FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management welcomes four new members to its executive advisory board

| By

MIAMI (February 1, 2021) – Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management has named four industry leaders to the school's Executive Advisory Board: José Cil, David Grutman, Lynne Hernandez and Adam Stewart. The new board members will help advise Michael Cheng, dean of the Chaplin School, during what has been one of the most challenging times in the hospitality industry.

"We are thankful and honored to have these four amazing hospitality leaders guide and provide input during this time of rapid change," Cheng said. "This has been a challenging year for our industry and part of that change means inviting other leaders in our industry, as well as alumni, who represent sectors of our industry where we currently have gaps to have a leadership voice in our continued progress. We hope to build off of the work that they have already done through their commitment to the Board," he added.

The new members include:

  • José Cil, CEO, Restaurant Brands International - Cil was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Brands International Inc. in January 2019. He is also director of Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc., Burger King’s largest franchisee. Before that, Cil served as President of Burger King, Executive Vice President and President of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Burger King Worldwide. He has also served as Vice President of Company Operations for Burger King Corporation and Division Vice President, Mediterranean and NW Europe Divisions, EMEA for a subsidiary of Burger King. Cil has also served as Vice President and Regional General Manager for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Florida,
  • David Grutman, Hospitality Entrepreneur & Founder of Groot Hospitality - A native Floridian, Grutman is responsible for several of the most successful and world-renowned brands in hospitality and nightlife. In 2018, he formed Groot Hospitality bringing all of his distinct trademark ventures under one umbrella. Groot Hospitality’s portfolio currently includes LIV (2009), Story (2012), Komodo (2015), OTL (2017), Planta South Beach (2018), Swan (2018), Papi Steak (2019), Winker's, Sushi Fly Chicken and Toothfairy (2021). Grutman’s latest joint venture with Swan partner Pharrell Williams, named The Goodtime Hotel, is set to open in early 2021 and will occupy a full South Beach block.
  • Lynne Hernandez, South Florida Regional Director, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) - In her more than 15-year career at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Hernandez has been responsible for Florida's premier non-profit hospitality industry trade associations 22 chapters throughout the state, formation of strategic plans, boards, conceptualization and implementation of fund raising initiatives and spearheading support for a myriad of educational and community programs, as well as advocacy and public policy. Prior to the FRLA, Hernandez served as Executive Director for some of the most prestigious national non-profits for 26 years.
  • Adam Stewart ‘03, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, CEO of the ATL Group & Island Routes Caribbean Adventures, and President of the Sandals Foundation- Jamaican-born Adam Stewart has witnessed and shaped numerous developments across the Sandals chain of resorts in nine countries with 25 resorts. Among them, the expansion to new destinations, to include the announcement of St Vincent & the Grenadines and Curacao in 2020, alongside earlier opening resorts in Barbados, Grenada and the launch of Sandals Emerald Bay in the Bahamas. He founded the Sandals Foundation and Island Routes in 2010. Stewart is a proud FIU Chaplin School alumnus, who graduated in 2003. He has served as Deputy Chairman and CEO since February 2010.
The new members join an already impressive Chaplin School Executive Advisory Board:
  • Norma Becker ’82, President, Titan Group of New York
  • Ryan Bibbo, Vice President, Human Resources, Bacardi North America
  • Bruce Blum ’82, President & Founder, Liberty Hotel Advisors, LLC
  • Humberto "Burt" Cabañas ’76, Founder & Chairman, Benchmark Hospitality Intl.
  • Pete Carr, President, Bacardi North America
  • Philip Goldfarb ’79, President and COO, Fontainebleau Miami Beach & Fontainebleau Development
  • Wendy Kallergis, President & Chief Executive Officer, Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association
  • Lani Kane-Hanan ’87, MS ’04, EVP & Chief Development and Product Officer, Marriott Vacations Worldwide
  • Duffy Keys ’75, Co-Founder, B Cellars Vineyards and Winery
  • Jay Litt ’73, President, The Litt Group, Courtesy Faculty, Chaplin School
  • Jenny Lucas, Senior Vice President of Operations & Learning, Loews Hotels
  • John McKibbon ’75, Chairman, McKibbon Hospitality
  • Jerry Montgomery, Chief Human Resources Officer, Carnival Corporation & Plc
  • Stephen Von Oehsen, Senior Vice President, Office of Strategic Management, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Executive-in-Residence, Chaplin School
  • Rainer Schindler ’87, MS ’89, Founder, Ragold Inc.
  • Bill Talbert, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Regynald Washington ’74, Advisor, Paradies Lagardère Dining Division
About FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management:

Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is distinguished as one of the top hospitality programs in the United States and the world. It is ranked in the top 50 globally, #1 for its online program, #1 in the Southeast region of the U.S., and it is best in value. More than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the nation and around the globe choose FIU for its outstanding reputation, advantageous campus locations in Miami, expert faculty, rich curriculum and fast-track career opportunities in the international hotel, foodservice and tourism industries. In August 2006, FIU unveiled the first U.S. school of hospitality and tourism in Tianjin, China. The Marriott Tianjin China Program, ranked #1 in China, is FIU's largest international program, with a capacity for up to 1,000 students. For more information about Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, visit .

About Florida International University:

Florida International University is Miami’s public research university, focused on student success. According to U.S. News and World Report, FIU has 26 top-50 rankings in the nation among public universities and Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good and No. 12 for social mobility. FIU is a top U.S. research university (R1), with more than $200 million in annual expenditures. FIU ranks 15th in the nation among public universities for patent production, which drives innovation, and is one of the institutions that helps make Florida the top state for higher education. The Next Horizon fundraising campaign is furthering FIU’s commitment to providing students Worlds Ahead opportunities. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers, and supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum , the Wolfsonian-FIU , and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU . FIU is a member of Conference USA , with more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. The university has awarded more than 330,000 degrees to many leaders in South Florida and beyond. For more information about FIU, visit .