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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Hires Founding Director of Resort and Hospitality Management Program

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University announced today that it is tapping Sherie Brezina of the University of West Florida as the founding director of FGCU’s new Resort and Hospitality Management degree program.

Brezina has broad leadership experience implementing new programs, including the new resort and hospitality degree at UWF and an executive master’s degree in tourism at the University of New Haven.

Brezina says she is impressed with the vision of the FGCU administration and area hospitality industries, and their commitment to the new Resort and Hospitality Management program.

“With University support, and community and industry involvement, we will design and deliver the finest resort management education program in the country,” Brezina said.

“Dr. Brezina is very experienced with start-up operations with few resources and has demonstrated the ability to work independently to ensure success,” dean of the College of Professional Studies Johnny McGaha said.

McGaha says while at UWF, Brezina was primarily responsible for curriculum and program development, and her familiarity with the Florida State University System will facilitate curriculum and program start-up at FGCU.

Brezina also has extensive and successful practical experience in the resort, hospitality and tourism industries, including budget and marketing director experience for the City of Tampa’s Convention Facilities Department, and national consulting experience for tourism attractions, sport facilities, and convention and visitor’s bureaus.

Brezina is the kind of employee the industry expects, McGaha says. She exhibits a good understanding of diversity, is extremely student-centered, and has outstanding teaching evaluations and industry recommendations.

The five-member search committee unanimously recommended Brezina’s appointment from a field of 35 applicants from around the United States. The committee based its recommendation on in-depth interview, background and reference checks, as well as comments and observations from Resort and Hospitality Management advisory board members and on-campus groups.

Brezina’s anticipated start date is May 1. Funding for the new position is made possible by a $5 million gift from Herbert and Margaret Sugden received last year specifically for the new degree program. The gift, which qualifies for state matching funds, could provide up to $9.2 million for construction of a namesake building and other key startup costs.

Courses in the curriculum are scheduled to begin this fall semester with the program’s full thrust commencing fall 2004. The new Bachelor of Science program will have two areas of concentration, resort/hospitality and golf management.

For more information, contact McGaha at (239) 590-7823.

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