Entrepreneurs Unite!

The University of South Florida’s Alumni Society of Entrepreneurs invites you to the 5th Annual Tampa Bay Entrepreneurship Gala - Havana Nights at 7:00pm on Friday, May 20 at the Centre Club. Join Richard Gonzmart, this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year honoree and keynote speaker, as he shares valuable information about the hospitality industry learned from two of Tampa Bay’s finest business leaders, great-grandfather Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., founder of the world‐famous Columbia Restaurantand his father Casimiro Hernandez, Jr.  How exciting is it for us to have the opportunity to learn from a successful businessperson in Tampa Bay!  If you own or operate a local business, are thinking of expanding or launching your own business you do not want to miss USF's Havana Nights Entrepreneurs Gala with Richard Gonzmart!

Havana Nights Entrepreneurs Gala with Richard Gonzmart

A little more about this amazing family and kind man. Did you know the Columbia, founded in 1905, is the oldest restaurant in Florida and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world, and that in 1922 they worked their way through near-fatal financial trouble?  Learn what ‘Entrepreneurship’ means to Richard in today’s business world as he reviews the history and growth of the Columbia brand, talks about four concepts in the works and discusses his plans for the future.

Enjoy the thrill of exciting casino games, bidding on unique silent auction items
and meet like-minded people who share your passion and drive as a local businessperson.

The Alumni Association will also honor Ella Bing, their Social Entrepreneur of the Year. You may be familiar with Ella Bing and their signature wooden bowties and lapel flowers.  Ella’s fashions and accessories are an artistic study in the avant-garde with the added benefit of support for the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay!
Ella Bing was created in 2012 to spread awareness about the Crisis Center. Launched following the 2010 suicide of son and brother Matthew Kraus, Ella Bing not only helps bring awareness to an important resource within our community, it also helped a family heal. Ella's staff handcrafts 90% of every single product sold and proudly donates 10% of every sale to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. In partnership with Coppertail Brewing Co. Ella Bing recently chaired an amazing committee of young professionals launcing the first annual Beer and Bow Ties Fundraising event. Come meet the entrepreneurs behind Ella Bling.

All proceeds of this fun and educational gala benefit the Michael W. Fountain Endowed Scholarship Fund.  Launched six years ago to honor the founding director of the USF Interdisciplinary, Cross-Campus Center for Entrepreneurship the fund aids young entrepreneurs with their educations, and supports their business dreams.  When you attend Havana Nights you directly support Tampa Bay’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders while gaining information, knowledge and contacts, a win-win!

The Details:

  • This years Scholarship award recipient will be announced and previous award winners will be highlighted.
  • Cocktails are at 7:00 pm
  • Awards ceremony begins at 8:30
  • Tickets are $75
  • Location, The Centre Club (Westshore District)

Have fun at Havana Nights and hear from experienced entrepreneurs for a better understanding of how local business people identify opportunities, evaluate viability, and decide the proper approach to exploit an opportunity and how opportunities result in product, firm, industry and profit. Entrepreneurship is much more than simply starting a business! Join USF's Alumni Society of Entrepreneurs at the 5th Annual Tampa Bay Entrepreneurial Gala Havana Nights as they recognize Richard Gonzmart, local companies and entrepreneurs in Tampa Bay. Learn more about what they do and how USF can help you as together we take this opportunity to celebrate and recognize leaders within our community!