Alumnus of the Year

2021 Nominations are OPEN

You can submit a nomination for the 2021 Alumnus of the Year award through our online form. The deadline is March 26.

For additional information, contact Alishia Piotrowski.

Submit Nomination  

Established in 1994, the Dedman College of Hospitality Alumnus of the Year Award honors and celebrates individuals who embody the qualities that make the Dedman College 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 College of Hospitality.

The award is presented at the annual Honors & Awards ceremony and dinner in the fall. The 2021 Honors & Awards is set for Thursday, October 21st.

The criteria for selection:

  • Graduation from the Dedman College of Hospitality
  • Exceptional career background
  • Significant professional recognition (industry/association awards)
  • Community involvement and recognition
  • Support of the Dedman College of Hospitality and Florida State University
2020 Alumnus of the Year

joe collier

Joe C. Collier


Mainsail Lodging and Development

As President, Joe Collier sets the tone for Mainsail and, together with his leadership team, works to build a company where employees, partners and investors are all highly valued, and new ideas are welcomed. A native Floridian born in Miami, Joe received his Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management and Marketing from Florida State University and completed his internship in the European Hotel program in Leysin, Switzerland. He spent 15 years with Marriott International in sales, marketing and development before forming Mainsail in 1998.

Under Joe’s leadership, Mainsail was selected to develop and manage the world training headquarters for PricewaterhouseCoopers which included a 130,000 square foot training building, 360 unit hotel and amenities under a 10 year master lease with PwC. Since then Joe has established a high-end portfolio of lifestyle, boutique hotels, vacation rental homes and corporate furnished apartments throughout the Southeast and Caribbean. The company has been consistently recognized for excellence in the travel industry by Condé Nast Traveler, Trip Advisor, Southern Living, Wine Spectator and U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, Mainsail has received multiple awards from Marriott International, including induction into the Partnership Circle Hall of Fame. Mainsail Lodging & Development is the General Partner on the majority of its projects and finished 2019 with over $60 million in revenues.

Joe has been working in hotels and restaurants since he was 13 years old. He personally oversaw the restoration of the historic Leiman Home which is an architectural gem in South Tampa and on the National Register of Historic Places. Joe is an executive board member of both the Hillsborough County Hotel Association and Visit Tampa Bay, and has served on the Tourist Development Council since 2005. From 2016 to 2018, Joe stepped up as the Chairman of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and participated in bringing both the National Football Championship and Super Bowl LV to Tampa, along with many other marquee events. In 2018, Joe was awarded the “Gonzmart Family Tourism Ambassador of the Year” by Tampa’s hospitality industry. He and his wife Camille are affiliated with multiple charities, have 3 children and live in South Tampa.

Past Recipients

Year Recipient Position Company
2019 Clint Day ('82) Chief Operating Officer Restoration Place
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
Managing Member
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
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