Harris Rosen, a University of Central Florida trustee and the benefactor of UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, has been named Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year 2011.
The award is given annually to a Cornell graduate who best exemplifies entrepreneurial achievement, community service and high ethical standards. Cornell University will honor Rosen with the award April 14-15.
Rosen is president and chief operating officer of Rosen Hotels & Resorts Inc. in Orlando. His entrepreneurial career has involved purchasing distressed hotel properties and transforming them into successful ventures. His company’s flagship hotels include Rosen Inn, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, Quality Inn International, Rosen Plaza, Rosen Centre and the 1,500-room AAA Four Diamond Rosen Shingle Creek.
Rosen established a $2.5 million scholarship endowment for UCF, which has been matched by the state. He also donated 20 acres and gave $18 million to build UCF’s Rosen School of Hospitality Management, which opened near International Drive in 2004.
Rosen has been recognized nationally for creating his innovative company health care plan, which provides care for 4,500 employees and dependents at an on-site medical center with two full-time doctors and 28 staff members.
In the 1990s, Rosen created the Tangelo Park Pilot Program, which provides free preschool education for all 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds in the Central Florida neighborhood as well as other initiatives designed to assist the students through high school and college. The program provides all students in the neighborhood who are accepted to a Florida vocational school, junior college or four-year public college a completely free education, including room and board.
Rosen is a charter member of the UCF Board of Trustees. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in 1961.
In 2009 and 2010, the Orlando Business Journal recognized Rosen as a “Healthcare Hero” and one of the area’s “Top 10 CEOs,” a recognition he has received for many years. In 2007, he was honored by readers of Orlando Magazine for making the “Best Contribution to Orlando” and as one of the area’s “Most Influential Executives.” He was also named “Best Corporate Citizen” by the magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2010.