Screenreader Navigation - [ Skip to Content | Skip to Main Navigation ]
[FSU Seal Image] - Return to Home
Florida State University - Return to Home

University Center B

University Center B

Dedman School of Hospitality / Alumni / Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Annual Alumni-of-the-Year Recognitions

Each year, a graduate who has made notable contributions to our school, our industry and their organization is selected by the board of the Society of Hosts and the faculty of the Dedman School. This individual has served as a role model for our students and alumni through their behavior and accomplishments since graduation.

This year, Ty Helms, Class of 1979, has been chosen as the alumnus who best exemplifies these qualities. He will be honored at a complementary luncheon on Oct. 24, 2013, 12:15–1:30 p.m., University Center Club. Learn more.


2013 Alumnus-of-the-Year

Ty Helms ('79)
Senior Vice President, Global Sales - Hyatt Hotel Corporation

Ty Helms

A 21 year veteran of Hyatt, Ty Helms leads their Global Sales Organization. He and his team are responsible for the company’s top 1000 global accounts. Hyatt’s GSO is made up of 18 worldwide offices and 9 global call centers. His current role is new for Hyatt, in the past the company was divided into two distinct business units, Hyatt and Hyatt International. The recent consolidation of those businesses created a unique opportunity to take Hyatt’s sales efforts global, something Ty has been passionate about since joining the company.

Most recently, Ty was Senior Vice President, Revenue for all North American Hyatt hotels. He was responsible for revenue generating departments including sales, catering, revenue management and hotel marketing.

Prior to that, Ty was Senior Vice President of Sales – North America, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. In that role, he was responsible for the day-to-day sales operations, including hotel sales, national sales and international sales for the company.

Ty also served as Vice President of International Sales where he directed sales for North American inbound international markets including Hyatt’s worldwide sales offices, general sales agents, travel agents, wholesalers and tour operators outside the US.

Before his role in International Sales, Helms was Divisional Director of Sales for Hyatt’s Central Division. In that role, he supervised sales and marketing activities for 25 midwestern hotels. Ty began his career with Hyatt in Chicago in 1992 at the 2019 room Hyatt Regency Chicago as Director of Sales and Marketing.

Before Hyatt, Ty was in numerous hotel sales and marketing positions during a 10 year career with Marriott International.

He is a member of ASAE, PCMA, MPI, ASTA, HSMAI and served on the foundation board for ASAE, MPI and on the board of the US Travel Association. 

Ty graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration in 1979.

Chicago is home for Ty and his wife Gail. They have two grown children a son TJ and daughter Hayley who both currently work in Chicago. In his spare time he enjoys fitness walking, golf and collecting fine wines.


2012 Alumna-of-the-Year

Carol B. Dover ('78)
President-Chief Executive Officer, The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

Carol Dover

Carol B. Dover has been President-CEO of the more than 10,000 member Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association since July of 1995. Dover is a professional association manager, a lobbyist, a former government insider, and a Florida State University Dedman School of Hospitality graduate with a degree in hotel and restaurant management.

After graduating from Florida State University in 1978, Dover accepted the position of Assistant Director of the Beer Industry of Florida. This position familiarized her with the rules, regulations and tax laws associated with the beverage industry – information which has been beneficial in her role with FRLA.

In 1989, Dover moved inside the halls of the Florida Capitol and was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Executive Office of the Governor, serving under the Martinez administration. As Martinez’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Dover was responsible for the Governor’s appointments, served as his spokesperson and represented his administration before the Florida Legislature.

Dover’s other professional accomplishments include the Department of Business and Professional Regulation Director of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants, the first woman to serve as Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention, State Fire Marshall’s Office, and President-CEO of the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association.

As the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association President-CEO, Dover works to protect the diverse interests of Florida’s hospitality industry by representing the industry before the Florida Legislature and lobbying against unfair government regulation.

Dover serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, Council of State Restaurant Associations, International Society of Hotel Association Executives, VISIT FLORIDA, Florida Tourism Commission, Florida Tax Watch and the Florida Horse Park.

