The fifth and final installment of The David Grutman Experience: The Class came to an end this week with a familiar face taking the stage. No, not one of Grutman's celebrity friends, but FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.
"One of the people with whom we associate, whom we learn from, who we draw strength from are also on the cutting edge. And I can't think of anybody who better personifies that than a native Floridian whose name is Dave Grutman, who is going to speak to you this evening," said Rosenberg as he introduced the nightlife, restaurant and hospitality entrepreneur and owner of Groot Hospitality, as socially distanced and masked students applauded.
Grutman is teaching the largest class on campus this semester at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management with more than 150 students.
A native Floridian, Grutman is responsible for several of the most successful and world-renowned brands in hospitality and nightlife. In 2018, he formed Groot Hospitality bringing all of his distinct trademark ventures under one umbrella, including nightclub LIV and restaurants Komodo, Swan and Bar Bevy and Papi Steak.
Held on the rooftop of the Koven's Conference Center on the Biscayne Bay Campus, Grutman's lesson this week was an overview of what it takes to run a successful business. Besides personal advice, he offered students an opportunity to ask questions and hear answers from members of his team, like his nightlife director Purple and his publicist Chad Fabrikant.
Over the last five weeks, Grutman has invited his celebrity entrepreneur friends to speak. Week one was Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports. During week two, soccer superstar David Beckham graced the class with his advice on building a brand, then taking his visit a step further by taking a selfie with every single student. During week three, students took a field trip to LIV at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach and his last class wound up back on campus with a visit from Pharrell Williams and heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua.
"One of the lessons you can take away is that for us, we're going to find a way at this university to get through it and to be better. And I can tell you that having someone of the level of Dave Grutman to walk us through to what it's going to take in the next few years is a precious opportunity that we can draw strength from, that we can draw hope from and we can be even more optimistic coming out of this class," Rosenberg concluded.
The class ended with smoke effects, students holding up glowsticks and a large thank you to Grutman and his entire team.