Exceptional Management — the apropos motto of AKAM On-Site–Florida was the theme of the day when the award-winning residential management organization hosted an Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon at Christine Lee’s at Gulfstream Park. The event featured an It’s All About China presentation by Dr. Steven Moll, Florida International University’s interim Vice Provost, Biscayne Bay Campus, focusing on what FIU’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is doing to engage business and education in China.
FIU expanded its reach in hospitality studies to China in 2006 when it unveiled the U.S. School of Hospitality and Tourism in Tianjin – a joint venture between the Chinese government and an American university heralded as “the first of its kind.”
Standing in for AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman, Bob Hollander of Brown & Brown Insurance, AKAM Living Services CEO Leslie Kaminoff and AKAM On-Site president Ellen Lohr welcomed AMC members and special guests including post-graduate and undergraduate students from China enrolled in FIU’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
“When AKAM started looking to expand beyond the New York market, we found the best opportunity in South Florida,” Kaminoff said. “Now celebrating our 10th anniversary here, AKAM serves luxury multi-family associations spanning from Fisher Island to West Palm Beach. AKAM specializes in providing Ritz-Carlton-caliber management at a reasonable fee, focusing on delivering superior operational and financial management and reporting to protect our clients’ investments while enhancing their quality of life.”
To cultivate the finest professionals, AKAM sponsors continuing education programs for their property managers and chief engineers – similarly, to recruit the best faculty for the U.S. School of Hospitality and Tourism in Tianjin, Moll explained FIU recruited Chinese educators who came to live in this community and pursue higher degrees. “They learned how our faculty taught and the culture of FIU so they were able to go to Tianjin and teach courses the same way we do so there’s consistency in the educational product we deliver to students.
“Utilizing the Skype communications program, at least twice a semester we have meetings with our colleagues in China. This has been recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools now using our management program as the model for all international programs.
“This partnership requires constant communication for success. It involves faculty, administration and all of our students here in South Florida, who can choose to spend either one semester or an academic year studying in China – or students in China can choose to study here.”
Moll also noted, “Academics are one part of the equation – the South Beach Wine and Food Festival FIU runs in partnership with Southern Wine and Spirits has netted about $4.6 million over the past two years and proceeds have been used to bestow scholarships. As a result, FIU’s School of Hospitality Management and Tourism is regarded as ‘the premier program for major event management.”
In conclusion Moll said, “China looks at the investment in their people as a long-term growth strategy – it’s one I think we should all embrace as well. ‘It’s all about China’ – but really all about people and the relationships we cultivate.”
For more information about AKAM, call 561-994-4870 or visit akam.com; fiu.edu.