Virginia Haley attends USF "HospitaBull" Dinner

Contact: Lynn Hobeck Bates/941-955-0991 Ext. 103

E-mail: [email protected]

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 03, 2017) Virginia Haley, President of Visit Sarasota County, at the University of South Florida’s sixth annual “HospitaBull” dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota March 2, 2017.

Like previous HospitaBull events, USFSM students, with help from faculty and the venue’s professional staff, organized, prepared and served the dinner.

Created in the spring of 2011, HospitaBull was organized to serve as a learning experience for hospitality management students and as a thank-you to the many supporters of USFSM’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership.

The evening’s other main highlight was the awarding of the Hospitality Leadership Award.

This award is presented to individuals who have shown particular dedication to the interests of USFSM’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership through their contributions to the hospitality and tourism industries. Awardees have demonstrated exemplary leadership abilities, acting as role models or mentors, and enabling others to succeed and advance in the hospitality field.

 “It has been an honor for me to have the opportunity to work with the students at the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, whether it is having them as interns here at Visit Sarasota County, being a guest speaker in class or working with a student on a research project,” Haley said after the event. “Watching these students grow and develop is a source of deep satisfaction for me.”

She said the college has enjoyed a lasting relationship not only with Visit Sarasota County but also with local hotels and restaurants.

“The outstanding faculty and leadership of the college have raised the bar for the tourism industry in our region,” she said. “They have provided tremendous insights and leadership on the challenges we face. The students have filled many workforce needs in the region. It is with great pride to see former students in professional tourism settings and performing at a high level in different positions here in Sarasota.”

For more information about the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, please visit,


Visit Sarasota County leads and supports the tourism industry in Sarasota County by providing the highest quality, and most innovative, marketing programs and promotions to ensure the continued growth of tourism and travel from visitors around the world. It is the mission of VSC to make Sarasota County the must experience destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast.