WHLF Planning Committee
Current Committee Members
Ashley Carter is a native of Orlando Florida and attended Ocoee High School. After graduation she was admitted into Florida A & M University where she studied and served as an ambassador on behalf of the University as Miss Freshmen Attendant 2009. After a year she returned to Orlando and enrolled into Valencia College where she received an Associate of Arts degree and then transferred to the University of Central Florida where she is currently majoring in hospitality at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. She is employed by Dignity Memorial at the Woodlawn Funeral home as a staff associate, where she serves families during their time of grief. Her second job is a student assistant in the Graduate Studies program at the Rosen College, and is also a Dance Choreographer for two Liturgical Youth Dance Teams. Ashley is also a 3‐year veteran Dancer for the Orlando Predators Arena Football team that holds games in the newly built Amway Arena. She is a member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, UCF chapter. Where she serves and assists in any service activities the organization assembles.
Ashley Cohen is a transfer student from Tallahassee, Florida, where she received her Associates of Arts Degree from Tallahassee Community College in 2014. She is currently a senior at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Ashley will earn her Bachelor of Science Degree in both Hospitality Management and Event Management in Spring 2017. Ashley has a genuine passion for service which is what true hospitality is all about.
Merve Erdil is an international transfer student enrolled full time at Rosen College of Hospitality Management studying Hospitality Management. She has traveled to many countries and interacted with many cultures as a seeker to be a great future General Manager and a leader who enlightens the people around her. She is the current Membership Director of National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. She is also the first international student to be accepted to an internship in Okinawa, Japan. She loves building relationships and looks forward to creating amazing memories for the guests and the people she works with in this industry. She loves spending time with family and friends as well as exploring and learning new things.
Nickolette Fernandez is a senior majoring in Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management. She will be graduating in Spring 2017. She is currently a Concierge at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort as well as the Programs Director and Pre-College Outreach Chair for the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. After graduation, Nickolette hopes to focus growing within Lodging Operations with a prestigious hospitality company.
Born and raised in Michigan, Ashlyn Geoffrey moved to Orlando, Florida in 2013 to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Event Management and a minor in Mass Communications. As a senior at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, she will be graduating in the Spring 2017. She is currently interning at Max King Events, a themed event décor company, who she has been with for the past 2 years. Ashlyn also serves as the Membership Liaison for the Marketing and Communications Committee of Meeting Professionals International.
Suzanne Pontillo is a senior majoring in Hospitality Management with a focus on lodging operations at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College and will be graduating in Spring 2017. She is currently a Front Desk Agent at the Aloft Orlando Downtown and the President of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. As a Latina and a feminist, she is incredibly honored to be able to be a part of this conference.
Amy Tupper is enrolled full time at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management. She will earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality Management in 2017. Amy retired as a Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force in 2012 after serving 21 years. Through her service in the military, Ms. Tupper learned valuable skills such as personnel and operations oversight, strategic thinking, and attention to detail. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with runDisney, taking care of her grandmother, and adventures with her husband and daughter.
Past Committee Members and Graduates of UCF Rosen College
Jacinda Turner - Former 2014-2015 President of National Society of Minorities in Hospitality
Jacinda Turner is an alumna of the University of Central Florida where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Currently she is working at Marriott International as a Food and Beverage Voyager. Jacinda is dedicated to encourage professional growth and a family bond with her hospitality peers. Jacinda is looking forward to a progressive career in the hospitality industry and has hopes of becoming a top leader in her company
Celia Wilkinson - Former 2015-2016 President of National Society of Minorities in Hospitality
Celia Wilkinson was born and raised in Jamaica. She now resides in Florida with hopes of achieving her dreams as a Hotel General Manager. She successfully completed her Associates Degree in Hospitality Administration at Miami Dade College and currently attends the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management. She is also the former 2015-2016 President of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. She currently work as a Food and Beverage Supervisor at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.
Anabel Gonzalez is currently a senior at the University of Central Florida majoring in Hospitality Management. A passion for service and enthusiasm to learn has brought her to Orlando to develop her expertise in the hospitality industry. She has gained her experience through positions in Event Operations, Front Office, and Food & Beverage. Active involvement with the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality as well as volunteerism at Second Harvest Food Bank have helped develop her leadership and communication skills.
Kimberly McRae graduated from the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College in Spring 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management. While at UCF, Kimberley was an active member of NSMH and served on the Executive Board as the Vice President for the 2015-2016 school year. After graduation she began her career with Marriott’s Voyage Management Training Program. She has a passion for serving others, creating memorable experiences, and helping others excel both personally and professionally.
Nina Edmonds has over 7 years of guest service experience. She currently serves as the Food and Beverage Manager in Training at the Four Seasons Austin. She is given accelerated exposure to the true meaning of luxury service while gaining valuable management experiences and project work dealing with revenue, cost analysis, leadership, and the guest experience. She contributes to Food and Beverage area such as Bars, Restaurants, Banquets, and Room Service. Nina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida.
Rosen College Faculty & Staff
Dr. Abraham Pizam, Dean, UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Dr. Cynthia Mejia, Assistant Professor
Dr. Amy Gregory, Assistant Professor
Dr. Michelle Holm, Assistant Professor
Dr. Wei Wei, Assistant Professor
Kerri Bottorff, Digital Collections Project Coordinator, UCF Libraries