On opening day of the 2003 Legislative Session, Dover was diagnosed with breast cancer and courageously fought to beat the cancer. Dover, a native of Orlando, is married and has three children and three grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities including dressage riding and running.


2011 Alumnus-of-the-Year

John Culver ('82)
President, Starbucks Coffee International

John Culver

In December 2009, John Culver was appointed president, Starbucks Coffee International. In this role John leads teams responsible for the overall management, business development and operations of Starbucks in all markets outside the U.S. John’s experience and success leading the Asia Pacific region, his deep coffee industry knowledge and his strong leadership skills combine to make him the ideal leader for Starbucks Coffee International.

Prior to becoming president, Starbucks Coffee International, John held the position of president, Global Consumer Products and Foodservice, leading the strategy to support Starbucks growth and expansion of consumer product offerings worldwide, including packaged coffee, ready-to-drink coffee, ice cream and Tazo® teas and drinks. In essence, he was responsible for extending the Starbucks Experience and taking care of the customer interactions outside of our stores.

John joined Starbucks in August 2002 as vice president and general manager, Foodservice, responsible for leading sales, marketing and operations. His focus on building brand awareness in traditional foodservice venues included positioning the Starbucks “We Proudly Brew,” Seattle’s Best Coffee “Serving the Best” and Torrefazione Italia “Featuring Torrefazione Italia” brands. John and his team worked to increase the presence of the Starbucks brand with key U.S. customers and to ensure that our quality standards were maintained in over 15,000 foodservice accounts.

From 2007 to 2009, John held the role of president, Starbucks Coffee Asia Pacific, responsible for cultivating the Starbucks Experience for all Starbucks company-operated, joint venture and licensed markets within the Asia Pacific region. Under his leadership, Starbucks brand presence continued to expand rapidly across the region, which consists of the Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand markets.

Before joining Starbucks, John was Vice President, Sales for Nestlé USA where he was responsible for foodservice sales and the development of more than 30 brands. Prior to Nestlé, John held various management positions within Houlihan’s Restaurants. 

John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Florida State University. He recently served on the Board of Directors for the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) as a member and as treasurer. He has also served on the Advisory Board for the Pacific Northwest Hospitality Industry, supporting City of Hope.


2010 Alumnus-of-the-Year

Joseph Douglas ('83)
Co-Founder, Captiva Restaurant Group, LLC
Managing Member, Carlsen Douglas Development, LLC

Joe Douglas

The Florida State University Dedman School of Hospitality presented the Alumnus of the Year Award to Mr. Joe Douglas on Friday, October 15 at the annual Society of Hosts Alumnus of the Year Reception held at the Hotel Duval. Each year, the Society of Host Alumni Association Board and the Faculty of the Dedman School of Hospitality, select an individual that has made notable contributions to our school, our industry, and their company. This individual has served as a role model for our students and alumni by their behavior and accomplishments since graduation. This year, Joe Douglas, Class of 1983, has been chosen as the alumnus who best exemplifies these qualities. "We are very proud to have Joe Douglas named as Dedman School of Hospitality Alumnus of the Year 2010" states Dr. Jane Ohlin, Director of the Dedman School of Hospitality. For those of us associated with the Dedman School, it is an honor to have him serving in this role. We look forward to our relationship continuing into the future for many years to come."


2009 Alumnus-of-the-Year

David L. Gilbert ('78)
Chief Operating Officer, National Restaurant Association
Executive Director, National Restaurant Association Solutions

David Gilbert is the chief operating officer for the National Restaurant Association, the industry's largest and most respected trade organization. In this position, he oversees the Association's membership, technology and NRA Show teams. Additionally, he is Executive Director of National Restaurant Association Solutions, the Association's wholly owned products and services subsidiary that produces ServSafe, the restaurant industry's leading food safety training and certification program; ServSafe Alcohol, the industry's trusted responsible alcohol service program; ManageFirst, the Association's collegiate restaurant and foodservice management program; and ProStart, the Association's career-building program for high school students who are interested in culinary arts and foodservice management.

As COO, Gilbert is focused on guiding the organization as it continues to provide and develop valuable products, services and benefits to help the Association's members – the cornerstones of their communities – build customer loyalty, rewarding careers and financial success.

