Starbucks' John Culver names hospitality research suite in Legacy Hall

Jul 23, 2015

Starbucks_-_John_Culver-HiRes1[1]Since graduating from Florida State University's College of Business in 1982, Starbucks' John Culver, has remained involved in his alma mater in substantial ways – such as serving on the FSU Foundation's Board of Trustees, sharing his professional insights with students as a Charles A. Bruning Distinguished Speaker, and providing financial resources that support the College of Business.

This summer, the Dedman alum and group president for Starbucks Coffee China and Asia Pacific, Channel Development and Emerging Brands, and his wife, Karen, made a $250,000 commitment that funds the John and Karen Culver Hospitality Research Center Suite in Legacy Hall. The college's new home is scheduled to break ground as early as fall 2017.

"The Dedman School of Hospitality is a recognized global leader in the area of education and research directly impacting the hospitality industry, and my wife and I are honored that our gift to FSU will help accelerate and expand its efforts to prepare future hospitality leaders," said Culver, a 2015 College of Business Hall of Fame inductee.

"John and Karen's commitment will significantly enhance the education and research missions of the Dedman School, enabling our faculty to produce research that both enriches our students' educational experiences and helps to solve real issues in the hospitality industry," said Michael D. Hartline, interim dean of the College of Business, which houses the Dedman School of Hospitality. "We are incredibly proud of John and his accomplishments and especially honored that he and Karen have chosen to invest in the future of our college and the hospitality program."

Culver joined Starbucks in August 2002 as vice president and general manager of Foodservice, responsible for leading sales, marketing and operations. In 2007, he was promoted to president of Starbucks Coffee Asia Pacific, and cultivated the Starbucks Experience for all Starbucks company-operated, joint venture and licensed markets within the Asia Pacific region and oversaw the company's rapid expansion throughout the 10-market region.

From 2009 to 2011, he served as president of Starbucks Coffee International (SCI), leading teams responsible for the overall management, business development and operations of Starbucks in all markets outside the United States. Known for his vision, strong leadership and ability to connect across cultures, he has played a major role in building the foundation for Starbucks rapid international growth, which today encompasses over 65 markets around the world.

Before joining Starbucks, Culver was vice president of Sales for Nestlé USA. He was responsible for sales, development and growth of more than 30 brands within the foodservice channel across the United States.

Culver has served on the board of directors for the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and on the advisory board for the Pacific Northwest Hospitality Industry, supporting City of Hope. He is actively involved in supporting initiatives to help and hire returning U.S. military veterans and their spouses.

Culver is a member of the Florida State Alumni Association, the Florida State Foundation's President's Club, and an honoree of the Robert Strozier Society within Florida State University Foundation’s Presidents Club.

In 2011, Culver was named the Dedman School of Hospitality's Alumnus of the Year by its Society of Hosts organization and was the Charles A. Bruning Distinguished Speaker at the College of Business. He currently serves on the Florida State Foundation Board of Trustees and is a generous supporter of the Florida State's Seminole Boosters. He and his wife, Karen, also established the John & Karen Culver Endowment for International Travel Support for hospitality students.

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