"If you surround yourself with intelligent, hard-working people, and are flexible with their job descriptions based on their strengths, good things will happen. Through outside testing and internal 360° surveys with my direct reports, I had a clear understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses, and I hired individuals specifically to make up for those weaknesses. This was difficult to do as these were professionals that had completely different thought processes than me. I knew it was necessary though in order to balance the team. This has created a culture where everyone feels safe to question each other, regardless of title or tenure.”
Brad Weinbrum, BSADV ‘86
Business Products and Services
Coral Springs, FL
Explore, dream, discover — three words that capture the philosophy of Abode Luxury Vacation Rentals. Where better to free yourself to do those things than in Abode Luxury homes? Discover the vacation of dreams from a collection of exclusive properties.
Rob Alday, BABA ‘03
Travel and Hospitality
Park City, UT
AcuteCare Telemedicine is the leading practice-based provider of telemedicine services for hospitals seeking emergency neurological care. At least one patient in the United States will suffer a stroke in the time it takes to read this paragraph. However, there is a growing shortage of experienced physicians available to provide coverage, and it is critical to address this problem. Founded in 2009, ACT delivers complete on-call emergency neurology coverage, improves patient outcomes, and establishes a sustainable financial model for patient care.
“The harder you work the luckier you get.”
James M. Kiely, BS ‘87
Richard and his father, Charles R. Ahrens, founded Ahrens Companies, a design/ build, architectural, engineering construction firm in Palm Beach County in 1971. Richard represents the sixth generation of his family’s business dating back to the 1800s in St. Louis. “My grandfather, Frank Ahrens, told me when I was 10 that the only time you stop learning is when you are dead. Another piece of advice was to always surround yourself with people who are smarter than yourself. This from a man who patented the first carbide drill bit, the wiggle bender and the first hurricane strap with only a sixth-grade education.”
Richard C. Ahrens, BSBA ‘69
Construction and Design
West Palm Beach, FL
AIT Life Safety, Inc., is a commercial Fire Protection & Life Safety subcontractor that services the Central Florida commercial construction market. Vince serves as Vice President of Operations while his wife, Leigh Ann, is the CEO. The two focus on fulfilling the company’s mission: To continuously improve and deploy the best people, products and processes to provide a single-source life safety integration solution to current and future customers.
“Treat your people better than your customers, but never forget that without your customers you will not have a company.”
Leigh Ann Horton, BSAC ‘94, MACC ‘94
President & Co-Owner
Vince Horton, BA ‘93
Principal & Co-Owner
Edouard co-founded Alter Eco in 2004 with a vision to change the world and introduce delicious, nutritious and environmentally responsible products. Alter Eco is a pioneer of globally-crafted organic foods, including delicious Swiss-made chocolate bars and truffles, Bolivian Royal heirloom quinoa, heirloom Thai rice and Mascobado cane sugar. All Alter Eco products are USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Carbon Neutral Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten-Free.
“Just do it! The power of naivety is the #1 reason for many entrepreneurs’ success stories.”
Edouard Rollet, MAMC ‘01
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Food and Beverage
San Francisco, CA
Amazing Taste is a leading partner and supplier to many national food companies. Its protein-specific seasoning retail line is successfully merchandised in meat and seafood departments of major and local retail chains nationwide. “I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to come to this great country and to stay here. When I arrived at Oklahoma State University I had never seen a pig in my life, nor did I know what a sow was. With some hard work and determination, I managed to receive a scholarship from the University of Florida for a Ph.D. degree in Meat Science. From there, it was an interesting and rewarding journey."
Ghazi Taki, PHD ‘65
American Management Group is a full-service residential community association and project management company, offering cutting-edge solutions, technology, veteran property managers and world-class service to exceed the expectations of even the most demanding clients. Erik co-founded American Management Group, and serves as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
“Prepare a detailed business plan, which will provide a strong foundation for your venture. A well-researched business plan will ensure that you are prepared to address and resolve any issues that may arise."
Erik Levin, BSBA ‘04
Pembroke Pines, FL
Seeing an opportunity in the midst of the financial crisis, Sarkis and his brother formed a real estate company, despite neither of them having experience in the industry. Sarkis states that hard work, honesty and integrity were of incredible value in building their business and brand reputation, and that the most valuable advice he can offer young entrepreneurs is to “give luck a chance.
Sarkis Anac, BS ‘08
Atlantic Logistics, Inc. is a family-owned transportation logistics company started by Robert’s parents, Evie and Bob Hooper. Robert learned all aspects of the business, and took over daily operations after his father was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2008. “Keep your organization lean and set your goal for steady, measured growth. We have a very flat organization which allowed us to survive the Great Recession without laying off a single person.