Prior to joining the NRA, Gilbert was a restaurant industry consultant for several years and previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (CBOCS) for five years. During his tenure at Cracker Barrel, Gilbert's responsibilities included operational innovation, marketing, retail planning, retail and restaurant distribution, supply chain, purchasing, risk management, real estate development, construction, technology, strategic planning, business analysis, HR (OD, compensation, benefits), and financial planning on behalf of the 540-unit Company with approximately $2.3 billion in restaurant and retail sales.

Before joining CBOCS in 2001, he was EVP and CAO with Shoney's, Inc. where he was responsible for the shared support services for Shoney's, Captain D's, Pargo's and their distribution Company, COI. The support services included legal, human resources (compensation and benefits), risk management, real estate, brand development, asset management and travel. He was responsible for divesting 389 restaurant properties exceeding $149M in proceeds.

Gilbert previously held positions as executive director of development with Applebee's; director of development and purchasing with Rio Bravo (purchased by Applebee's International); VP of real estate with Restaurant Systems Inc. (RSI) and a management company operating 96 Wendy's restaurants. Prior to these executive administrative positions, Mr. Gilbert spent five-years as a multi-unit restaurant operator.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Administration from Florida State University, and is married with three children.


2008 Alumna-of-the-Year

Anne Hamilton ('78)
Vice President, Resort Sales & Services, Walt Disney World Resort

Anne leads the team responsible for all sales and services efforts related to meetings, conventions and incentive programs held at the Walt Disney World Resort and aboard the ships of Disney Cruise Line. In this role, she leads an award-winning team of 200 industry professionals who produce an enormous array of events for associations and corporations from around the globe.

Anne started her Disney career in 1996, joining the team as Sales Director for Corporate/Alliance Sales. A year later she was promoted to Director of Resort Sales, taking on additional responsibilities related to all corporate, association and incentive groups, as well as Disney Cruise Line group and charter sales. Assuming the role of Vice President in 2003, Anne's responsibilities further expanded to include the Catering & Convention Services organization.

Prior to becoming a Walt Disney World Cast Member, Anne spent three years as Director of Sales at the Hilton Walt Disney World Village (now Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort). Her Hilton career also included serving as Director of Sales and Marketing at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. and at the Miami Airport Hilton & Marina in Miami.

A champion for the meetings industry, Anne has held a variety of volunteer leadership positions and served on numerous industry committees. In addition to serving on the PCMA Board, Anne also currently serves as the 2007 Marketing Section Co-Chair for ASAE's Associations Advance America program. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality and on the Visit Florida Meeting and Convention Task Force.

Anne has been consistently recognized for her active industry involvement. Most recently she was named a Fellow by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The Fellows designation is one of ASAE's highest recognitions, conferred upon "thought leaders" in the association community who have compiled a history of significant contributions during their careers.

A graduate of Florida State University, Anne has a Bachelors Degree in Business, with a major in Hotel/Restaurant Management. She also studied at the American College of Switzerland. Anne also holds a certificate as a Certified Hospitality Sales Executive.


2007 Alumnus-of-the-Year

Chuck Floyd ('81)
Chief Operating Officer, North American Operations, Global Hyatt

Chuck Floyd is Chief Operating Officer - North America Operations for Global Hyatt, based in Chicago, Illinois. Floyd, a 26-year Hyatt veteran, is responsible for the management of the company's 124 hotels and resorts in the U.S., Canada and Caribbean in addition to overseeing various corporate functions including sales, human resources, product and design, rooms, food and beverage and engineering.

Most recently, Floyd served as executive vice president of operations and prior to that position, senior vice president of operations and senior vice president of sales, responsible for day-to-day sale operations, administration, national and international sales efforts, training and recruitment. Since joining the company in 1981 at Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Floyd has filled a variety of management positions. He was general manager at Hyatt hotels in Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco where he was appointed vice president-managing director in 1996.

Floyd holds a B.A. in Hotel & Restaurant Administration, College of Business, at Florida State University and a MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Floyd is a founder and sits on the advisory board of Enderun College located in the Philippines. He resides in Winnetka, Illinois with his wife and four children.