Tortuga Rum Cake, Zumba Fitness leaders to be recognized by FIU

By Ellen Forman….
The entrepreneurs behind internationally known Zumba Fitness LLC and the Tortuga Rum Cake Company, both Florida International University (FIU) College of Business Administration alumni, will be inducted into the college’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame during a ceremony on May 19, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Westin Colonnade in Coral Gables.

Benjamín Leon Jr., chairman and founder of Leon Medical Centers, will receive the South Florida Entrepreneur of the Year award at the event, titled “The Magic of Entrepreneurship.”

Alberto Aghion (BBA ’99), co-founder and COO of Zumba Fitness LLC, and Monique Hamaty-Simmonds (BBA ’96), CEO of Tortuga Rum Cake Company, will be honored in the 12th annual ceremony, presented by the College of Business Administration and the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center.

“We look forward to honoring the accomplishments of these three dynamic entrepreneurs as we celebrate the contributions that FIU Business alumni have made to our local, national and international communities,” said Joyce J. Elam, executive dean of the business school.

Hamaty-Simmonds will receive the “Builder Award,” recognizing her achievements in growing Tortuga Rum Cake Company into a multi-million dollar company named by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing private businesses in the United States for four consecutive years.

Aghion will receive the “Founder Award” for his work with Zumba Fitness LLC, which has a worldwide following of more than 10 million people.

Leon is a visionary in the healthcare field whose company has made a difference in the lives of seniors and families in Miami-Dade County for more than four decades. A generous donor to FIU, Leon’s gift to the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine established the Benjamín Leon Jr. Family Center for Geriatric Research and Education.

Tickets to the event are $100, and include a networking reception, silent auction and entertainment. The induction ceremony is presented by the firm of Morrison Brown Argiz and Farra. Net proceeds from the event support the College of Business’ entrepreneurship programs. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Michelle Joubert at 305-348-0397 or by email to To register online, visit For more information about FIU, visit online at

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