Robert Hooper, BA ‘91
Audience, Inc. is a commercial audio-visual design & installation firm focused on cutting edge AV technology. Serving the DFW area since 2002, Audience is a family-owned business, maintaining their position of superior expert service by continuously educating their design & installation teams. Their longstanding relationship with the Dallas Cowboys franchise shows their commitment to excellence.
Carlina Womeldorph, BSAC ’94, MBC ’96
Kaustubh founded AventuSoft with a goal to transform lives by continuously enhancing the efficiency and function of people through advanced biologically inspired engineering. AventuSoft has developed two innovative platform technologies for communication disorders and cardiac health. Providing cost-effective treatment options with improved outcomes is a vision AventuSoft has successfully pursued, and continues to strive to achieve in all its work.
Kaustubh Kale, MS ‘03, MS ‘03
Justin is the President and Founder of Bintelli, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of power sports products, with a focus on electric vehicles, gas powered motor scooters, and racing go karts. With dealerships and customers around the globe, Bintelli’s products are quickly becoming a household name in their product categories. Their electric vehicles range from two to 29 passengers, with both retail and commercial applications available in over 40 different chassis configurations.
“Don’t give up just because you hear “no” a few [hundred] times! Keep pressing on, believe in what you’re trying to accomplish, and fight through all the negativity to find a way to get it done!”
Ashley Jackrel, BSA ‘07
Justin Jackrel, BABA ‘05
Consumer Products and Services
A short time after leaving UF, a serendipitous walk through the mall led to Sheryl’s new research question: Can video games be the “enriched environment” humans respond to best? After spending five years in academia studying off-the shelf games and building prototypes, she decided to start a company focused on designing and developing games solely for rehabilitation. So, in 2008, she founded Blue Marble Game Co, a software company that aims to improve brain rehabilitation outcomes through digital games. Sheryl and her team use evidence based medicine and science to drive design and performance metrics used to determine outcomes.
“Surround yourself with the most talented, creative, intelligent, passionate, trustworthy people you can find. Together you will be unstoppable."
Sheryl Flynn, MHS ‘97, PHD ‘01
“My wife and I had our first child when we were still in high school. We were on Medicaid and food stamps that first year, and struggled to support ourselves. While the odds were stacked against us, we worked our way through high school and college. Having to support a family so early in life gave me perspective on the hard work and relationship skills it takes to be successful in business. I am very proud that my wife and I are still happily married 22 years later, and have four wonderful kids.”
Paul Edward DeHart, III, BSEN ‘98, JD ‘01
Formally Kitchen Resource Direct
Cabinets.com is a nationwide online retailer of assembled and ready-to-assemble kitchen and bath cabinets, with offices in Tampa and Maitland. Cabinets.com provides free professional kitchen design services, including 3-D renderings, as well as detailed pricing and information. The company’s goal is to make buying cabinets easy and affordable, while offering more styles and options than any other online company.
Benjamin Gordon, BSBA ‘04
CTO & Managing Partner
Christopher Larsen, BDES ‘04
CEO & Managing Partner
Carolina Lift Stations provides maintenance and repair of pump stations and water/wastewater treatment plants. Rebecca co-owns the business with her husband, James. As Director of Operations, Rebecca has been instrumental in the growth of the company from a garage with two employees and two vehicles, to a 10,000-square-foot shop/office with 17 employees and a fleet of 10 service vehicles. Rebecca remains positive when thinking back on her success.
“Anything is possible when you have the right team in place.”
Rebecca Knowles Caldwell, BA ‘92
Owner & CFO
In 1990, David produced the first-ever software study aids for law students, Casebriefs. Several years later, Casebriefs was sold to the legal publishing division of Thomson Reuters. David then established WizeUp.com to convert the $6.5 billion college textbook market from printed products to entirely digital content with sales and delivery via the Web. WizeUp became the world’s largest developer and distributor of electronic college textbooks, and was eventually sold to a strategic publishing company. David repurchased Casebriefs, and converted the B to C business model to a B to B model. Casebriefs became a free site completely supported by advertiser and sponsorship revenues, and today is the most widely used site for U.S. legal education worldwide.
David Gray, BSBA ‘88
Boca Raton, FL
“My first job was with a large Wall Street firm, and I learned a lot of important lessons about what I didn’t like about the investing industry. That experience fueled my desire to create something better, so I started researching how other firms practiced. Armed with plenty of information on how investment firms were run, I felt confident that starting a firm—which once seemed like a big and impossible task—was now well within in reach. Now, five and a half years later, my firm is one of the most progressive investment consulting firms in the country, and that is largely due to my ‘negative’ experiences early in my career.”
