The host of South Florida 

By Jesse Kopp ’11,’12
Published Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011


David Berger ’98 has been climbing the South Florida hospitality ladder since his graduation in 1998.  He has always taken the opportunities in front of him and made the most out of every situation.  It has led him to his current dream job, the General Manager of the 405-room Sheraton Miami Airport & Executive Meeting Center.  The most impressive part was he was in charge of converting it from a Wyndham to a Sheraton.  David believes your dream job always changes as your goals change, but as of right now he’s “living the dream.” 


What about your Lynn education helped you get where you are today?

It really prepared me for the hotel business and what to expect day in and day out in hotel operations. Lynn also taught me how to manage people the correct way as well as how to lead and how to be the best manger I can be.


Were there particular faculty members who had an impact on you? How?

Dr. Downey professor for the College of Hospitality Management taught me how important numbers are to the industry and always protect the bottom line. I also learned how to utilize numbers to best benefit the hotel or specific organization.


How did Lynn meet your particular educational needs?

The small classroom environment really appealed to me.  I don’t think I ever had a class with more than 25 students in it.  It really let me as well as other students have a one-on-one relationship with our professors.  I had real relationships with my professors that I really couldn’t get at any other university.


What words of advice would you give to a LU student today?

A lot of what you learn in the classroom needs to be learned in a hands-on experience within the industry.  So get involved and take internships.  Make sacrifices. In the end they pay off. Not always convenient but you have to take the opportunities as they present themselves.


Can you provide a brief overview of your activities/accomplishments since graduation?

  • Assistant General Manager- 220-room Beach Resort in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea,
       Florida (Clarion Beach Resort)  
  • General Manager- 130-room Wellesley Inn & Suites in Jupiter, Florida      
  • General Manager- 150-room Wellesley Inn & Suites in Tampa, Florida  
       (Tampa Airport) 
  • General Manager- 156-room Hampton Inn & Suites in Downtown Fort Lauderdale
       *Opened Hotel
  • General Manager- 150-room Hampton Inn & Suites in Aventura, Florida 
       (Next to Gulfstream Racetrack)
  • General Manager- 190-room Residence Inn in Aventura, Florida 
       (Adjacent to Aventura Mall)
  • General Manager- 290-room Sheraton in Downtown Orlando
       (Next to Amway Arena/Home of the Orlando Magic)  
       *Converted hotel from a Marriott to a Sheraton
       (Completed 3 Million Dollar Renovation)
  • General Manager- 405-room Sheraton Miami Airport & Executive Meeting Center
       (At the Miami Airport)  *Converted hotel from a Wyndham to a Sheraton

Do you keep in contact with any alumni, students or professors from your time here at Lynn University?

I keep in contact with many of my former teammates from the baseball team.  The competiveness I learned from sports helps me in the business world because I always want to be the best.


What prepared you must for the job you hold now?

Every job you go to, the next move up has to be towards your dream job—even though your dream job will change over time as you move up and your goals change.  I like to go somewhere where there is a challenge. Past experiences have prepared me for where I am now.


What’s your favorite part of your job?

The employees are my favorite part.  People want to be led. They don’t want a manager, they want a leader.  I love recruiting team members who have drive and passion for the hospitality industry.