Alumni connection takes on a Latin flavor.

From left, Alex Lastra (BBA’91) and Ramon Ferran (BBA’79)

We all have our morning routines. For Alex Lastra (BBA ’91), principal of Atlantic & Pacific Development, and Ramon Ferran (BBA ’79), senior vice president of commercial lending at TotalBank, the day does not start without a quick stop at Versailles in Little Havana. For more than a year, the two College alums would greet each other at 7:00 a.m. as they got their morning kick with a Miami staple—Cuban coffee. They were both, however, oblivious of their FIU connection until they coincidentally attended the launch of the Real Estate Alumni Affinity Council on May 24 at the Miami City Club.

“When I saw Ramon I knew I recognized him from somewhere but couldn’t pinpoint the place—and then it hit me—Versailles,” Lastra said. Both Ferran and Lastra smiled and shook their heads.

“We’re morning regulars,” said Ferran—who knew what Lastra ordered for breakfast every morning before he actually met him—a cortadito, croqueta, and bottled water.

This business alumni connection proves once again just how small our community is. Today, Florida International University has more than 110,000 alumni living in Miami-Dade County. So, next time you stop for coffee, gas or a quick bite to eat, look around: you might just find a fellow alumnus/ae. As for Ferran and Lastra, the two continue to stop for their morning quick-start at Versailles, a place with tradition, friendly faces and, as Ferran puts it best, “flavor.”

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