Industry Update
Press Release15 November 2019

FAU Student, Kirby Lynn Gilmore, Awarded 7th Annual Dr. Peter Ricci Scholarship Through HSMAI South Florida

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Florida Atlantic University (FAU)

BOCA RATON, FL - HSMAI South Florida continued the awarding of its Dr. Peter Ricci Scholarship at the 2019 Annual GALA held at the Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Professor Greg Bohan, Instructor in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) presented a check to student Kirby Lynn Gilmore, an upper-division student at Florida Atlantic University with an anticipated graduation date of December, 2020. Kirby received a $2000 contribution to her 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. South Florida has one of the most diverse student populations in the country.

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, personal sales, and related niche segments.

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 25+ 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 model 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 2020 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 [email protected].

About Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU's world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU's existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

About FAU Hospitality and Tourism Management Program

The hospitality and 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 and tourism management combine 21st century core business coursework along with a hospitality-specific curriculum dedicated to the needs of today's workforce. The program is among the 30 Best Hospitality Programs in the United States (

Peter Ricci
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