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Business Observer Monday, Mar. 9, 2015 7 years ago

USF Sarasota-Manatee dean takes innovative post

Cihan Cobanoglu will run the M3 Center for Hospitality Technology and Innovation.

SARASOTA — Cihan Cobanoglu, a former hotel manager at properties from Istanbul to London, has been named director of the M3 Center for Hospitality Technology and Innovation at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

Cobanoglu, pronounced Cho-ban-o-loo, has been dean of the College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership on campus since 2011. He also ran the school's global engagement office. Plans for identifying replacements for those positions at USF Sarasota-Manatee will be announced soon, according to a release.

The M3 Center grew out of a partnership with Georgia-based M3 Accounting Services in 2012. The center, funded by Tampa hospitality entrepreneur John McKibbon III and the JB McKibbon Foundation, allows USFSM students to gain hands-on hospitality experience, according to the release.

“I am excited to be able to focus on my role with the M3 Center for Hospitality Technology and Innovation in a full-time capacity,” says Cobanoglu, a native of Turkey, in a release. “The M3 Center is involved with exciting projects like the hotel benchmarking index and hospitality software distribution for educational purposes, and these projects deserve my full time attention.”

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