A ribbon-cutting Wednesday afternoon at Florida Gulf Coast University launched the Hoffmann Family of Companies Wine Laboratory, made possible by a $250,000 donation from the Naples-based Hoffmann family. David Hoffmann, founder, chairman and CEO of Hoffmann Family of Companies, presented the check to FGCU’s School of Resort & Hospitality Management on Wednesday as part of FGCU Give Day.
“We’re excited for our partnership with FGCU and their students. We strongly believe their hospitality program is the best in the nation and are honored to have the wine laboratory named after us,” Hoffmann said.
Part of FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business, the School of Resort & Hospitality Management is the first hospitality program in the State University System of Florida to be accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA); as well as accredited through the Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business (AACSB). Housed in Sugden Hall, the school boasts unique learning environments, including a fully operational food production and restaurant laboratory, a wine and food tasting laboratory, ballroom event management laboratory and audio/visual/internet technology.
“Experiential learning is critical for students as they prepare for careers,” said Christopher Westley, dean of the Lutgert College of Business. “The Hoffmans demonstrate their understanding of its importance with this gift to the School of Resort & Hospitality Management. It is yet another example of their business acumen and vision as they invest in the next generation of professionals destined for this important industry.”
Naples residents David and Jerri Hoffmann are no strangers to philanthropy, wine and the hospitality industry. Both sit on the board of trustees for the Naples Children & Education Foundation, which hosts the annual Naples Winter Wine Festival fundraiser, and are owners of many Southwest Florida hospitality businesses such as the Hertz Arena in Estero.
Last year, the Hoffmanns announced their investment of $125 million in the designated wine region of Augusta, Missouri, with their purchase of four wineries, five vineyards and about 1,500 acres of grapevines. The Hoffmann’s wine already is served at the family’s local businesses such as Hertz Arena, Tacos & Tequila Cantina, the Naples Princess and the Old Collier Golf Club, as well as throughout the nation.