HSMAI Foundation Announces 2022 Mike Dimond Fellowship Program Recipients

The International Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s Mike Dimond Scholarship. This prestigious program supports degree-seeking students who plan to pursue a career in hospitality. The 2022 Mike Dimond Scholars are Tara Hajari and Ava Ruff.

Tara Hajari

Tara is a student at Florida State University. She hopes to graduate in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Tara is both a resident assistant for FSU University Housing and a customer service representative for FSU Campus Recreation. She has volunteered over 100 hours of community service for Pets Unconditionally Rescued and Rehomed (PURR) and completed 100 hours in children’s ministry at Lifepoint Church delivering the basic curriculum. Tara plans to pursue a career in hospitality and entrepreneurship and hopes to spend time in all aspects of hospitality, including restaurants and hotels.

Ava Ruff

Ava is a student at New York University studying hospitality and tourism management. She is expected to graduate in May 2024 with her bachelor’s degree and a minor in entertainment, media and technology business. She is the social and community chair of the NYU Hospitality Business Society and events chair of the NYU HSMAI chapter where she is responsible for planning events for both organizations, building external relationships and helping to create visits to New York hotel establishments. Tara is also a player on the NYU women’s lacrosse team, a member of the Stern Tisch Entertainment Business Association, and a writer for NYU Comedy Magazine: The Plague.

The competition for scholarships is tough. Application criteria include industry work experience, submission of a personal essay, professional recommendations, and maintenance of a cumulative grade point average. Scholarship funds for scholars are designated for the 2022-2023 academic year.

“We are thrilled to help the bright future of these promising hospitality students through the Mike Dimond Scholarship Program,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, HSMAI Foundation Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. General of HSMAI. “The 2022 Mike Dimond Scholarship Program will help give these students the chance to pursue their dreams and play a defining role in the future of our industry.”

Mike Dimond was widely recognized as one of the top hotel marketing executives in the United States. This scholarship program was created by his family and friends to expand and enhance the educational opportunities available to hospitality students interested in following in his footsteps.

Each year, two $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to deserving degree-seeking students with the intention of pursuing careers in hotel sales, marketing, or revenue optimization. To learn more, visit the
HSMAI Mike Dimond Scholarship Program Online.


HSMAI is a global organization of sales, marketing and revenue management professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry while functioning as a leading voice for the hospitality and sales, marketing and management disciplines. revenue, as well as to connect its members with customers. Founded in the United States in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization with nearly 5,000 members from 35 countries and chapters around the world. HSMAI operates regionally around the world through regional boards and staff. There are four regions: the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. Each region has signature programs and services for association members. HSMAI has a Global Board of Directors made up of delegates from each region.

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