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Burt Cabañas Appointed Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board at
Florida International University’s School of Hospitality
and Tourism Management


The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, March 2009 … Benchmark Hospitality International has announced that Burt Cabañas, the company’s founder, chairman and CEO, has been appointed chair of the Industry Advisory Board at Florida International University’s (FIU) School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, located in Miami.  Mr. Cabañas has a long-term relationship with FIU and the School of Hospitality, having received his Bachelor of Science degree from the university in 1976.  Mr. Cabañas also holds the title of Honorary Community Professor for the School of Hospitality and has served on the School's Industry Advisory Board for several years, the last six as vice chairman.

"It is indeed an honor to be asked to serve as chairman," said Burt Cabañas.  "FIU's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has played such an important role in my life and is producing many skilled hospitality professionals who are assuming leadership positions within our industry globally.  I'm very pleased to be a part of this very successful international program."

“The leadership provided by Burt is instrumental to the long term success of the school,” said Joseph J. West, Ph.D., Dean, FIU School of Hospitality.  “His vision and experience greatly assists my leadership team in formulating an effective strategic plan to expand the educational opportunities of our students in a challenging environment. And, his willingness to give back to his alma mater is exemplary.”

In 2006, Burt Cabañas was honored by FIU with two distinguished awards. These included the FIU Medallion, which was presented by the University’s president, Modesto A. Maidique, in recognition of Mr. Cabañas’ achievements in his field and contributions to FIU; and the Torch Award, presented by the FIU Alumni Association for Mr. Cabañas’ notable record of service and achievement. Mr. Cabañas has also served on the Industry Advisory Committee for the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. 

A long-term industry leader, Burt Cabañas is a founding member, past president, and former board member of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), the leading authority governing the conference center industry globally. In 1988, he was honored with the organization's Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the industry. Active in many aspects of IACC during his term as president, Mr. Cabañas co-authored the "Uniform System of Accounts for Conference Centers."   

Burt Cabañas founded Benchmark Hospitality International nearly 30 years ago.  Over the past three decades, Benchmark has grown to be one of the leading hospitality management companies in the United States and globally.  Mr. Cabañas is considered a foremost expert in the conference center segment of the international hospitality industry.  

About Florida International University
Florida International University is a Miami-based, multi-campus, research university serving South Florida, the state, the nation and the international community. It fulfills its mission by imparting knowledge through excellent teaching, promoting public service, discovering new knowledge, solving problems through research, and fostering creativity.   For more information on Florida International University, visit

About Florida International University School of Hospitality
Collaborating with vibrant faculty, exploring a breathtaking array of real-lie opportunities in and outside of the classroom, and living the global experience in a one-of-a-kind metropolis -- this is the Florida International University’s School of Hospitality, home to one of the top six ranked hospitality and tourism programs in the US, as reported by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.  The school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality management. It also offers a Master of Science degree in hospitality management (available on campus and via long distance learning). In addition, the school offers an Executive Master of Science in hospitality management (available via long distance learning), as well as certificate programs in numerous specializations.   The school’s building on FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus includes state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for product and service development, research and testing facilities, and food management instruction. The 45,000 square foot building houses the school’s administration and faculty, the Hilton Training Kitchen, the practicum dining room, the Angostura Culinary/Lecture/Demo Classroom, the Statler Foundation Distance Learning Classroom, the Herbert W. Joseph Lecture Hall, the Jay W. Weiss Wine & Spirit Lab, the Marriott Executive Seminar E-Studio, the Sheraton Auditorium, and the Carnival Resorts Conference Room. The School is also home to the state-of-the-art Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, a 4,500 square foot facility that features the latest technology for beverage tasting and analysis.  For further information, visit

About Benchmark Hospitality International
Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Hotels™.  The privately held company, launched in 1980, is a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers.  Benchmark Hospitality is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations.  Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston, with regional offices in New Jersey and Connecticut.  International offices are located in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark’s properties and additional information, visit  


Ken Ellens
Ken Ellens Communications 
201-758-2864 / 201-758-2865-Fax

Also See: Burt Cabañas, Chairman & CEO of Benchmark Hospitality, Honored with Two Awards from Florida International University / July 2006
The Tianjin University of Commerce Completing $30 million Complex Where Students Will Study Hospitality and Tourism Management in a Joint Program with Florida International University / October 2005



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