Simpkins Series Speaker Says Hard Work, Kindness Keys To Success
November 17, 2021 – Harris Rosen believes that determination and kindness can to lead
to great success in business.
It’s a creed that has made him one of the nation’s leading hotel and resort owners,
with seven major Orlando hotels accounting for about five percent of the tourism area’s
Rosen brought his story to Eastern Florida State College on Wednesday in a virtual
presentation as part of the Bernard Simpkins and L. Gale Lemerand Entrepreneur Speaker
The President & COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts summed up his philosophy this way:
“Hard work is important. Treating others the way you want to be treated is important.
Being kind to people is important. Don’t give up and be prepared for the ups and downs.”
Rosen told students how he overcame humble beginnings growing up in New York City.
He was the first in his family to graduate from college, served as a First Lieutenant
in the Army and got involved in the hotel business in 1974.
His passion for education led him to start the Rosen College of Hospitality Management
at the University of Central Florida in 2004. It ranks among the best hospitality
schools in the nation and the world.
Rosen also provides free college tuition for his company’s associates and their dependents
after three years of full-time employment.
“Our philosophy is different. We do it because we love our associates and treat them
like family,” he said.
He has also turned around a neighborhood near his hotel properties, the underserved
community of Tangelo Park, through an on-going promise he made 30 years ago to provide
each youth graduating high school a free college or vocational school education, including
tuition, books and room and board.
The virtual event included awarding two EFSC students with Bernie W. Simpkins Scholarships
for excellence in the classroom and their plans to enter the business world.
The recipients, Daniel Steffano and Onaiza Anjum, expressed their appreciation for
the assistance as they strive to overcome obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the cost of returning back to school financially, physically and emotionally,
I felt I didn’t have the time, money, or energy to continue. Obtaining this scholarship
has given me hope and inspiration to keep moving forward,” said Steffano, who is working
toward an A.S. degree in Computer Programming and Analysis, while also creating computer
applications that he hopes to market.
Said Anjum: “Donors like you make life brighter for us and I hope that one day, I
can do the same. I cannot express my gratitude enough, and I want you to know that
your generous support will help me achieve my dreams.”
She is earning an EFSC bachelor’s in Biomedical Science and plans to also turn her
love of art into a part-time online business.
This fall session of the Speaker Series was co-sponsored by EFSC and Daytona State
It is named after two Central Florida business leaders.
Bernard Simpkins was a highly successful entrepreneur and Brevard County business
leader who established the free sessions that have brought some of the nation’s top
business innovators to Eastern Florida State College.
L. Gale Lemerand began an insulation subcontracting firm in a barn before moving to
Daytona Beach and building his company into a $400 million business prior to his retirement.