James Di Virgilio, BSBA ‘04, MS ‘05
Chaparral Boats, Inc. is the third-largest Stern-drive Boat Builder in the United States, and ships its product worldwide to 26 countries. Chaparral and Robalo Boats LLC are leading manufacturers of fiberglass boats, operated as subsidiaries of Marine Products Corporation (NYSE: MPX) which designs, manufactures and distributes premium-branded Chaparral stern-drive and inboard pleasure boats. “My passion was always boating and the water, and I met a young man who had a passion for building boats. We decided to combine our diverse skills and our interests to create a boat manufacturing company that has worldwide distribution under the brand names of Chaparral and Robalo. A dream was fulfilled!”
James Lane, BSBA ‘64
In 1958, Citizens State Bank (CSB) set out to develop banking services that follow a core philosophy: Maintaining the highest level of customer service. CSB is dedicated to providing customers with a positive, friendly environment that is able to meet their banking needs. One of the key aspects to its success is the understanding that in our technologically-changing world, banking services are also subject to change.
Paul W. Dickert, BBC ‘78
As President of Coastal Construction Company, a business which handles design and construction from commercial buildings to disaster recovery, Dan is responsible for leading the commercial and condominium companies. Having received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in building construction, and his Ph.D. in Design, Construction, and Planning, Dan leads one of the top 100 construction management companies in the country.
“There is one quote that I was taught by my mother almost 60 years ago. It can be found more often now, and is listed as Anonymous, but she had me memorize it from the time I was a small boy. “If a job is one begun, never leave it til it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all."
Sean Murphy, BBC ‘95
Tom C. Murphy, BBC ‘92
Daniel Whiteman, BBC ‘69, MBC ‘92, PHD ‘02
In 1989, Rick founded CTD Holdings, a developing and marketing business of cyclodextrins and related products for a wide range of industries. CTD Holdings has been the go-to company for over 20 years for anyone in need of high quality cyclodextrin compounds and expertise, and has the largest catalogue of cyclodextrins in the world.
“Be sure you can work in this venture 24 hours a day for $5000/month. All compensation beyond that is a bonus. The other $15,000/month you deserve comes from having a place you can spend your time on your terms.”
C.E. "Rick" Strattan, BS ‘67, MS ‘80, MBA ‘82
Delta Capital Management is a fee-based financial planning and investment management firm. The company provides services to individuals, trusts and qualified retirement plans. In investing, as in tailoring, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. The most important thing we do is tailor client finances to their individual investment needs and risk tolerances. Only after defining the end needs can we truly map out a plan to get you there.
Sean Casterline, BSBA ’91, MBA ’98
For the professionals at Dental Associates of Florida Tampa Office, you are more than just a patient. You are an individual with specific needs. Licensed and certified, these dental professionals provide a wide range of services. They offer a range of advanced services and techniques including dental implants, LANAP laser gum surgery, precision fit cosmetic dentures, TMJ treatments, and a wide range of cosmetic services including dental bridges, crowns and Invisalign.
“Setting short-term and long-term goals is critical to maintaining focus. In our experience, having those goals gives you a finish line to strive for."
John Carter, DMD ‘96
William “Trey” Mueller, III, BSA ‘01, DMD ‘05
Stephen J. “Trey” Walding, III, BSA ‘92, DMD ‘96
Plant City, FL
Destinations to Explore is an online travel agency specializing in family travel. The company has expanded to 70 agents and over 800 websites that consider them their official travel agency. Destinations to Explore has received accolades including Universal Orlando Travel Agency of the Year for three years, Disney Destinations Top Sales Performer for two years, Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for 10 years, FunJet 500 Club, and more.
“RISK! Everything we do as an entrepreneur is risky. You have to be strong enough to take that leap and try it, even if you are scared.”
Allison Jones, BSR ‘95
Owner & President
Tim Jones, BSBC ‘98
Co-Founder & COO
Jacksonville Beach, FL
For the past 16 years, Lee, along with agency founder Mark DiMassimo, has been a key force in shaping DiMassimo Goldstein from a promising startup into the well-respected brand and business-building agency that it is today. In 2014, Lee was recognized by Direct Marketing News as one of the leading marketers in the industry, and was named to the publication’s list of “40 Under 40.”
Lee Goldstein, BSADV ‘98
Advertising and Marketing
New York, NY
DirecLogix was founded with the mission of assisting companies with the entire information technology lifecycle. It has been successfully executing its vision since 2005 and adding value in the areas of technology consulting, acquisition, planning and implementation. DirecLogix is committed to helping clients explore, embrace and maximize the benefits of the ever-changing technology landscape.
