Monique Hamaty-Simmonds, CEO and president of Tortuga Rum Cake Company/Tortuga Imports Inc., was honoured by the Florida International University Alumni Association with the Charles E. Perry Young Alumni Visionary Award at the 10th Annual Torch Awards Gala on 19 March in Miami.
The Young Visionary Award annually recognises an FIU graduate who has made significant contributions to their field early on in their career.
Another distinguished alumni honoured at the gala was Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International.
Ms Hamaty-Simmonds thanked her family, friends and staff for their support, and added, “It was a pleasant surprise to discover that Adam Stewart was also being honoured. Jamaicans making headlines! I hope we inspire many more people to have a vision and drive to succeed.”
A 1996 FIU graduate in Business Administration, Ms Hamaty-Simmonds is a second- generation entrepreneur.
Her father, Robert Hamaty and his wife Carlene started the Tortuga Rum Company in Grand Cayman in 1984 and later introduced the Tortuga Rum Cake baked from a generations-old family recipe.
In 1997 Monique and her husband, Marcus Simmonds opened Tortuga Imports, also known as the Tortuga Rum Cake Company, in Miami to bring Tortuga’s “taste of the Islands” to the American market.
In May, Ms Hamaty-Simmonds, 39, will be inducted into the FIU College of Business Administration’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.