Ramola Motwani is the Chairwoman of Merrimac Ventures, a real estate management, investment, and development company with interests in the US and India. The company is based in Fort Lauderdale, FL where it employs over 100 people. Merrimac Ventures has properties in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Missouri.
Ramola Motwani was born and raised in India where she received her law degree from the Government Law College in Mumbai, India. She began her business career in the US with an import/export business she started with her late husband Ramesh ‘Bob’ Motwani in St. Charles, Missouri. In the mid-1980s, they expanded the business into hotels by purchasing numerous properties on Fort Lauderdale Beach. They owned and operated, among others, the Merrimac and Gold Coast Beach Resort Hotels for many years until Bob passed away in 1994. Mrs. Motwani then took over the operations of the entire company while raising two teenage sons, Nitin and Dev. She has operated several hotels in Broward County, predominantly on Fort Lauderdale Beach. She also expanded the business while becoming one of the most active local community leaders.
Mrs. Motwani is very active in the Fort Lauderdale community and has been a major component in beach development and redevelopment issues. She was instrumental in securing major sponsors to assist with the cost of updating the wave-wall lights when the city didn’t have the funding to do so. She recently planned the Centennial Beachfest celebration with the entire City Commission, and she started the annual holiday lights effort on the beach. She was also the founding Chairwomen of the annual Jeb Bush Classic Beach Bash fundraiser benefitting Cystic Fibrosis.
Recently, she was appointed by the county mayor to the Tourist Development Council, which oversees all tourism-related monies and efforts for the county. She is an active member of the Broward Workshop, serving on both the Education and Government Relations Committee. Ramola is a member of the United Way of Broward County, serving as their chairwoman for the annual Mayor’s Gala. She recently served on the Advisory Committee for the Business Improvement District on the Fort Lauderdale Beach, was recently the Vice Chair of the Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board which advises the Fort Lauderdale City Commission, and is the Former Chair of the Beach Council, a group she has actively participated in as a Chamber of Commerce Trustee for over 20 years. She is a State Board Member of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and was appointed by the governor’s office to the FL Commission on the Status of Women.
Her civic-minded affiliations include being the President of the Alliance of Global Sindhi Associations and a Treasurer of the Global Sindhi Foundation. She is a Life member of Association of Indians in America, she has represented Sindhi Adhikar Manch at the United Nations and serves on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club. She has been involved in many other charities, such as, being a volunteer with the Citizens Volunteer Corps, a Trustee of the South Florida Hindu Temple, past Vice President of the India – US Chamber of Commerce Inc., South Florida and past President of the Sindhi Association of South Florida, as well as a Founding Member of International Chamber of GOPIO.
She was inducted into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, the NSU Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame. Other awards she has received are the March of Dimes Woman of Distinction Award, the Salute to Business Award, the Woman’s Council Award and the AGSA Sindhi Association Award, the SunSentinel Excalibur Small Business Leader for Broward County, Cleveland Clinic Sapphire Award, Women of Excellence, City of Fort Lauderdale Beach Visionaries Award, Sant Nirankari Mission Outstanding Contribution Towards Betterment of the Community, Desh-Videsh Media Group Community Leader Award, South Florida Business Journal Ultimate CEO Award, Individual Fundraiser of the Year for Scleroderma Foundation, Largest Team Fundraiser for Scleroderma, Alliance of Sindhi Associations of America, Inc. Leadership Award, and the Chamber Women’s Circle of Excellence Award for Hospitality.