Established in 1994, the Dedman School of Hospitality Alumnus of the Year Award honors and celebrates individuals who embody the qualities that make the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University an unparalleled place to learn. The inductees are FSU hospitality alumni who have excelled in their careers and have made significant contributions to the mission of the Dedman School of Hospitality.
The award is presented at the annual Honors & Awards ceremony and dinner in the fall. The 2020 Honors & Awards is set for Thursday, October 29.
The criteria for selection:
- Graduation from the Dedman School of Hospitality
- Exceptional career background
- Significant professional recognition (industry/association awards)
- Community involvement and recognition
- Support of the Dedman School of Hospitality and Florida State University
2019 Alumnus of the Year
Clint Day ('82)
Chief Operating Officer
Clint Day was born in Atlanta, Georgia January 28, 1959 to a Christian family. His parents had just recently moved out of Techwood Homes (the first Government housing project in the USA) where they had lived while his father attended and graduated from Georgia Tech.
The Day family moved to Dunwoody in north Atlanta in 1961 where they attended Dunwoody Baptist Church. The family and church had a profound positive impact on Clint’s life. His younger years were an All-American boy's life dream - playing sports, being elected the president of his elementary school and other leadership positions.
In 1970 when Clint was 11 years old, his father, Cecil B Day, Sr., built the first Days Inn on Tybee Island, Georgia. Clint has fond memories of helping in the business by picking up trash in the parking lot, changing sheets on the beds, and as he grew older working the front desk guest services. While in high school his father strongly believed Clint needed to work to pay off some bills he incurred for the family. Clint began working at Morrison’s Cafeteria. During the first 6 months every paycheck went to pay those bills. He would work at Morrison’s almost 3 years, confirming his interest in hospitality.
Upon graduating high school a strong consideration for where to attend college was the highly reputed hospitality program at Florida State. He was greatly impacted by Dr Bob Brymer, Dr Dave Pavesic, Professors Bob Webb and Betty Schmidt and many others in the hospitality school. While at FSU in his sophomore year his father Cecil B. Day, Sr., passed away at age 44 from bone cancer. His father used to say, “We are all motel guest on this earth, here today and gone tomorrow. That’s why faith is so important.” At age 20, Clint was diagnosed with myoshi, a rare form of muscular dystrophy. His junior year one of Clint’s Sig Ep fraternity brothers wrote him a letter, challenging him to quit partying and surrender his life to Christ. On March 7, 1981, Clint did surrender to Christ and his life was profoundly affected from that day forward. The next year Clint was elected president of the Interfraternity Council, elected a student senator and Greek Man of the Year at Florida State. His life had turned around.
When Clint graduated in December 1982 he went to work at Days Inn, which was chaired by his widowed mom Deen Day. The business would be sold in 1984. After the sale of Days Inn, Clint built homes, then developed six Del Taco franchise locations. These experiences lead to developing single-tenant and multi-tenant shopping centers. Clint was a founding director for a bank, which with $11 million in start-up capital grew to over $1 billion in assets. He served as chairman 2000-2007.
Clint served in the Georgia State senate 1993-1997 and on the Georgia Port Authority 2002-2006. Clint has served on ministry boards such as Haggai International, Centered for Life, Youth for Christ. He also served on the Gwinnett Hospital Board and other boards.
Clint founded and helps operate The Restoration Place on Saint Simons Island, Georgia which serves to coach and encourage people toward healing from many difficult life challenges. Clint is blessed to have 4 talented adult children, Paige, Anna, Caroline and Philip. He has gifted son in-laws Patrick and Richard, plus three nearly perfect grand-children Kellen, Declan, and Maeley and is praying for more to come. He lives on Saint Simons Island, Georgia.
|2018||Brian Ford ('89)||CEO||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|2017||Janine Budzius ('86)||General Manager & CEO||Philadelphia Country Club|
|2016||Dale Haney ('78)||President||Gate Hospitality Group|
|2015||Ted Mosley (’69)||President & CEO||Quorum Hotels & Resorts|
|2014||Ed Crovo (’69)||Chief Operating Officer||HV Global Group, Inc.|
|2013||Ty Helms ('79)||Senior VP of Global Sales||Hyatt Hotel Corporation|
|2012||Carol Dover ('78)||President & CEO||Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association|
|2011||John Culver ('82)||President||Starbucks Coffee|
|2010||Joseph Douglas ('83)||Co-Founder
|Captiva Restaurant Group
Carlsen Douglas Development
|2009||David Gilbert ('78)||Chief Operating Officer||National Restaurant Association|
|2008||Anne Hamilton ('78)||VP of Resort Sales & Services||Walt Disney World Resort|
|2007||Chuck Floyd ('81)||COO of North American Operations||Global Hyatt|
|2006||Cyd Bougae (’75)||Assistant Professor||New York University|
|2005||Bill Wagner (’67)||General Manager & COO||Shadow Wood Country Club|
|2004||Jeff O’Hara (’88)||President||AlliedPRA New Orleans|
|2003||Jeff Bell (’83)||Executive Vice President||Hillstone Restaurant Company|
|2002||Peter Hubschmidt ('67)||Regional Manager||Marriott|
|2001||Chris Borders (’75)||General Manager & COO||Atlanta Athletic Club|
|2000||Ashby Gordon Stiff, Jr. (’57)||Professor Emeritus in Hospitality||Florida State University|
|1999||Gabriel Brady ('61)||VP of Sales & Marketing||Gate Gourmet|
|1998||Martha Ann Hall-Ambrosio ('57)||Partner & Vice President||Controlled Cuisine|
|1997||Ken Creely (’66)||President & CEO||Golf Management Solutions|
|1996||James R. Steiner, Jr. (’75)||Partner||Abbott Realty|
|1995||Jim Riscigno (’66)||Executive Vice President||ClubCorp|
|1994||Ed Staros (’72)||Founder & Executive Vice President||Ritz-Carlton Hotels|