Global Hospitality Organization Honors Ricci as Industry Leader

By Comms Team | 11/27/2023

Tags: Bulletins | Hospitality | Marketing
Categories: Accolades | Announcements | Faculty/Staff


Peter Ricci, Industry Leader

Peter Ricci, Ed.D., head of Florida Atlantic University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program, has been named to three lists of distinguished professionals in 2023 by the International Hospitality Institute (IHI).

The Plano, Texas-based organization named Ricci one of the nation's 100 most influential people in U.S. travel and hospitality; one of the 100 most inspirational people for travel and hospitality; and one of the 30 most influential hospitality educators.

"What an honor," Ricci said. "To be thought of as a leader in this industry is truly humbling."

Ricci has more than 25 years of managerial experience in food service, lodging, incentive travel and destination marketing. He was a hotel general manager for nearly a decade before becoming a part-time instructor and later joining the academic ranks as both a professor and administrator. His research areas include guest service, job competencies and skills and hotel and lodging.

In 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ricci led an effort by FAU’s College of Business to offer a free online certificate to industry workers who were furloughed, terminated or had hours reduced. The certificate, which normally costs $699, permitted industry workers to continue their education during the down time and position themselves for new opportunities.

More than 77,000 students in 165 countries and territories registered for the course with over 61,000 fully completing.

“The response was incredible, more than I ever imagined," Ricci said. "The goal was just to keep furloughed workers engaged for a month or so, and at the time we had no idea how long the pandemic would last. We were thrilled to play a part in helping hospitality employees in such a difficult time."

IHI President Jeffrey Obomeghie, Ph.D., described Ricci as a passionate voice for the industry.

“Dr. Ricci continues to demonstrate an unflinching commitment to developing future hospitality leaders,” said Obomeghie, a longtime hospitality executive known professionally as “Jeffrey O.”

“In a world where many leaders are driven by self-interest, Dr. Ricci epitomizes selfless and inspirational leadership.”

In 2023, Ricci was invited to join the Board of Judges of the International Hospitality Hall of Fame, where he serves with 31 other globally acclaimed leaders.  

“Dr. Ricci has worked in various roles in the hospitality industry and has been remarkably successful in each of them,” Obomeghie said. “His positive impact and contributions transcend the hospitality industry, extending into philanthropy and mentorship. He is highly respected by his peers and colleagues.”

IHI is a global advocacy, training and standards organization. The group says it is the only organization representing all stakeholders in the industry, including hotels, resorts, restaurants, casinos and other sectors.