Ben Novack Jr., president and C.E.O. of Fort Lauderdale-based Convention Concepts Unlimited, was found dead in his hotel room in Rye Brook, New York, on Sunday morning. The Sun-Sentinel reports that Novack had been attending the convention he planned for 1,200 Spanish-speaking people for Amway Global International. According to Rye Brook police chief Gregory Austin, Novack’s wife found him beaten to death on the side of the bed when she returned from breakfast in the hotel lobby yesterday morning.
Nikki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Sentinel that Novack had been finalizing arrangements to bring a 5,000-person Amway-related conference to the Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County Convention Center in September. “This is shocking that someone’s life could end the way this has happened,” she said.
Novack grew up in Miami at the Fontainebleau Hotel—his parents founded the property in 1954 before selling it in 1977—in the company of celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.
Police believe the attack was deliberate, though they have yet to announce a motive or suspect. More details will be released after the autopsy report has been completed.