The Westside Gazette

Hospitality Students at Broward College Highlight Motwani Gala

Photo 2: Ramola Motwani and Broward College President Gregory Haile with students in the R. Motwani Family Academy of Hospitality and Tourism Management (l to r) Lusea Burbredge; Sharine Dunkley; Ashley Binns; Connor Phillips; Emily Simon; Shanelle Pierre; Avani Beeshan; Nicolas Rangel; Cynthia Demesier.

Cynthia Demesier and JetBlue Vice President Airports Experience Dana Shapir.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – The achievements of students enrolled in the R. Motwani Family Academy of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Broward College were celebrated during the recent R. Motwani Family Gala to raise funds in support of helping them pursue a career in hospitality.

“Our students are so passionate about the opportunities awaiting them in the hospitality industry and that is a joy to see,” said Ramola Motwani, chairwoman of Merrimac Ventures, real estate investment and development firm focused primarily on luxury real residential, resort and mixed-use developments with significant investment in multi-family residential, hotels, retail, and office, who hosted the Gala with her sons, Nitin and Dev. “I am proud of our students and thankful to our sponsors for their generosity. It’s so important that we show students what’s available to them and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.”

In one of the highlights of the evening, Ramola presented each of the student volunteers in attendance with either a JetBlue airline ticket or a hotel stay at the Conrad, Four Seasons and Sonesta on Fort Lauderdale beach. Guests also enjoyed a video tribute highlighting students and outlining the Academy’s program and the impact it has.

“Through the incredible support of the Motwani family and all the Gala sponsors, our students can achieve their hopes and dreams of entering the world of hospitality,” said Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile, J.D. “Broward College is excited to continue to grow the pipeline of talent to the industry, nurturing these future leaders with the skills they need for a successful career in this dynamic profession.”


Broward College Dean, Academic Affairs Paul Moore, Esq. and Dr. Meka Mears, major gifts officer for Broward College Foundation.

Sponsors of the Gala included presenting sponsors Broward College, Greenberg Traurig, P.A., Merrimac Ventures, Rick and Rita Case Automotive Group and Stearns Weaver Miller, P.A. VIP sponsors were Bilzin Sumberg, Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, Consolidated Credit,, E11 and Native Realty. Champion sponsors were Hotwire Communications and fusion. Audiovisual sponsor was Moss, entertainment sponsor was Sprinklermatic and Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits provided the wine for the evening.

The R. Motwani Family Academy of Hospitality and Tourism Management, established three years ago, is a memorial tribute to Ramesh “Bob” Motwani by Ramola and her sons to honor his legacy, leadership, and commitment to the hospitality industry.

The Academy offers hospitality and tourism management programs to develop leadership, communications, and management skills necessary to succeed in the industry. Students develop competencies that a successful hospitality professional will need during their first five to ten years of employment within the field. Students are offered flexible class schedules, a skill-based curriculum, professors who are active in the industry, job placement and internship assistance and affordable tuition with dedicated scholarship funds. The Hospitality Advisory Board, comprised of local hotel executives, meets bi-annually to share updates about the industry and the program. The partnership between industry leaders and the College helps to ensure that the program curriculum remains relevant.

For more information, email Elisa Stone at  

About the Broward College Foundation:

The Broward College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the officially designated means of making private, charitable contributions to Broward College.  Its purpose is to change lives through education by providing community awareness, advocacy, and funding to the college.  Members of the Foundation’s volunteer board of directors work closely with the College’s Office of Advancement to raise money to support scholarships, academic programs and learning facility enhancements. They believe every person who is determined to change their life through the pursuit of higher education should be afforded that opportunity.  For more information, visit or call (954) 201-7414.

About Broward College:

Serving approximately 60,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit

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