Suarez (left) and Michelle Nicole Diaz (right).
Samuel Kelerstein-Sandler was born in Mexico to Jewish parents who taught him values such as hard work, honesty, and caring for others. Friends and family usually gathered at his house to celebrate special occasions. From a young age, Samuel wanted to make a difference and at 21, he was leading an organization that taught leadership, loyalty, trust, and tolerance to 250 children and teenagers. After earning a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering in Mexico, Samuel worked for a U.S. computer company for two years. He then decided to switch careers, remembering what he loved the most while growing up – taking care of guests. He started his hospitality career from the bottom up, working with hotels and in restaurants. By age 26, Samuel had created a non-profit promoting the heritage and history of Mexico’s Jewish community. At 28, he was successfully managing a group of restaurants when he decided to pursue a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management at FIU. Among his many achievements at FIU, he earned the Metromedia Restaurant Minority Scholarship and helped revive the South Florida collegiate chapter of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Samuel also has represented FIU at national and international hospitality conferences. He credits professors Rocco Angelo, David Talty, Miranda Kitterlin, John Thomas, and Greg Bohan as mentors. Samuel plans to create new businesses in hospitality that will help make the world a better place. His first venture, involving frozen desserts, is Glyk Gelato, which will open in South Florida soon.
Visionary Leaders Roundtable in Singapore Identifies Opportunities for Growth in Hospitality Industry
Global events, market disruptors, new alliances are all issues that are requiring the travel industry executives to constantly re-evaluate plans to manage during uncertainty and plan for future global tourism demand. The Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Education and Research (IHTER), a division of the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU) set its sights on addressing key issues faced by the hospitality industry by organizing the 3rd Edition of the Visionary Leaders Forum in Singapore. “The tourism industry has been navigating through turbulent times for well over a decade. As we address these issues here and now, we must also continue to focus on our organization’s long-term vision for success and ensure we are adequetly resourced to seize opportunities in the future,” said Mike Hampton, dean of the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at FIU. Held on November 17 at Pan Pacific Singapore, this exclusive ‘invitation-only’ event brought together senior hospitality leaders to speak candidly about the persistent issues that have a profound impact their ability to stay current, competitive and profitable. Executives brainstormed ideas for revenue optimization that included, driving growth through better customer insight and analytics, an analysis of what is the difference between direct distribution and third-party options, and optimizing profits. Sharing their insight and perspective at this forum were: Shirley Alexander, Lead Consultant, Learning & Development, MacroVision Hospitality Simone Champagnie, Executive Director, FIU's Institute for Hospitality & Tourism Education & Research Henry Chew, Manager, Customer Intelligence, Resorts World Genting William Chua, Director of Revenue Generation & Distribution, HPL Hotels & Resorts Siv Forlie, Vice President, Revenue Management, Shangri-La International Hotels Pierre-Charles Grob, Managing Director, Asia, FastBooking Rosmalia Hardman, Chief Marketing Officer, PT Lippo [...]
Merrick Sequiera chose to attend the Chaplin School because of the knowledge and academics that the School offers. His love of hospitality is centered around face-to-face interaction with guests and fascination with traveling to new and exotic places. He's also a member of the Hospitality Student Leadership Council and during his time here has gained many great friends and lasting connections. Merrick joined the Peer Mentoring Program because he wants to share his experience and help guide future hospitality professionals. He's passionate about bridging connections between current students and industry professionals. Learn More about Peer Mentoring
From a warm morning coffee to an afternoon iced latte, sometimes, a cup of coffee just helps get us through the day. For FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management students Francia Umanzor and Gabreon Davis, coffee got them internships and full-time jobs with Starbucks. Read the Full Story Photo: FIU hospitality management students and Starbucks internsGabreon Davis and Francia Umanzor.
Dr. Nancy Scanlon was recognized by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for her work on issues related to sustainability and sea level rise in Florida. The certificate was awarded during a reception in Miami on November 12 for the CLEO Institute. At the same event, Dr. Scanlon was inducted into the CLEO Leadership Circle, which includes those individuals who are contributing to the many issues surrounding climate change impacts in South Florida.
