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Casey Gonzmart, Sr.

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Casey Gonzmart is the great-grandson of Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the founder of the world-famous Columbia Restaurant in Tampa’s Historic Ybor City. His parents are César and Adela Gonzmart.

Over the years, Casey has received many awards, including induction into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame.  He received the Vicente Martinez Ybor Legacy Award bestowed by the Ybor City Museum Society upon visionaries who have made a lasting impact on Ybor City.   The Sarasota City Commission also honored Casey as an Outstanding Citizen of Sarasota. He also was named Business Person of the Year.

Casey and his wife, Heidi, live in Tampa and have a son, Carson. Casey has seven children who represent the 5th generation, Cassandra, Casey Jr., Jessica, Charlie, Christian, Marlena and Carson. Casey has three grandchildren who represent the 6th generation.

His oldest son, Casey Jr., works at the corporate office, continuing the legacy of his family’s business.

Casey learned food preparation at an early age in the Columbia kitchen. Casey graduated high school from Tampa’s Jesuit High School. His formal education in hotel and restaurant administration continued at the Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at La Escuela Sindical de Hosteleria in Madrid, Spain. He apprenticed at the Ledoyen Restaurant in Paris, France, and the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. He is chairman of the board of the Columbia Restaurant Group.

 

Through the years, Gonzmart has participated in a number of community organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors of the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. He is a member of the Industry Liaison Council for the International Hospitality & Tourism Management program at Saint Leo University. He is a past chairman of the Ybor City Development Corporation and past chairman of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce in Tampa, Fla.

 

Gonzmart resided in Sarasota, Fla., operating the Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands Circle for more than 20 years before returning to Tampa. While in Sarasota, he served as president of the St. Armands Circle Association, and as president of the Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children. He served on the boards of the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau (currently Visit Sarasota) and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium..