Each year, Arlene Pecora orchestrates elegant weddings and grand social occasions in excess of 1,200 special events annually. At the Signature Grand, the 100,000 square foot Mediterranean Mansion, located in Davie, Florida, she hosts events from the smallest private dinner party to the largest gathering of 4,000 holiday party goers.
Pecora's interest in the hospitality industry began early in her life. "I've always had a fascination with the hospitality industry and hotels, and how they are operated. I viewed hotels, particularly resorts, as little cities with a myriad of services and experiences such as spas, restaurants, lounges, meeting rooms and ballrooms."
As a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu School of the Culinary Arts, Paris, Pecora learned the classic preparations for fine cuisine. She and her culinary team at the Signature Grand, lead by Executive Chef David DeLeon and Sous Chef Mercedes Rojas, are "always introducing new menu concepts to clients and searching for the highest quality food sources."
After receiving her B.S. in Hospitality Management at Nova, it took a little persuasion by Joe Pineda, Assistant Dean for External Relations at the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, to get Pecora (M.B.A. '02) to agree to enter a graduate program. Pecora states that Pineda advised her, "The M.B.A. program would give me an additional edge in the business arena. He was right."
She adds, "Earning my M.B.A. at Nova was an incredibly enriching experience, that included a lot of hard work. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm much more prepared, with the all the tools necessary, to be successful in any business endeavor."
As CEO of the Signature Grand, Pecora is a very busy executive who will work, at times, 7 days a week. In her leisure time, Pecora enjoys charitable work. She also makes time to travel, especially to Paris, where her love for fine cuisine had its beginnings and continues to this day.