Aleef Adam, BA ‘90
The Celebrity Branding® Agency is a multi-media, Marketing, PR and Branding Agency that is dedicated to Celebrity Branding® entrepreneurs and professionals as experts in their fields of business. Nick and Jack, attorneys by trade and entrepreneurs by choice, have built the top personal branding agency in the world and focus on helping their clients increase their revenue through brand positioning and media credibility. The agency represents more than 2,000 clients in 33 countries around the world, and has worked with the likes of Steve Forbes, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, Michael E. Gerber, Dan Kennedy and many others.
JW Dicks, BSJ ‘71
Nick Nanton, BSBA ‘01, JD ‘04
East Coast Institute for Research brings together clinical trials, healthcare providers and patients to accelerate the development of new treatments for a variety of diseases. The company conducts groundbreaking research and partners with pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic companies to bring more treatment options to patients.
Benjamin Epstein, DPH ‘03
Co-Founder & Board Member
Rebecca Goldfadden DPH ’11
Sr. VP of Clinical Operations
e-Builder is the leading provider of cloud-based construction project management software. The company’s flagship product, e-Builder Enterprise, improves project execution, resulting in increased productivity and quality, reduced costs and faster delivery. Since 1995, e-Builder’s technology, leadership and construction industry focus has provided thousands of companies, government agencies, and health care and educational institutions, managing over $100 billion in capital projects, with solutions.
Jon Antevy, BDES ‘93, MSBC ‘94
Ron Antevy, BSCE ‘91
President & CEO
Kevin was a business student who paid his way through the University of Florida by learning to develop web-based applications for the military, thus starting his IT career. Kevin created Eola Technology Partners after personally falling victim to the “dot com” bubble. Over the years, he has grown the company from small contract work into what it is today. Eola Technology Partners has transformed into an IT Services firm offering turnkey solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.
Kevin Fraser, BSBA ‘04
Chairman Ken LaRoe has made it his personal mission to spark values-based change throughout Florida. LaRoe founded First GREEN Bank in 2009 as the first bank in the eastern United States with an environmental and social mission. The bank has grown to more than $790 million in assets with seven full-service locations in central and south Florida, spreading its values-based mission across the communities it serves.
Ken LaRoe, JD ‘92
Force Marketing provides the automotive industry targeted, trackable and technology-driven marketing solutions. Its data-driven marketing campaigns improve ROI for dealers across the country. The rapidly growing company is headquartered in Atlanta.
John Fitzpatrick, BA ‘06
Franklin Loan Center is the largest independent mortgage banker in the Coachella Valley, located in Palm Desert, California. Franklin Loan Center has grown from a small, locally owned mortgage broker into a thriving enterprise across Southern California, expanding into Los Angeles, San Diego and Chicago. While at UF, Walter was the manager of James Town Cigar Bar, and, at 21 years old, had the entrepreneurial drive to take James Town from a struggling local wine bar to the hottest place to go out on Thursday nights in less than a semester.
Walter Neill, BSBA ‘99
Palm Desert, CA
Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group is a boutique, full service, commercial real estate service firm offering its clients brokerage, leasing, property management, and insurance solutions. Front Street is headquartered in Gainesville, Florida with additional satellite offices in Ocala, Northeast Florida, Tallahassee and Orlando. We are INVESTED in our clients, the community and in the commercial real estate industry. At Front Street, we maximize our impact in the communities we serve through action and leadership.
Nick Banks, BSBA ‘90
Offering incredibly low rates for hotels and lodging, getaroom.com strives to help customers save money every time they travel. Getaroom provides an easy to use platform for booking your hotel, as it is simple and free of clutter and extraneous information. In 2010, the site was rated as “Best Hotel Booking Site."
Robert Diener, BA ‘78
Global Trust is a SEC registered investment advisory company in Palm Beach County. Global Trust is comprised of a team of financial planners, public accountants, personal financial specialists, global management accountants and fraud examiners. It currently has approximately $300 million of assets under management.
Brian Brescia, BSAC ‘02, MACC ‘02
Greenshades Software is an entrepreneurial-style software firm that develops electronic tax filing, tax forms, benefits, and HR and payroll-related business software for companies across the U.S. It distributes over 2 million W-2s for clients annually, and is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.
