The Rosen College of Hospitality Management hosted more than 400 members and friends of the hospitality industry on Saturday, Oct. 17 at The Pineapple Ball® to celebrate the induction of Ron Dowdy and Maria Triscari into the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame®. The annual event was held at Rosen Shingle Creek and produced by Rosen College faculty, staff and students.
Actress Sarah-Lee Dobbs emceed the evening’s festivities, which included a video presentation about Rosen College and its impact on the hospitality industry, featuring faculty and outstanding alumni. Both inductees were honored with a special musical performance before they took the stage to accept a Steuben crystal pineapple and address the audience. Mark Miller and Carol Stein performed a personalized rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me” in honor of Dowdy and vocal group Vox Audio sang Pharrell’s “Happy” for Triscari. Following the induction ceremony, guests enjoyed dinner, live entertainment and dancing.
Ronald “Ron” E. Dowdy is a seasoned real estate owner/operator with more than 45 years of professional experience, including more than 42 years in real estate acquisition, development and management. His real estate career began in 1971 when he obtained his first lease of a hotel gift shop at the entrance to Walt Disney World. Mr. Dowdy currently manages around 50 tenant spaces in six different locations on and around International Drive and oversees an approximately 2,000-acre Black Angus Cattle Ranch in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He is also very active in civic causes, including American Red Cross of Central Florida, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Boy Scouts of America, Florida Citrus Sports Foundation, Florida Citrus Bowl and the Sheriff’s Employee Assistance Trust (SEAT) Foundation.
Maria Triscari is the President and CEO of the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce, which represents the International Drive Resort Area and its myriad hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, attractions and major theme parks. She was hired as executive director of the Chamber in 1989 at its inception and after 27 years of service, is one of the longest-running heads of any organization in Central Florida. During her career, she has worked closely with government and elected officials on projects to enhance the International Drive Resort Area and the tourism industry. Under Ms. Triscari’s leadership, the Chamber now boasts hundreds of members and is one of the most active, influential and highly-respected industry organizations in the region.