Alumni Spotlight

Four alumni named 2017-2018 foundation board of directors officers

The FIU Foundation Board of Directors has named four alumni as officers: Richard Brilliant, Humberto “Burt” Cabañas, Andre L. Teixeira, and Jill M. Granat.

As officers, the four alumni, who have contributed to FIU and held volunteer leadership roles over the years, are tasked with advancing the university through philanthropy.

“It is our privilege to have these four respected individuals lead our Foundation Board,” said Howard Lipman, CEO of the FIU Foundation, Inc. “Each person brings a wealth of talent and a unique background that will benefit both FIU and the community we serve.”

Richard Brilliant, chairperson, is the chief audit officer for Carnival Corporation & plc, where he manages an international team of approximately 100 professionals and reports directly to the board of directors on the design and effectiveness of financial, operational, safety, health, and security risks for the corporation’s nine cruise brands.
Brilliant also participates in the Big Brothers Big Sisters School-to-Work mentoring program, and he continues to participate in several service-day events benefiting organizations that assist the disadvantaged in the Miami area. He graduated from FIU in 1993 with a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management.

Humberto “Burt” Cabañas, vice chairperson, is the founder and chairman of Benchmark, a leading hospitality management company and recognized global leader in the management and marketing of resorts, hotels, and conference centers.

He previously served as chairman of the Industry Advisory Board for FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. In 2015, the university recognized him with the FIU Alumnus of the Year Award, which is presented to an outstanding alumnus or alumna who has been a dedicated contributor to their field, alma mater, and community. Cabañas graduated from FIU in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management.

Andre L. Teixeira, treasurer, is executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Graham Companies, a privately owned real estate company.

He has been involved with FIU since 2004, when he joined FIU’s Alumni Circle as a founding member and has served on the Master of Science in Finance Advisory Council and the College of Business Dean’s Council. He is a member of the Florida Institute of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs. Teixeira graduated from FIU in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and in 1993 with a master’s degree in accounting.

Jill M. Granat, secretary, is general counsel for Restaurant Brands International. She also serves as the company’s corporate secretary and chief compliance officer. In her role as general counsel and corporate secretary, Granat is responsible for the Burger King Corporation’s global legal and corporate governance affairs. As chief compliance officer, she manages the company’s worldwide ethics and compliance program.

Granat graduated from FIU in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. She also holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Florida.

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