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November 21, 2016 - HSMAI South Florida continued the awarding of its Dr. Peter Ricci Scholarship at the 2016 Annual GALA held at the Hyatt Pier 66 Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Peter Ricci, Director of the Hospitality Management Program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) presented two checks to students Danielle Hamilton and Marion Borbon. Both are pursuing degrees in hospitality & tourism management here in South Florida at Florida Atlantic University, Danielle at the undergraduate level, and Marion at MBA level with a concentration in hospitality & tourism.

This scholarship fund, created by HSMAI South Florida former president Carmen Ackerman, was designed to provide educational funds for students enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate hospitality/tourism/culinary programs at any South Florida institutions. HSMAI South Florida covers the wide swath of geography from Jupiter down to Key West and over to Naples/Ft. Myers.

Students can apply and receive funding based upon the merit of their application, their personal achievements, and their career goals. The career interests must align with HSMAI in the areas of hospitality sales, marketing, or revenue management including ancillary areas of eCommerce, digital marketing, travel product/service distribution and related nice segments. South Florida is home to a high number of college-level hospitality & tourism programs and is has one of the most diverse student populations in the country.

Dr. Ricci was singled out for the naming of this scholarship honor based on his years of service to HSMAI, his passion for education, and his 20 years of experience in hospitality industry leadership roles such as a hotel general manager. His vision for empowering students to achieve excellence strongly encouraging their affiliation with HSMAI and other hospitality associations so that, early on, they begin to network, grow, and learn within their anticipated career segments. As a living role mode to the students he shows his commitment with current memberships in MPI, HSMAI, SGMP, FRLA, AHLA, CMAA, PBCHLA, and others.

The HSMAI South Florida Chapter is now accepting Scholarship applications from students pursuing careers in hospitality sales and marketing, management or revenue management.   Scholarships are awarded based on merit and complete eligibility criteria and requirements are outlined on the HSMAI South Florida website:

Applications must be submitted by June 30 and winners are announced each year in early August prior to the December Annual GALA. For further information, please contact:

About FAU’s Hospitality & Tourism Management Program

The hospitality & tourism management program at FAU is one of only a select handful nationally to be housed in accredited college of business administration. The college of business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Both the undergraduate BBA and graduate MBA programs in hospitality & tourism management combine 21st century core business coursework along with a hospitality-specific curriculum dedicated to the needs of today’s workforce. The MBA program has been voted 5th in the United States for Return on Investment in recent survey. The undergraduate program is a Top 30 in the U.S. and a Top 10 in Florida

For further information, please visit or

Contact: Peter Ricci / 561-297-3666


The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI’s MEET, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 37 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at,, and

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