From April 1, 2016:

On our recent trip to Gainesville earlier this month, my wife and I had the very special opportunity to meet some amazing educators at the University of Florida. I was also invited to speak to a class in Entrepreneurship in Tourism, Recreation and Sports on campus about my story and the travel industry. It had been a very long time since I had been in the classroom, but it was a great experience!

My wife graduated from the College of Health & Human Performance and I graduated from the College of Journalism & Communications with an Advertising major. Both of our former schools welcomed us back with open arms and it was quite an honor, we both felt like VIP's which was so cool. We arrived early in the morning and met with A.C. Moore, the Founder of The University of Florida Men's Soccer Club (in 1953) who is now retired but still very active and connected with the school.

We met Michael B. Reid, Ph.D., Dean & Professor of the College of Health & Human Performance and Michael Sagas, Ed.D., Department Chair & Professor, Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management. We went to the class of Joshua Roe, M.A., Graduate Student, Ph.D. Student and former mountaineering guide and linguist. Tatjana Chenoweth, Senior Director of Development for the College was our guide ... and to my surprise during our visit, she reached out to her counterpart in the College of Journalism & Communications Margaret Gaylord to extend our visit over there after lunch.

At my former school, we had a very cool meeting with Andy Hopson, Executive Director of The Agency - a fully-functional on-site advertising agency within the College. We sat with him and his team of top students as they presented their focus on Millennial research and several campaigns they were working on. It was so cool that I could have stayed all day, rolled up my sleeves and gone to work with them. I was very impressed with everyone there and I only wish that this would have been in place back when I went to UF! It is awesome to see how UF is pushing the envelope with new technology and we were able to tour the on-site Newsroom and Studio Broadcast center, a model example that many schools only can dream about!

What a great day overall and I already look forward to going back next year and they have invited me back to speak again and also participate in an advisory capacity for Tourism. I can't thank everyone there enough for the hospitality extended to us and for how special that experience was for both of us!


Gallery: click on any image to launch slideshow below