Matthew Kane, MBA ‘06
GreenTechnologies develops processes and products for utilization of renewable resources such as biosolids. GreenTechnologies removes and recovers nutrients from water and wastewater treatment processes, and the company’s proprietary manufacturing process results in the production of an innovative line of patented GreenEdge products, which are slow release fertilizers designed to reduce pollution through the prevention of nutrient runoff and leaching. Amir was formerly a Senior Researcher at the University of Florida. His is an expert in agricultural environmental stewardship and his vision is to make a difference in sustainable agriculture environmental stewardship.
Amir Varshovi, MS ‘91, PHD ‘95
Development and Manufacturing
Founded by Geoff and Susan Gaberino, Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals provides guest accommodations for beach vacations. We specialize in managing large family reunion sized homes and also design, build and decorate custom investment homes for investors.
Geoff Gaberino, BSBR ‘84, MBA ‘88
Susan Gaberino, BSBA ‘86, MBA ‘88
Gulf Shores, AL
Seeing herself as a doctor first, then entrepreneur, Jodi has had a deep passion for helping animals since her childhood—with entrepreneurship as the best means of achieving this goal. This goal was the opening of the successful Harmony Animal Hospital in 2009, where Jodi thoroughly enjoys being a general practitioner to cats and dogs, specializing in dentistry and soft tissue surgery. “Take the time to focus on and service the clients who appreciate all you do and find peace in letting go of those who do not."
Jason Lenhardt, BSBA ‘98
Jodi Reed, BSA ‘97, DVM ‘01
Hell’s Bay Boatworks manufactures high-quality skiffs, a type of flat-bottomed open boat specialized for shallow water. Chris brought years of experience on boats, as well as leading companies, making him a natural choice as the current team lead of Hell’s Bay.
“No matter how hard it seems at the time, always ‘do the right thing,’ never compromise on quality and be true to the customer.”
Chris Peterson, BSBA ‘85
Founded in 1996 by father and son Robert J. and Joel Adams, Highland Homes was established with a foundation of quality, excellence and delivering satisfying home buying experiences. Highland Homes has built more than 7,000 homes and has the knowledge and experience to build quality new homes with customized features and affordable payments. Dedication, strong leadership and a commitment to our customers has made Highland Homes the largest privately owned home builder in central Florida
Robert Adams, BSBA ‘61
Construction & Design
William Hamm began his career in financial planning with the CIGNA Corporation in 1983. In 1988, he was named President of ABI Financial Services and continued to lead the firm until 1995, when he founded William E. Hamm and Associates, Inc. In 2000, he purchased an advisor group with eight practicing advisors, formed IFP, and he and his wife, Karen, have grown the firm to a national presence with over 500 advisors in 38 states.
William Hamm, BSA ‘79
InTec is a full service, multi-discipline company that provides comprehensive and technology-driven facility solutions. Through a blend of building, mechanical, electrical and facility automation, we optimize facility performance and improve our customers' bottom line. InTec serves healthcare, education, government, commercial and industrial clients throughout the United States.
Louie Wise, III, BSBC ‘94
Formerly Virtual Fleet Supervisor
Despite many failed attempts, Drew began a company called Virtual Fleet Supervisor in 2009, which would eventually change its name to InTouch GPS in late 2014. InTouch GPS is a commercial GPS Fleet Tracking provider serving organizations of all sizes and industries. The success of InTouch GPS has been a culmination of continuous hard work, wonderful timing and offering a solution which was experiencing tremendous market growth.
Drew Sheahan, BSA ‘03
President & Partner
Jimerson Birr is a Florida-based business law firm with worldwide reach that seeks to exceed client expectations through a commitment to excellence and by adding value to their businesses. The firm concentrates its efforts in providing the highest level of legal services for clients across a variety of industries, including construction, banking and financial services, manufacturing and distribution, healthcare, real estate development, and community associations.
Charles Jimerson, JD ’05
James Birr, III, JD ’00
JWB Real Estate Capital offers a premium experience for individuals to invest passively in the real estate market by selecting opportunities, creating performing assets and managing rental homes for the clients it serves. By exceeding expectations for everyone involved, JWB positively impacts its local community, vendors and clients with every interaction. JWB is also committed to giving back through its foundation, JWB Cares, and extensive community service throughout the year.
Alex Sifakis, BSBA ’05
Adam Rigel, BSBA ’05, MS ’06
Adam Eiseman, BSBA ’03, MS ’05
Gregg Cohen, BSBA ’05
From humble beginnings in 1989, Kaufman Lynn Construction has grown to be the 35th largest general contractor in the Southeast and the 345th largest contractor in the United States, as ranked by ENR. Servicing a wide range of market sectors, Kaufman Lynn is one of Florida's fastest growing companies and is a Florida Trend "Best Companies to Work for."