Five of South Florida’s brightest and most promising hospitality students are getting the opportunity to pursue their dream of launching a career in hospitality management with an $80,000 scholarship from Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation. The Carnival Gold Scholars program, which is in its second year, awards full-tuition scholarships, including room and board, to five students who have demonstrated excellence in hospitality management through programs, competitions and industry-specific internships, such as the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). "We are extremely proud of our five new Carnival Gold Scholars and all of their accomplishments that contributed to their earning this honor," said Linda Coll, executive director of Carnival Foundation. "Congratulations to the students, and we look forward to seeing what their bright futures hold." Among them is 18-year-old Deborah Daniela Sanchez. Sanchez, like many FIU students, is the first in her family to attend college in the United States, after her parents moved here from Venezuela in the pursuit of a better future. During high school, Sanchez placed second in the state of Florida during DECA's Career Development State Conference as a co-author of a 30-page manual on operations research. "This scholarship will allow me to receive the best hospitality management education possible," Sanchez said. "I am very grateful to Carnival Foundation for investing in me and my academic development. I am now able to dedicate myself completely to my studies, fully develop my professional skills and hopefully contribute to the industry." In addition to Sanchez, Destinee Marie Gutierrez, Heissel Veronica Mayorga, Dalila Delisle Pineda, and John Joseph Simpson also were selected to become Carnival Gold Scholars. Carnival Corporation is one of South Florida's largest [...]
Members of FIU's National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) attended the NSMH Regional Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The event was NSMH’s first Tri-Regional Conference encompassing the Northeast, South, and Southeast. FIU student and NSMH National Programs Director Yolanda Suarez attended along with 17 national board members who worked together over the past few months to ensure the conference's inaugural success. "I was both honored and exuberant to be able to have other members from FIU along with myself," Suarez said. The first day began with speeches from the national board, and industry round tables. The industry round tables allowed conference attendees to get up close and personal with recruiters, general managers, and panelists from Marriott, Hilton Worldwide, Hershey Parks and Entertainment, Sodexo, and MGM. On the main conference day, several panels were held representing different companies; each focusing on a different aspect on career development. Panel topics included soft skills, interview dos and don'ts, planning for the future, and the importance of networking. After each session, FIU students had a chance to network with other students, as well as with the different companies present. NSMH ended the evening by sponsoring a local food truck, and announcing the winner for a Harvest for Happiness drive involving collecting clean socks for the Baltimore area. While FIU did not win for the most creative and overall effort in collecting socks, the school did collect the most at 360 pairs! "As a young professional who has been attending these conferences throughout the course of my entire college career, I can honestly credit NSMH and our on-campus advisor Dr. Miranda Kitterlin for the professionalism and standards that I hold today," Suarez said. "This organization and the regional and national conferences alike have prepared me to be [...]
Five of South Florida’s brightest and most promising hospitality students are getting the opportunity to pursue their dream of launching a career in hospitality management with an $80,000 scholarship from Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation. Read More Photo, clockwise: Destinee Gutierrez, Heissel Mayorga, John Simpson, Deborah Sanchez, Dalila Pineda
The American Sugar Refining Group (ASR) Group recently hosted the first Dry Fondant Competition for the Chaplin School, featuring three specialty ingredients in the company's portfolio. Students had to develop new and innovative ways to use the dry fondant outside of baked goods. Seven students participated in the competition and two finalists competed for the grand prize of $1,000. The runner up won $500. Arlyene Ponce was the grand prize winner. Her creation, Chipotle Lime BBQ Shrimp and Cornbread, utilized the product for caramelization as well as volume. Runner up Walter Yu used ASR products as a texturizing agent. This competition highlighted the students capability to adapt and apply their knowledge of using technical ingredients. "We are very excited to collaborate with ASR Group and their innovation center. The student finalists approached their concepts in a very creative way, and they are both very deserving of the awards." said Dr. Michael Cheng, professor and director of food and beverage programs at the Chaplin School. Photo, left to right: Gloria Docilait, Business Analysis Intern, ASR Group Michelle Tittl, Senior Research Scientist, ASR Group Arlyene Ponce, FIU junior, Grand prize winner Walter Navarro, FIU senior, Runner up Warren Yu, Technical Innovation Manager, ASR Group Lynda Law, Marketing Manager, ASR Group Ali Greenman, Receptionist, ASR Group