All Hands On Deck: FSU, Suntex Marinas Partner To Train Hospitality Students

April 05, 2022
suntex marinas
The class Suntex Intro to Maritime Hospitality is set to start next spring and will be offered as an elective that any FSU student may take.

Florida State University students will have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of marina operations through a new partnership between the Dedman College of Hospitality and Suntex Marinas.

Suntex Marinas has donated $135,000 to the college to help it expand its course offerings and trainings. The gift comes as Dedman – FSU’s newest college – continues to grow and work on its strategic plan, which includes exploring new opportunities for the recreation and tourism management program with a focus on coastal and marine ventures.

“The team at Suntex could not be more proud to partner with the Dedman College of Hospitality in expanding both marina operational knowledge and awareness of the marina industry to the fine students of Florida State University,” said Richard Carter, chief operating officer for Suntex.

“Showcasing the many opportunities that a career in marina management can offer has been a passion of Suntex for many years. We are truly grateful and honored to be a part of this new initiative with FSU.”

The class Suntex Intro to Maritime Hospitality is set to start next spring and will be offered as an elective that any FSU student may take. The course will include sections on marina and yacht charter operations, food and beverage management, customer relations and hospitality, marina events, safety and risk management, marina real estate principles, HR and talent development, and revenue management and finance.

“Marina life may not be the first thing you think of when you hear ‘hospitality,’ but there are many parallels between the business of running a hotel or restaurant and running a marina,” said Don Farr, dean of the college. “The marina industry capitalizes on proving leisure as an experience, just as many other hospitality businesses do and we want our students to understand that and be prepared for that option as a career path.”

Suntex Marinas is one of the largest marina operators in the U.S. with more than 40 properties located in California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia. It has developed a trusted reputation in the marina industry for its commitment to superior customer service, experienced marina managers and staff, conscious contributions to marina communities and expansive enthusiasm for creating memorable experiences on the water.

Company executives will regularly speak so students can learn from their experiences.

“We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership between Suntex and FSU,” said Cynthia Johnson, department chair of recreation and tourism management. “It gives students the chance to learn about a new form of recreation from one of the most respected marina operators in the country.”

For more information about Suntex Marinas, visit