Michael Kaufman, BBC ‘81
Michael and Gary are proud to have co-founded Keene Klimas Consultant Group, a full-service consulting company that specializes in the construction industry. Keene Klimas offers various services to the construction industry, including management, cost estimating, delay claim analysis, defect analysis, site observations and inspections.
“Maintain a consistent level of service to all of your clients.”
Gary Keene, BBC ‘73
Max Klimas, BBC ‘81
Lake Mary, FL
Jeffrey co-founded the current firm in 2001, and has since grown it to nearly 40 attorneys in three offices throughout South Florida. Jeffrey practices full-time in the areas of consumer class actions, commercial litigation, business counseling and sports agency law. Currently, he serves as lead counsel in nationwide and statewide class action lawsuits against many of the world’s largest financial institutions in connection with the unlawful assessment of fees. To date, his efforts have successfully resulted in the recovery of over $250 million for millions of bank customers, as well as monumental changes in the way banks assess fees.
Jeffrey Ostrow, BSBA ‘94
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Landmark Title is an attorney-owned title company that serves Northeast Florida and beyond. In 2004, it started with a single part-time employee. Since then, Landmark has grown to five offices in Northeast Florida and over 28 employees, including seven attorneys. Landmark’s customer service and attention to detail have made it Northeast Florida’s No. 1 market share title company for the last four years.
David J. Heekin, BSBA ‘97, MBA ‘01, JD ‘01
Alan Almand, JD '87
William Li, BSBA '96, JD '00, MA '00
Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice in a national practice dedicated exclusively to in-home end of life care for pets. We believe all pets and their families deserve the most compassionate and supportive end of life experience. Our nationwide network of veterinarians help pets and their parents with quality of life assessments, pain and anxiety management, end of life consultations, and peaceful euthanasia in the comfort of their pet's favorite place - home.
Dani McVety-Leinen, BSA ’04, DVM ’09
CEO and Founder
Mary Gardner, DVM ’08
CIO and Co-Founder
The McCrory Law Firm was founded by Jill on the basis of honesty, integrity and the desire to assist people in their legal needs. Jill is a transactional tax attorney, who focuses on asset transfers in the context of wills, trusts, estates, probate, asset preservation, real estate, business and succession planning. “I was inspired to become an entrepreneur by my great grandparents, immigrants who escaped Europe before the Holocaust. They encouraged me to reach for the stars and to take advantage of the opportunity college has to offer because they were not born in this country and did not speak English.
Jill C. McCrory, BSADV ‘97, JD ‘01, LLMT ‘03
Punta Gorda, FL
Myjive, Inc., is an agency that helps businesses create platforms to connect them with our highly technological world. As an advertising agency, Myjive strives to create unique ways for businesses to appeal to many audiences, using different tools and mediums to build lasting relationships with each client. As the co-founder of Myjive, Albert believes that strong relationships not only with clients, but also with partners in your business, are the key to success. “Don’t go at it alone. Partner and hire individuals that share your vision, but also provide a balance to your organization.”
Albert Banks, BSCEN ‘03
Ron Edelen, BFAGR ‘02, MFA ‘05
Nations Bus, a new and used bus dealership, has provided thousands of buses to hotels, shuttle operators, tour and charter companies, car rental operations, health service providers and more. The company is proud to meet almost any requirement for any budget. The dedicated team of professionals at Nations Bus strives to provide each customer with the knowledge required to make the best purchase. Nations Bus emphasizes their dedication to finding each customer the best vehicle for their needs by also offering online and by phone consultations to discuss inventory and pricing.
Chip Osborne, BSPR ‘94
New Scooters 4 Less opened 10 years ago in Gainesville as a dealer of motorized scooters. Much of the success of NS4L hinged on the importance placed on the NS4L team. Having a team that loves what they do makes providing customers with the “Ultimate Customer Experience” easy and enjoyable—and providing customers with excellent service has been paramount to the success of NS4L. “You can plan, plan, plan and prepare yourself forever, but the best thing to do is to just start going! Don’t wait. Take the risk. Get out. Meet people. Network. Build Relationships. Get on the move! NOW!”
Collin Austin, BABA ‘04
Consumer Products & Services
Orange and Blue Construction was founded in May 2000, and is primarily engaged in the construction of apartment buildings out of poured-in-place concrete. Using a process that incorporates steel forms to support ready mix concrete that rapidly cures, this tunnel form process allows for a structurally-stable shell to be built with a consistent construction schedule. The resulting structure offers speed of construction, fire resistance and hurricane resistance. Orange and Blue is built upon a reputation of quality, integrity and employee safety. The company does work throughout Florida.
