UCF鈥檚 Rosen College of Hospitality Management hosted more than 280 students and hospitality, tourism and event management professionals at the first on Friday, March 20. In celebration of Women鈥檚 History Month, this premier event brought together top female executives to promote leadership excellence among women in the hospitality and tourism management industries.

The Forum was conceived and organized through a joint effort of the UCF National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) student group and Rosen College faculty and staff.

The one-day program included two keynote speakers and two breakout sessions on a variety of topics related to women in the hospitality and tourism management industries. Attendees also enjoyed lunch and a networking reception.

鈥淸The Forum] started off as a small idea and with the support from my advisor, Dr. Cynthia Mejia, and Dean Pizam, I was encouraged to take this event to another level,鈥 said senior hospitality management major Jacinda Turner, who also serves as president of NSMH. 鈥淏ecause of them and the support and dedication from NSMH members, it was a success. Friday was a dream come true and I am excited to see this event grow in years to come.鈥

This year’s theme focused on professional advancement for women in hospitality and tourism management. Speakers included:

  • Nancy Johnson, President, Johnson Hospitality Motivation, LLC
  • Sarah King, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Wyndham Vacation Ownership
  • Barbara Bowden, Managing Director of Operations, Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando
  • Vail Brown, CMHS, Vice President, Global Business Development & Marketing, STR
  • LaShawn Cartwright, Recruitment Manager, Talent Acquisition, Chick-fil-A
  • Leslie Menichini, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Convention Properties, Rosen Hotels & Resorts
  • Thea Sargent, Director, Destination Sales, The Walt Disney Company
  • Salli Setta, President, Red Lobster
  • to view photos from the event.

    For more information about the Women鈥檚 Hospitality & Tourism Leadership Forum, please visit .