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November 19 2018 - HSMAI South Florida continued the awarding of its Dr. Peter Ricci Scholarship at the 2018 Annual GALA held at the Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Dr. Peter Ricci, Director of the Hospitality Management Program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) presented two checks to students Sabrina Schmid and Flavia Adorno Pedra. Flavia is pursuing a Master of Science (MS) degree at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality Management. Sabrina is pursuing an Executive MBA degree with specialization in hospitality & tourism management at Florida Atlantic University. Each student received a $2500 contribution to their educational pursuits.

This scholarship fund, created by HSMAI South Florida former president Carmen Ackerman, was designed to provide educational funds for students pursuing degrees at either undergraduate or graduate levels in hospitality, tourism, or culinary across South Florida’s various institutions of higher learning. HSMAI South Florida covers the wide swath of geography from Jupiter down through Miami/Ft. Lauderdale to Key West and across to Naples, Ft. Myers and up to Sarasota.

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 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 the hospitality industry. He has held leadership roles in meetings & events, destination management, and hotel management with roles such as director and general manager. His vision for empowering students to achieve excellence includes strong encouragement for students to affiliate with HSMAI and other hospitality trade associations early on in their career pathways so they can begin to network, grow, and attain a mentor. As a living role mode to hospitality students, he personally demonstrates the “live by example” model with his own current memberships in HSMAI, MPI, SGMP, FRLA, AHLA, CMAA, and others.

The HSMAI South Florida Chapter will soon accept scholarship applications from students pursuing careers in hospitality sales, marketing, or revenue management for the 2019 cycle.   Scholarships are awarded based on merit and other factors. 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 Annual GALA which takes place each fall. For further information, please contact the HSMAI South Florida Chapter Manager at

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 an 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 was recently ranked 2nd for its online program as well as for revenue management. 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

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