William Randle, Jr., Alumnus
Owner & CEO
Ovation Construction is a full service commercial construction company located in Central Florida that specializes in Municipal & Educational projects. Having completed hundreds of projects for high profile clients, our mission is to provide outstanding customer service with attention to quality and detail.
Bert Karpinski, BDES ’97, MBC ’88
“As a specialist in the field of medicine, I found success by being willing to challenge the system and to create a different model deviating from the traditional models of healthcare delivery. From my communications with referring physicians, to the aesthetics of our office, to the way I communicate with patients, I took a chance and it has paid off."
Jeff Parks, BS ‘86
Ormond Beach, FL
As CEO of PDQ, Nick emphasizes the need for quality in food and service to his customers. For over two years, Nick and his partner expanded their concept for the restaurant, which specializes in hand-battered chicken strips. Despite spending so much time perfecting their ideas, Nick admits that an important part of developing a business involves taking a step back every once in a while. “Have fun during the ride, and don’t take yourself too serious.”
Nick Reader, BSAC ‘97
Power Production Management is a solar contracting firm whose mission is to play a significant role in creating a world powered by the sun. Since 2009, PPM has served more than 300 customers across various industries. With megawatts installed and in development, it is building a network of dedicated and responsible energy users, installers and investors to bring that vision to life.
Jason Gonos, BSME ‘05
ProctorU provides a full suite of online proctoring and identity management solutions for education, professional development and certification organizations. With patented, 24/7 on-demand live proctoring and an automated platform utilizing artificial intelligence, ProctorU increases access to online learning while ensuring exam integrity and accountability for any test-taker using only a computer, webcam and high-speed internet connection. With 4 million exams proctored since 2008, brands like the University of Florida and CompTIA trust ProctorU.
Matthew Jaeh, BS ‘05
Jarrod Morgan, Alumnus
Founded in 2006, Redilearning is an online education provider that aims to support senior care education with advanced learning science and seamless technology. Redilearning simplifies core challenges by providing the unique Blended Learning Approach, which combines a simplified online platform with each individual’s own teaching methods. With a goal of providing the highest quality learner engagement with the maximum convenience, Redilearning also provides dedicated support to each client through client advocacy, application services, account managers and a client service desk.
Michael Hemlepp, BSBA ‘02
In 2006, Don Ginsburg and Bubba Kassal co-founded Realty Masters Advisors, which was developed in order to fulfill a niche in commercial real estate brokerage. Don and Bubba met at the University of Florida, and have been lifelong friends ever since. Together, the two were able to create a company successful in working with numerous transactions and assisting clients in monetizing assets and preserving values. Don admits that his success did not come without difficulties. “Nothing worth doing is ever easy. It is worth it though.”
Don Ginsburg, BSBC ‘92
An astute businesswoman, accomplished doctor and successful entrepreneur, Kathy has touched the lives of more than 15 million people with targeted skincare solutions. Since 1989, she has been creating medicated skincare products that provide consumers with effective treatments for everyday dermatologic concerns from acne to aging and sun damage to sensitive skin.
“My business partner, Dr. Katie Rodan, and I found a need – not a want – to treat acne, and created Proactiv, which addressed the needs of millions of people. After the success we experienced with Proactiv, we felt compelled to give back and created Rodan + Fields to give others the opportunity to build their own successful businesses and experience independence.”
Kathy Fields, BS ‘79
RoomSync is a roommate matching software service on Facebook that works with college housing departments, conferences and companies to provide a seamless roommate matching solution. The software enables students to actively and accurately match up with compatible roommates, which has led to some staggering numbers among student housing: 67% reduction in roommate transfer requests, 53% increase in incoming students motivated to request a roommate and a 6.6% increase in the number of students who remain in school.
Robert Castellucci, BSBA ‘07, MS ‘08
Michael Hacker, BABA ‘09, MBA ‘13, JD ‘13
Mark Spiecker leads Sharklet Technologies, Inc., a company that develops surface technologies that are designed to address microorganism growth and make healthier, safer and cleaner environments. He leads a team of scientists, business development professionals and product developers who are focused on Sharklet™ - the world’s first and only micro-texture based on the microbe-resistant properties of sharkskin.
“Be flexible and keep your overhead down with consultants/contractors.”
Mark Spiecker, Alumnus
Employing technology originally intended for clinical evaluations of medical patients with muscular disorders, Skulpt has developed the Skulpt Aim, the world’s first device able to measure body fat percentage as well as muscle quality. This capability makes Skulpt an incredibly powerful fitness tracker for consumers. “Find great mentors and ask them a million questions. Successful entrepreneurs generally enjoy sharing their knowledge, and getting their mentorship will accelerate your progress tremendously.
