The Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida will honor Henri Landwirth and Paul Mears, Jr. at The Pineapple Ball on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. The event will be produced by Rosen College faculty, staff and students. Proceeds will benefit academic initiatives and scholarships.

“We are honored to recognize Henri Landwirth and Paul Mears, Jr. for their contributions to the hospitality industry, as well as their undeniable influence in our community,” said Dr. Abraham Pizam, dean of Rosen College. “We hope our industry partners and friends will join us to celebrate this special occasion.”

Henri Landwirth is a hotelier, philanthropist and founder of Give Kids the World, a 70-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Landwirth’s roots in the Central Florida hospitality industry run deep, starting in 1954 when he managed the 100-room Starlight Motel in Cocoa Beach.

Paul Mears, Jr. is the chairman of Mears Transportation and the son of company founder, Paul S. Mears, Sr. He has guided the company for almost 40 years and helped transform it from three taxicabs to a ground transportation industry leader. Mears Transportation is also an active community partner, providing free transportation to families staying at the Give Kids the World Village for the last 25 years.

Sponsorship and ticket information for The Pineapple Ball will be available online at Tickets will go on sale starting May 5. If you have any questions about the event, please contact Premila Whitney at 407.903.8020 or

*Please note that for the last three years, Rosen College partnered with the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) to perform the induction into the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame through the Grand Tour Gala. However, neither Rosen College nor the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame are affiliated with this year’s Grand Tour Gala.