Professor Mike Hurst was a founding faculty member of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Before his retirement at the end of the spring 1999 semester, 27 years after he gave his fist lecture, this distinguished restaurateur, industry leader, and popular educator had taught more than 6,000 FIU students.

His rare and remarkable leadership extended beyond the FIU classrooms. He was the owner and operator of the award-winning restaurant, 15th Street Fisheries in Fort Lauderdale, Director and Past President of the National Restaurant Association, Chairman of the NRA Educational Foundation, and an internationally known speaker for the hospitality industry. He was best known as a tireless crusader, always working to create and strengthen educational opportunities in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

In 1996, combining his business acumen and a vision for sharing industry leaders’ successes with future industry leaders at the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Mike created the Distinguished Hospitality Leaders Lecture Series. Since the series inception, Mike personally invited and brought to FIU 65 distinguished hospitality executives, including graduates of the School.  Hospitality luminaries such as Chefs Paul Prudhomme, Graham Kerr, and John Folse; hotel executives Jonathan Tisch, John Russell, and Valerie Ferguson; and restaurateurs Norman Brinker, Herman Cain, Ralph Brennan, and Michael Kaufman have been among those who have come to share their professional journeys with FIU students.

As a tribute to Professor Hurst, this endowed lecture series, named in his honor, continues to provide an occasion to create a bridge between the school and the hospitality industry.

Professor Michael E. Hurst

“As a renowned restaurateur, industry leader and popular educator, Mike understood the importance and tremendous value of exposing students – our future industry leaders – to the industry leaders of today.” – Anthony G. Marshall


Steve Rushmore


Steve Rushmore is the founder of HVS, a global hospitality consulting organization with 30 offices around the globe. He is focused on future office expansion and new product development outside the United States. Steve has provided consultation services for more than 15,000 hotels throughout the world during his 40-year career and specialized in complex issues involving hotel feasibility, valuations, and financing. He was one of the creators of the Microtel concept and was instrumental in its IPO.

HVS, which Steve founded in 1980, has provided consulting services for thousands of clients in all 50 states and more than 60 foreign countries. Its professional staff of more than 400 industry specialists offers a wide range of services, including market feasibility studies, valuations, strategic analyses, development planning, and litigation support. Through its divisions, HVS supplies unique hotel consulting expertise in the areas of executive search, food and beverage operations, gaming, technology, hotel operations, asset management, marketing, interior design, parking, golf, and investment counseling. HVS is the industry’s primary source of hotel sales information. Its databases contain information on more than 13,000 hotel transactions and thousands of financial statements. HVS is also the most comprehensive source of hotel compensation data.

As a leading authority and prolific author on the topic of hotel feasibility studies and appraisals, Steve Rushmore has written all five textbooks and two seminars for the Appraisal Institute covering this subject. He has also authored three reference books on hotel investing and has published more than 300 articles. . Steve lectures extensively on hotel trends and has taught hundreds of classes and seminars to more than 20,000 industry professionals. He is also a frequent lecturer at major hotel schools around the world, including Lausanne, Cornell, Houston, and IMHI.

Steve has a BS degree from the Cornell Hotel School and an MBA from the University of Buffalo. He holds MAI and FRICS appraisal designations and is a CHA (certified hotel administrator). He is a member of numerous hotel industry committees, including IREFAC. In 1999, Steve was recognized by the New York chapter of the Cornell Hotel Society as “Hotelie of the Year.” In his free time, he enjoys skiing, diving, and sailing. He holds a commercial pilot’s license with multi-engine instrument rating, collects hotel key tags, and is one of the foremost authorities on regional dining (

He is also a frequent lecturer at major hotel schools around the world, including FIU, Lausanne, Cornell, Houston, and IMHI.



Steve Rushmore



  • Neil H. Shah, President & Chief Operating Officer, Hersha Hospitality Trust


  • Mike Leven, Chairman & CEO, Georgia Aquarium
  • Larry J. Harris, Founder and former CEO of Pollo Tropical


  • Michelle Bernstein, Chef/Owner, Michy’s and Senora Martinez
  • Robert Werk ’87, COO Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group


  • Robert S. Wasserman, Executive Vice President, Operations of Sales and Marketing of Rewards Network Establishment Services, Inc
  • Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman & CEO, Loews Hotels and Co-Chairmen of the Board and Member of the Office of the President, Loews Corporation


  • Moriah Murphy, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder, 1812 South, Inc
  • George Cohon, Founder and Senior-Chairman of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and McDonald’s Russia


  • Bob Diener, Co-Founder of
  • Susan Salazar, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, LXR Luxury Resorts & Hotel


  • Michael Bailey, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International
  • Valerie C. Ferguson, Regional Vice President and Managing Director, Loews Philadelphia Hotel


