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Hodges University Announces 2015 Excellence In Diversity Awards

Naples, Fla. – September 16, 2015 – Hodges University is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Excellence in Diversity Awards. Recipients are recognized in two categories, professional and organization, as outstanding examples of embracing diversity and inclusion in the southwest Florida community. The three organizations and three professionals will be honored during the 8th Annual Diversity Festival on Saturday, October 3 at the Hodges University Naples campus.

2015 Hodges University Dr. Harold Russell Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion recipients are:

Lisa Akita Cannon, Executive Director for the Collier County NAACP
Maria Luisa Malta Carter, Founder & President, Bee Gaia, Inc.
Thomas Donahue, General Manager of Hilton Naples/Shula’s American Steakhouse
2015 Hodges University Business Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion recipients are:

Champions For Learning
Enterprise Holdings
Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida
The Diversity Festival, which has attracted approximately 3,000 attendees in past years, brings together various cultures and ethnic groups located in southwest Florida for a public day of celebration, food, music, art, dance and other entertainment to promote understanding, education, and inclusion throughout our culturally diverse community.

The festival will kick off with the Parade of Nations, visually representing several countries historically and culturally. Featured jazz artist Galen Abdur Razzaq & Company will close the event. All festival attendees are encouraged to bring two non-perishable items to donate to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit This years event sponsors include Home Depot, Media Vista Group, and Lee Pitts of Lee Pitts Live. To become a sponsor, volunteer or vendor, please email Gail Williams at