Four Fort Lauderdale icons will be inducted into the city’s Walk of Fame on Saturday, May 27th, as part of its eighth annual Great American Beach Party celebration.
The City of Fort Lauderdale established the Walk of Fame in 2010 at the inaugural Great American Beach Party to pay tribute to the legendary Connie Francis on the 50th Anniversary of “Where the Boys Are,” the 1960 film which made Fort Lauderdale an overnight sensation and a “must see” destination for visitors.
Walk of Fame Honorees are recognized for outstanding work in their respective fields and for making long-term positive contributions to the City of Fort Lauderdale. As part of the awards program, each honoree receives a commemorative marble paver that is placed in the Walk of Fame to memorialize their outstanding accomplishments. The Fort Lauderdale Walk of Fame is located on the beach along the east side of A1A at Las Olas Boulevard. Walk of Fame Honorees are announced at the Great American Beach Party, which annually takes place on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.
The 2017 Walk of Fame Honorees include:
Dr. George L. Hanbury II
George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. has had a profound positive impact on the City of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and the entire South Florida community. As City Manager of the City of Fort Lauderdale from 1990 to 1998, Dr. Hanbury’s vision and leadership helped transform Fort Lauderdale from a seasonal tourist destination to a year- round upscale family resort and world-class center for business, culture, and the arts. During his tenure, he oversaw the completion of an array of major redevelopment projects including the renovation of Fort Lauderdale Beach, the creation of Riverwalk and the Art and Science District, and the revitalization of Las Olas Boulevard, while also securing a voter approved $35 million bond referendum to expand, upgrade, and improve the entire City parks system. Dr. Hanbury raised economic development to a new level by spearheading revisions to the City’s land use development regulations which helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars in private sector investment for an array of commercial, residential, and mixed-use projects that began to redefine downtown as an emerging international business district offering a unique, urban lifestyle. In the late 1990s, Dr. Hanbury transitioned to an academic career at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 1998 to 2010, before being named President and CEO in 2011. Under Dr. Hanbury’s leadership, NSU has become one of only 37 universities in the nation to hold the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s dual designation of both “Community Engaged” and “High Research Activity.” Dr. Hanbury has been honored by many organizations, including accolades such as the 2015 Sun-Sentinel Excalibur Award, 2014 South Florida Business Journal Ultimate CEO Award, and Fort Lauderdale’s 2013 Downtowner of the Year. He also commits much of his time to civic activities, serving on numerous boards, including the Broward Workshop Executive Committee and the Sunshine State Conference.
The Motwani Family
The Motwani Family (the late Ramesh “Bob,” Ramola, Dev, and Nitin) has been instrumental in the transformation of Fort Lauderdale Beach into a world-class, year-round international tourism destination. The family moved to Fort Lauderdale Beach in the mid 1980s, and began acquiring small hotels along A1A. Bob Motwani worked closely with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce’s Beach Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau to help attract new businesses to the area. The Motwani family owned and operated numerous hotels on Fort Lauderdale Beach including the Merrimac and Gold Coast Beach Resort. After Bob passed away in 1994, Ramola took over the entire company and, while raising her two sons, continued to pursue the family’s vision of developing Fort Lauderdale Beach into an upscale “must see” vacation destination. Today, the family’s company, Merrimac Ventures, is one of South Florida’s leading real estate management, investment and development businesses. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, the company employs more than 100 people with properties in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Texas. The family’s current projects include the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, Paramount Fort Lauderdale, the Gale Boutique Hotel and Residences, Las Olas Riverfront, and the Flagler Village Hotel in downtown. The Motwani family has donated their time, talent, energy, and support to numerous civic endeavors including the Fort Lauderdale Citizens Volunteer Corps, Broward Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, Broward College Foundation, Broward Workshop, Fort Lauderdale Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board, Fort Lauderdale Beach Business Improvement District, Fort Lauderdale Economic Development Advisory Board, Downtown Council, Beach Council, Operation Hope for Haiti, the Orange Bowl Host Committee and countless others. The family was responsible for creating the annual beach holiday lighting ceremony, was instrumental in planning the City’s Centennial Beach Fest celebration, and put together the group that brought back the Fort Lauderdale Air Show in 2012.