  • Nick Vojnovic, President, Family Sport’s Concepts, Inc. Chairman, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
  • T. Kuhlman, BS ’74, President, One & Only Resorts
  • Craig M. Nash, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Interval International


  • Eric Pfeffer, BS ‘77, Founder and President, The Pfeffer Group, LLC Former Chairman, Cendant’s Hotel Division
  • Ron Yariv, BS ’84, Managing Director, International Sales, Hilton Hotels Corporation


  • John H. Dasburg, Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner, Astar Air Cargo, Inc. Vice Chairman, Board of Governors, Florida University System
  • Philip S. Goldfarb, BS ’79, President and Chief Operating Officer, Turnberry Associates
  • Burt Cabanas, BS ’76, Chairman and Executive Officer, Benchmark Hospitality International


  • Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels and Office of the President, Loews Corporation
  • William M. Wagner, CCM, General Manager, Riveria Country Club, Coral Gables, FL President-Elect (2005), Club Managers Association of America
  • Lawrence A. Duprey, Executive Chairman, CL Financial Limited, Trinidad & Tobago Chairman CL World Brands; Executive Chairman, The House of Angostura


  • Tripp Transou & Susan Busch-Transou, Co-Owners, Tri-Eagle Sales, Anheuser-Busch Distributor, Tallahassee, FL
  • Regynald Washington, BS ’74, Vice President and General Manager, Disney Regional Entertainment, and Vice President, New Business Initiatives, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


  • Donohue Peebles, Founder, President & CEO, Peebles Atlantic Development Corporation


  • Stuart L. Blumberg, President & CEO, Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association
  • Bill McCreary, President, Tishman Hotel Corporation
  • Bob Dickinson, President & CEO, Carnival Cruise Lines


  • Wolf H. Hengst, President, Worldwide Hotel Services, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Founder and Chairman, Sandals and Beaches Resorts, Chairman, Air Jamaica


  • Stephen Muss, Owner, Fontainebleau Hilton, Miami Beach, Florida
  • Lee Brian Schrager, Director of Special Events & Media Relations, Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida
  • James A. Wolpert, Chair, Department of Viticulture & Enology, University of California, Davis


  • W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Marriott International, Inc.
  • Adam M. Goldstein, Senior Vice President, Royal Caribbean International
  • Fredrick H. “Rick” Barger ’95, Vice President, Pal’s Restaurant Group


  • Bob Leonard, President & COO, FMS Management Systems, Inc.
  • Joseph P. Micatrotto, Chairman, CEO & President, BUCA, Inc.
  • Donald E. Lefton, Founder, Principal & Vice Chairman, The Continental Companies, Carnival Resorts and Casinos


  • John Russell, Chairman, American Hotel & Motel Association, Washington, D.C.
  • John Folse, Chef/ Owner, Lafitte’s Landing, Donaldsonville, Louisiana
  • Bernadette Dennis, Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Asia, Marriott International, Hong Kong, China
  • Louis Philippe, BS ’87, General Manager, Hotel Inter-Continental, Miami Airport
  • Steven Hoodack, BS ’92, Sales Manager, The Waldorf Astoria, New York
  • Suzanne Goodman. BS ’97. Event Manager. Miami Beach Convention


  • Beirne Brown, Restaurant Developer, Owner & Operator, Educator & Consultant, Naples, Florida
  • Ronald Magruder, President & CEO, HOPS Restaurant, Bar and Brewery, Tampa, Florida
  • Cheri Rutledge, BS ’79, General Manager, Tampa Marriott Westshore, Tampa, Florida
  • William Begley, BS ’80, President & CEO, Featherstone Hotels, Washington, D.C.
  • Robert Lugo, BS ’83, Regional Director, Food & Beverage Services Executive Dining, Northern Trust Bank, Miami, Florida
  • Marlene DeQuesada, BS ’99, Manager, Houston’s Restaurant, Aventura, Florida


  • Jonathan M. Tisch, President & CEO, Loews Hotels, New York, New York
  • Joe R. Lee, Chairman & CEO, Darden Restaurants, Inc., Red Lobster, The Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Orlando, Florida
  • Lee Cockerell, Executive Vice President Operations, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • Edward J. Kraus, MS ’81, Executive Vice President, North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, Chicago, Illinois
  • Sabina Tonarelli-Frey, BS ’89, Director of Human Resources, Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida
  • Eric R. Dreschor, BS ’93, General Manager, Rio Bravo Restaurant, Founder,, Restaurant jobs on line, Detroit, Michigan


