Thursday, October 1, 2009

Industry Visit

Monday, September 30 was a great day in The Hospitality College. No, it wasn't Dr. Seidman Day, it was better. We were paid a visit by Roger Dow, a "heavy-hitter" in the Travel/Tourism Industry.

Mr. Dow is a Lobbyist. (Go ahead and google that term.) He has gotten to meet President Obama and he keeps in regular touch with all of the high profile industry CEOs. He has Bill Marriott's cell phone # on his Blackberry. How cool is that? I have my mother on my cell phone. How uncool does that make me? (Don't answer that.)

Many of our students were fortunate to hear Mr. Dow speak. We held two separate presentations for him. Not only did he discuss future trends in the Hospitality Industry, he gave the students great advice for launching a successful career. He discussed the importance of being a good communicator, not being afraid to work in different countries, and being patient with your career. Of particular interest was his mention that by the year 2025, many of today's industry leaders will be retiring paving the way for many of you (the students) to step up and be the next generation of leaders.

I was fortunate to spend some extra time with Mr. Dow and I couldn't help but notice what an easy-going, down to earth man, he was. The man who met Obama and has Bill Marriott on his Blackberry spoke patiently about his love for his job, his family and baseball (although not in that order.)

The message is two-fold:
  1. Johnson & Wales is a much better place because we were able to have an industry icon chat with students, and
  2. No matter how successful you may become, it's still important to stay true to yourself and remain a humble, down to earth person.

The Hospitality College is grateful to the contribution of our Trustee- William Tiefel for making Mr. Dow's visit possible. And I am personally grateful to the great group of faculty and students who contributed to this successful day.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Two weeks ago, Steve Pert, my freshman year roommate came down to see me and we went for lunch at Little Havana. That's right, my freshman year roommate. He and I were randomly assigned to be roommates in August, 1977 at 112 Founders Hall, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. We spent a very quiet year together as roommates 32 years ago. He was never my best friend, nor was he an adversary. We were simply two people with separate interests and separate lives sharing a dorm room for nine months.

But as Father Time marches on, interesting things always seem to happen. Steve and I kept in touch (email made things much easier mind you), and all these years later, we're actually very good friends. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two sons, however, because his in-laws live in South Florida, he ventures out this way on occasion and always makes a point to track down his good friend- Dr. Seidman.

He's been quite helpful to me over the years. Aside from being a free place to stay whenever I visited where he was living, he's been quite helpful to me with many different work and personal challenges that developed over the years. Since he paid better attention in Accounting class than I ever did, whenever I have an accounting question, Steve's a great resource. And likewise, when he needed some good jokes, he always came to me.

In 1977, I would never have thought of how helpful he would be to me, and vice-a-versa.

So here's my point- take a look at your freshman year roommate. Can you visualize this person?Now flash forward 32 years in the future. I guess that makes it 2041. Will the two of you be getting together for lunch? Whether you get along with that person or not, you actually have a lot in common. You are both Johnson & Wales students interested in going to school in North Miami, Florida. Years from now, this person could turn out to be a great resource and friend, whether or not you realize it.

Take another peek into the year 2041. Perhaps you and your roommate be getting together for lunch and "jawing" over old times. It's fun to think about, isn't it?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Too Much Rain!

Hello Readers,

What's with all this rain? Those of you new to South Florida must be wondering if you'll be needing an ark soon.

Don't worry- September's rain will soon give way to October sunshine and you won't need an ark and I won't need to cut my lawn every ten days. (I wanted my wife to do it but since she broke her arm, she's using that as an excuse not to. How convenient!)

I hope your past weeks here have gone well. I've seen a lot of happy students so far this term, looking great in their professional attire and excited about the start of school. Happy students means a happy chair, therefore, life is good for me.

So now you are thinking, "How are you doing, Dr. Seidman? What was your first week like?"

Thank you for asking. It was a bit hectic as a matter of fact. You probably weren't thinking of your classes but I was. It's important to me that you have the right teacher in your classes. It's important that your professor understand what your life is like and be as supportive and compassionate as possible. (It's also important that you laugh at our jokes so any help you can give us here would be greatly appreciated.)

That's all I have to say at this time. No, wait..there's one more thing. The Hopitality College is in Room 401. Please don't be a stranger. Come in and say hi. At the very least, introduce yourself to Shikira at our office desk.

In addition to teaching your classes, our job is to also make sure you have the best academic experience you possibly can.

Dr. Seidman