Nightlife, restaurant and hospitality entrepreneur David Grutman is used to hanging out with celebrities. So why not invite them to the class he's teaching for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management?
That's exactly what happened this week, during week two of the five-week course called The David Grutman Experience: The Class, which took place Tuesday night at the Kovens Conference Center on the Biscayne Bay Campus. Students cheered as soccer superstar David Beckham made his way on stage.
This week's course focused on building a brand. Who better to talk about that than Grutman, who owns a number of restaurants in Miami-Dade county and is set to open The Goodtime Hotel on MIami Beach soon, and his guest, who is part owner and responsible for bringing Major League Soccer and the Inter Miami CF to South Florida.
"This is about building a legacy for me," Beckham said. "I try to work harder than everyone else," he told the students, who were in awe and excited to ask the superstar questions.
Before Beckham took the stage, students also heard from legendary talent manager Shep Gordon live from Hawaii via Zoom and nightlife promoter Michael Gardner, who is the man behind the famous Sunday night parties at LIV nightclub at the Fontainebleau. Gardner joined Grutman on stage to discuss the keys to success in a competitive and constantly changing marketplace.
In addition to encouraging students to work hard and give back to their community, Beckham took his appearance a step further by staying after class to take a masked selfie with every single student. Students say it was unexpected and gave him and Grutman an A+ for it.
"This is a great class. I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” said student and marketing major Maria Valdes, who left the class with a smile.