  • Dennis A. Marzella, Senior Vice President of Research & Strategic Marketing, Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown, Orlando, Florida
  • Ronald N. Paul, President & CEO, Technomic, Inc., Market Research & Consulting, Chicago, Illinois
  • Robert H. Dedman, Founder & Chairman of the Board, Club Corp, Inc., Dallas, Texas
  • Dominique Fombrun Carvonis, BS ’77, Owner-Manager, Moulin Sur Med Beach Hotel, Montrouis, Haiti
  • Atesh Chandra, MS ’81, Vice President Administration, Flagler System, Inc., Operator ofThe Breakers , Palm Beach, Florida
  • Frank Van Der Post, BS/MS ’84, General Manager, Hotel Inter­Continental, Miami, Florida
  • David E. Goldstein, BS ’85, Director of Operations, Chevys Fresh Mex, Boca Raton, Florida


  • Paul Prudhomme, Chef-Owner, K-Paul’s Kirchen, New Orleans, Louisiana, Award winning chef, author, educator
  • Steve Schussler, Creator, Rainforest Cafe, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Michael Sansbury, Regional Vice President, Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando
  • Barbara Sartini, BS ’77, President, Dulin Foodservice, Inc., Foodservice Brokerage Company, Hollywood, Florida
  • Don Walsh, BS ’91, Senior Director, Creative Food Solutions, New York, New York
  • Kim Smith, BS ’93, Executive Housekeeper, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Resort, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida


  • Valerie C. Ferguson, Chairman, American Hotel & Morel Association and Regional Vice President & Managing Director, Loews Philadelphia Hotel
  • Michael S. Kaufman, President, Metromedia Restaurant Group, Bennigans, Steak & Ale, Ponderosa and Bonanza Steak Houses, Dallas, Texas
  • Mark Thomas, BS ’74, President, M.D.T LTD., Restaurant and Foodservice Consultant, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Mark Hoffman, BS ’79, General Manager, Marriott’s Harbor Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Dawn O’Flannery Walzak, BS ’86, Director, Tishman Hotel Corporation, Orlando, Florida


  • Jay Litt, BS ’73, Senior Vice President, Operations, Interstate Hotels Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Charles Foster, Senior Vice President, International Development, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Dallas, Texas
  • Joseph P. Micatrotto, President & CEO, Buca Di Beppo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Iva Dahl-Brown, BS ’78, Executive Director, Bahamas Hotel Training College
  • Paul Breslin, BS ’83, Resident Manager, The Atlanta Hilton & Towers
  • Gonzalo de Varona, BS ’85, Vice President International Marketing, Trump Taj Mahal Casino & Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Michelle Pierce, BS ’97, Front Desk Operations, Four Seasons Resort, Palm Beach, Florida


  • Humberto “Burt” Cabanas, BS ’76, President & CEO, Benchmark Hospitality, Woodlands, Texas
  • Richard “Dick” Rivera, President & CEO, Chart House Restaurants, Solana Beach, California
  • Graham Kerr, Television Chef, Author, Educator, “The Galloping Gourmet”
  • John Ruzik, MS ’78, Owner, Quality Suites, Tampa, Florida
  • Tyrone Nabbie, BS ’84, Owner, Contract Foodservice Company, Orlando, Florida
  • Lani Kane-Hanan, BS ’87, Consultant, Arthur Anderson, Miami, Florida


  • T. Kuhlman, BS ’75, COO, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, London, United Kingdom
  • Norman Brinker, Chairman Brinker International, Chilis, Macaroni Grill, South of the Border, Dallas, Texas
  • Herman Cain, President & CEO, National Restaurant Association and Chairman, Godfather’s Pizza, Inc.
  • Brendan Foulkes, BS ’78, Vice President Operations, Island Outpost, Nassau, Bahamas
  • Douglas P. Fisher, MS ’84, Certified Management Consultant, President FHG International, Toronto, Canada
  • John Allan, BS ’91, Vice President Operations, Don Shula’s Steakhouses, Miami, Florida


  • Robert Foley, President & CEO, The Educational Institute, American Hotel & Morel Association
  • John R. Farquharson, FMP, Executive Emeritus, ARAMARK Corporation
  • Don Smith, Restaurateur, CEO and Hospitality Educator
  • Allen Susser, BS ’78, Chef-Proprietor, Chef Allen’s Restaurant, Miami, Florida
  • Joseph G. DiSalvo, BS ’87, Owner, DiSalvo’s Station Restaurant, Latrobe, Pennsylvania
  • Peggy Benua, MS ’89, Hotel Manager, Le Meridien Hotel, Dallas, Texas


  • Noel C. Cullen, Master Chef, President Designate, American Culinary Federation
  • Joe R. Lee, Chairman & CEO, Darden Restaurants, Inc., Red Lobster, Olive Garden, China Coast, Orlando, Florida
  • Ralph O. Brennan, The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Kenneth F. Hine, CAE, President & CEO, American Hotel & Morel Association
  • Clive Chu, Hotel Consultant, Former President, Pier 66, Fr. Lauderdale, Florida
  • Juan Romero, Cluster General Manager, Marriott Hotels, Miami, Florida