College of Business hosts Mitchell Kaplan as Distinguished Visiting Professor
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – March 28, 2008 – With more than 25 years of experience as a small business owner, Mitchell Kaplan had much to share with Johnson & Wales University business students when he spoke as a Distinguished Visiting Professor on March 26.
Kaplan, owner of the successful independent book store, Books & Books, spoke about the changing landscape of business in Miami, and the importance of thinking outside of the box to be successful, citing his decision to institute event-based marketing to promote his stores. His success in engaging community support for events hosted at his other stores caused Bal Harbour Shoppes to seek out his business.
Kaplan’s success is built not only on promotion, but on a community-oriented mindset. "Small business is the backbone of a community," Kaplan said. "That sense of neighborhood is disappearing and I would argue this is because of struggles of small businesses."
Kaplan owns the Books & Books locations in Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Delray Beach, Bal Harbour and Grand Cayman. He opened the Coral Gables store in 1982 and the Miami Beach location in 1989.
Kaplan is a founder and chair of the board of directors for the Miami Book Fair International. He also serves on the steering committee of the Florida Center for Literary Arts, which coordinates literary events year round. South Florida literacy is one of his major concerns, and he hopes to continue to improve the literacy rate through his outreach to the community.
The Distinguished Visiting Professor (DVP) program draws top executives from the hospitality and business fields to Johnson & Wales to share their knowledge with students. Former distinguished visiting professors include William Fisher, president and chief executive officer of the America Hotel and Motel Association; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, vice chair and chief executive officer, Carlson Holdings Co.; Gordon "Butch" Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International; Henry Lee, Emeritus for the Scientific Services for Connecticut, author Stedman Graham and William S. Norman, president and chief executive officer of the Tourism Industry Association of America.
Johnson & Wales University, founded in 1914, is a nonprofit, private institution. A recognized leader in career education, we offer accredited degrees in business, hospitality, culinary arts, technology and education. With a diverse student body of more than 16,000 graduate and undergraduate students, representing all 50 states and 89 countries, JWU prepares students for personal and professional success by integrating rigorous academics and professional skills, community leadership opportunities and our unique career education model. The university is committed to urban revitalization and thoughtful historic renovation. Through active civic participation and by offering unique learning opportunities, JWU improves the quality of life in its campus communities in Providence, R.I., North Miami, Fla., Denver, Colo., and Charlotte, N.C. For more information visit www.jwu.edu.