The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is excited to announce our Member of the Month showcase. Each month, we will highlight members who have gone above and beyond in their community, the organization, or in the state.
January 2020 Member of the Month
New Year, same amazing members. Meet our Member of the Month, Laurie Farlow, from Farlow’s On the Water. Located in Englewood, Laurie is a part of our Gulf Island Coast Chapter.
Open since 2003, Farlow’s brings a Caribbean taste with a Southern twist to the region. Laurie’s favorite part of running Farlow’s is meeting and serving community members. The Farlows team does this outside of work too, as they are heavily involved in the Englewood community.
Congratulations to Farlow’s on the Water. Check out their highlight video below.
Member of the Month Archive
Our December Member of the Month is located in Florida’s "best kept secret": Sarasota, Florida. Damien O’Riordan, General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, found a love for the hospitality industry 25 years ago, and that love continues to grow today.
Through his dedication to the industry and FRLA, it was a no-brainer to select Damien as our Member of the Month, and we look forward to seeing his success in the years to come.
Located in Ocoee, Florida, our November Member of the Month is known for serving up some of the best BBQ in the area! Meet Leigh Doyle, Vice President of Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ. Leigh began his career in the hospitality industry at a young age working at Disney World, and through his passion, he worked his way to VP of this popular independent barbecue joint! His favorite part of working in the hospitality industry is seeing the smiles on customer’s faces.
Introducing Matt Moore, Director of Food and Beverage for WaterColor Inn & Resort. Matt grew up in the hospitality industry, and has continued to grow and learn across the east coast. His favorite thing about working in the Walton County area is the vast cuisine and wide array of visitors drawn to the area. Following hurricane Michael, the Fish out of Water and WaterColor team coordinated with FRLA and arrived on scene to serve up hot meals to those in need.
We’re excited to introduce you to our September Member of the Month, Anthony Sexton. Anthony is the owner of the Victorian House Bed and Breakfast in St. Augustine, and the president of our newest FRLA Chapter – the Florida Inns. Although he’s only been an innkeeper for 8 years, he’s loved the hospitality industry much of his life. One of his favorite things about being an innkeeper is being fully responsible for his hotel guests’ stay. He loves being able to provide each guest the best experience, and have them come back years later to share their memories.
Meet Ron Wichowski, General Manager of the Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center, and our August Member of the Month! Ron has been working in the hospitality since he was 13, and has continued to grow and learn in it since. One of Ron’s colleagues states that “Ron makes it his personal mission to develop those around him each and every day.” We’re proud to have this team player as our Member of the Month, and hope you all enjoy watching his highlight.
Introducing Chris and Michelle Ponte, our July Members of the Month! This lovely couple is the proud owner of Cafe Ponte in Clearwater, On Swann in Hyde Park, and are soon opening up a third concept, Olivia, in South Tampa. Watch their highlight to see why these members have such a passion for the industry!
Introducing Heidi Dennis, general manager of the Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale. Heidi has always had a love for hospitality, and her favorite part of the industry is having her wonderful team with her. Heidi is a great inspiration to many, and we are happy to select her as our June Member of the Month!
Our May Member of the Month is Chef Asif Syed with 21 Spices in Naples, FL. Many of you likely know Chef Asif from beating Bobby Flay on his own show, but we know him through his involvement with FRLA. We are excited to have Chef Asif as our May Member of the Month, and hope you enjoy getting to know him, too.