CEO of Related Urban Urges Palm Beach State Grads to “Find Their Passion”
Kenneth A. Himmel, president and CEO of Related Urban, one of the nation’s leading commercial property developers, told Palm Beach College graduates that if you find your passion, you will find your motivation and success will follow. “Never give up on your vision as you mature in your careers,” Himmel advised students.
He speaks from experience. Initially a pre-med student, Himmel graduated in the bottom 20% of his class at The College of William and Mary before deciding to follow his vision of a career in hospitality. He applied to Cornell University‘s prestigious School of Hotel Administration graduating number one in his class and more than a year early.
“It shows you just how quickly all of us can change when you get passionate about what you’re doing,” said at PBSC’s 2023 fall commencement ceremony on Dec. 19, at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach.
Himmel discovered his passion early. At 15 while still in high school, he took a job at a local country club. It was there he learned the foundations of the hospitality business which he parlayed into a highly accomplished 45-year career.
Himmel urged students to seize opportunities as you never know where any single experience might take you. “There are moments in your life when you see something come along and you have to seize the moment,” he said.
That moment for Himmel was when he received a call to interview for a job with the company that owned and managed the Ritz Carlton. That eventually led to his first significant assignment and his “dream job” working on the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Water Tower Place. Himmel encouraged graduates to take the initiative to forge their own paths. “Don’t let anything deter you,” he said.
These days, Himmel spends the majority of his time in Palm Beach County, where Related Urban continues to invest in numerous developments. A big believer in the County’s future growth, he encouraged students to take advantage of all the potential the area offers. “Palm Beach County is the greatest opportunity zone in the entire country,” he concluded. “We look forward to welcoming you into your future careers here in Palm Beach County.