The late Kaye Pearson began his career in the marine industry in 1971 as a partner at Pearson Potter Yacht Basin. He helped develop marinas internationally, partnered in local real estate and building investments, and sat on several company boards including the International Game Fish Association, Facing It Together, and the Bank of Florida. In 1976, Kaye Pearson founded Show Management to operate the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and, over the ensuing decades, he grew the event into the largest, most recognizable boat show in the world. Today, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show covers more than 3 million square feet of exhibit space at seven venues. It features more than 1,000 exhibitors from 30 countries displaying over 1,500 boats and close to $4 billion worth of yachts, watercrafts, marine products and merchandise. The event attracts close to 150,000 visitors, produces $131 million in sales for Broward County businesses, and generates an astounding $857 million in total economic impact which is more than any other event in Florida, including the Super Bowl. In addition to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, under Kaye Pearson’s leadership, Show Management owned or operated the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show, Palm Beach Boat Show, St. Petersburg Boat Show, and a host of other regional boat shows and special events. Kaye Pearson was the recipient of the International Superyacht Society Leadership Award and the Fort Lauderdale Distinguished Citizen Award. He was inducted into the Nova Southeastern University School of Business Hall of Fame and the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame, and was active in numerous civic, non-profit, and charitable organizations including the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, Broward County Library Foundation, International Game Fish Association, Fish Florida, Florida Ocean Science Institute for troubled youth, Humane Society of Broward County, and the Literary Feast.
The Zloch Brothers
The Zloch brothers (William, Chuck, and James) have contributed to Fort Lauderdale’s advancement through their distinguished judicial, business, legal, and civic leadership. Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, William J. “Bill” Zloch graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School and attended the University of Notre Dame where he quarterbacked the Fighting Irish during the 1965 season under legendary coach Ara Parseghian. After graduating from Notre Dame, Bill served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy from 1967 to 1969 and was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from Notre Dame Law School in 1974 and returned to Fort Lauderdale to begin a private law practice. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan nominated Bill Zloch to a newly created seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and, upon his confirmation by the United States Senate, Judge Zloch became the first Vietnam Veteran in the country named to the federal bench. He served as Chief Judge of the District from 2000 to 2007 and assumed Senior Judge status in January 2017. Judge Zloch accomplishments also include being inducted into the National Conference for Community and Justice and the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame. Hometown football hero Chuck Zloch began playing little league on the fields at Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park. As quarterback of the Fort Lauderdale High School Flying L’s, he led the team to the state championship game at Lockhart Stadium in 1967, was named to the All-Broward football team, and was an honorable mention All-State selection. Chuck Zloch earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he played football for four years under Fighting Irish head coach Ara Parseghian. He was offered free agent contracts by the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions but went on to a successful 40-year career with MassMutual Financial Group. Chuck Zloch has given back to the community through his extensive work on the Board of Directors of Covenant House of Florida, which provides crucial services and assistance to runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth. Jim Zloch was a three sport athlete at Fort Lauderdale High School playing football, basketball, and running track for the Flying L’s in the late 1960s. He graduated from Fort Lauderdale High School in 1970 and followed in his brothers’ footsteps attending the University of Notre Dame and playing as a defensive back for the Fighting Irish under Ara Parseghian in the early 1970s. Jim Zloch received his Bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame in 1974 and his Juris Doctorate from Notre Dame Law School in 1977. He began his legal career with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State Attorney, worked as an Associate Civil Trial Attorney at Patterson & Maloney and, in 1986, joined Wicker, Smith Law Firm as a Civil Trial Attorney, where he worked until his retirement in 2011. Jim Zloch’s commitment to the community includes co-founding the St. Thomas More Society of South Florida in 1989 and establishing the first Red Mass in Fort Lauderdale in 1990 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. Today, the annual Red Mass is one of the largest events for lawyers and judiciary in South Florida. Its origins date back to the 13th Century when it officially opened the court of most European countries. The goal of the Red Mass is to invoke the wisdom of the Holy Spirit on the legal profession. In addition to his work with the St. Thomas More Society, Jim Zloch coached youth sports leagues in the City of Fort Lauderdale for over a decade from 1994 to 2008, and he succeeded his father, the legendary Frederick Zloch, as the “Voice of the Flying L’s” at Fort Lauderdale High School football games.