Miami Herbert alumnus recounts 30-year journey of growth and resilience in hospitality industry

Noah Tepperberg, B.B.A. ’97, an accomplished entrepreneur, unfolds the narrative of his journey in the hospitality industry, providing valuable insights into growth, resilience, and the essence of genuine hospitality.
Miami Herbert alumnus recounts 30-year journey of growth and resilience in hospitality industry

Noah Tepperberg, B.B.A. ’97, reflects on his entrepreneurial journey that began as a college student and has evolved into the renowned TAO Group Hospitality. His commitment to growth and resilience finds inspiration from his ’Cane days, emphasizing the transformative impact of the University on his career.

“When I was a student in Miami, I was able to learn a lot about responsibility, time management, and balancing the different parts of my life. I also learned about building and managing relationships, which is so important for my business,” Tepperberg said.

As a student, Tepperberg delved into marketing and event promotion, hosting and promoting events that resonated with his peers. His knack for creating enjoyable experiences quickly gained traction on and off campus. Recalling his early days, he underscores the significance of a growth mindset, focusing on continuous improvement. “My goal was to make sure that every year the brand would elevate and get a little bigger, but I never knew it could get as big as it did. I never really envisioned having a business that spanned decades and so many cities and concepts,” Tepperberg said.

The alumni network plays a role in Tepperberg’s remarkable journey. After nearly three decades, it continues to be an integral part of his life and professional endeavors, underscoring the lasting, invaluable connections that define the ’Cane community. “The relationships you make as a student are so important. I keep coming back to relationships that I made while I was at the University of Miami, and it’s part of why I’m still very connected to it,” Tepperberg said.

For entrepreneurs, Tepperberg highlighted the importance of cordiality and friendliness, crucial in a business thriving on human connections. “Of course, in my industry, it is important that you are hospitable. You have to be a friendly person. You have to learn how to say hi, thank you, and bye over and over again,” he advises. His work ethic, responsiveness, and commitment to never letting success cloud the roots of his journey showcase the principles that have shaped his career.

As TAO Group expands globally, Tepperberg unveils the key to managing diverse markets—building a robust team. Delegating responsibilities to local experts and ensuring a regional approach to operations have been integral to TAO Group’s scalability. “You have to operate regionally. You have to have local market experts in every market,” Tepperberg said.

Looking forward, Tepperberg envisions a significant push to expand in South Florida, with projects in Miami, Orlando, and possibly Tampa. Beyond the existing portfolio, TAO Group is venturing into hotel concepts, with the first TAO Hotel set to open in Orlando in 2026. The excitement lies not just in scaling existing projects but also in exploring new territories within the hospitality sector.

Reflecting on memorable moments, Tepperberg shared some highlights from his career, including the opening of TAO in Las Vegas, the expansion to Australia with Marquee, and the recent opening of Casadonna in Miami—in partnership with Dave Grutman—marking a homecoming for him. Other notable milestones include organizing events with Jay-Z and Coldplay, and the recognition from Harvard Business School, where a case study on Tepperberg’s first large scale-venue—Marquee New York—became the longest-running in the school’s history.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, Tepperberg’s advice is grounded in courage and diligence. He emphasizes overcoming the fear of failure, urging individuals to embrace the learning opportunities that come with setbacks.

“You cannot be afraid to fail. You have to try. If you fail, you have a chance to learn from it. If you have a good idea, you should pursue it and not be scared of failure.”