Jose Bohorquez, BSEE ‘02, MS ‘04
Bart founded SoloHealth in 2007 on the premise that consumers can be empowered to take charge of their own health and wellness. While working on an international assignment with the eye care division of Novartis in the U.K., Bart created the idea of a self-service “health screening kiosk” as a way to empower people to screen their own vision. SoloHealth Stations now can be found in nearly 4,000 locations nationwide including Walmart, Safeway and Sam’s Club, among others, and has been used by more than 65 million people.
Bart Foster, BSBA ‘97
SSP Innovations is a relationship and education-oriented Esri Platinum Partner and provider of utility, telco and pipeline solutions. SSP offers leading, Esri-centric products and services including implementation, customization, training, support, upgrades, and integrations. A three-time winner of the Esri Partner Conference award, SSP has been recognized for bringing more than 170 U.S. utilities and telco operations closer to the future of the modern, digital and spatial work platform.
Skye Perry, BSBA ’00
Stars Gymnastics Training Center currently trains a growing population of 1,000 students, compared to 125 when Ashly originally purchased the gym. Resilience was key to Ashly’s success. She experienced failure with her first venture, taking it as an opportunity to learn before starting a widely successful gym. “Utilize all your resources and remember that every day is an opportunity to get better as a business and as a person.
Ashly Baker, BSR ‘97
Student Maid, a house cleaning and concierge enterprise, employs over 400 college students during peak seasons. Student Maid was named the 2010 and 2011 “Leading Women’s Enterprise” by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. Kristen is extremely proud of how far her company has developed. After becoming upset when her parents refused to buy her an expensive pair of jeans during her time at the University of Florida, Kristen started the company, and almost six years later, is now receiving funding to grow this enterprise in the Gainesville area.
Kristen Hadeed, BSBA ‘10
Study Edge provides customizable online learning support for students and education professionals in K-12, colleges, universities and state governments. Our tools include engaging videos, study guides, practice problems, and web and mobile apps, as well as one-on-one tutoring online and in person. Our free Algebra Nation/Math Nation platform enables students in New York City and four states to meet state standards in math. Thanks to Study Edge, more than 1 million students have achieved their academic goals.
Ethan Fieldman, BSBA ‘03
With a history dating back to 1884, Sunniland Corporation has grown to become one of the leading providers for garden and roofing products. Thomas attributes the continued success of the company to strong customer and employee relations. He advises, “Look at the situation through the eyes of your customers, vendors and employees and treat them the way you would want to be treated if in their position.”
Thomas Moore, BSCHE ‘79
Nate and Sarah are the Owners and Founders of Sunshine Plumbing and Gas, a full-service customer driven plumbing contracting company serving all of Florida, specializing in residential and commercial service and commercial new construction. Together, they have grown the company to more than 30 employees and a service area reaching across central Florida from multiple regional offices.
“Finding good employees is the most difficult part of growing your business, but they are also your greatest resource.
Nate Bazinet, BSA ‘03
Sarah Bazinet, BSA ‘03
Focused on building a brand that encompasses a love for the outdoors as well as a commitment to sustainability and conservation, Swamp Head Brewery is as focused on its culture as it is its beer. The business provides an outdoors feel to customers by customizing the business with “swamp” themed merchandise and lingo, and it also has a large focus on sustainability. Luke, the Owner and Operator, remains heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.
“Just because you hired a professional or specialist, doesn’t mean that you can give the project entirely over to them. There is no substitute for doing your own research and staying involved with the project in some sort of fashion.”
Luke Kemper, BSBA ‘05
Swampfox specializes in call center automation, and is the software automating company for many of the largest cable, energy and heath care companies in the United States. It offers packaged, customer and hosted solutions and service. The company was founded in 2009 with no external investment.
Bob Cooper, BSEE ‘85, MS ‘87
Since co-founding the company in 1987, Dave has helped T&G successfully complete nearly $1 billion in construction projects. Dave’s strong commitment to customer service has been instrumental in building the company’s reputation as an industry leader.
“Never give up. If you persevere and push through the hard times, it will get better.”
Dave Grabosky, BBC ‘84
Over the years, Mike had noticed the market’s need for an individualistic approach to investment services. He partnered with INC Financial Partners to bring just that— an independent investment service to individuals throughout Florida. Talon Wealth Management is a private wealth management firm specializing in investment advisory services, combining personal financial planning and investment advisory in order to best plan a client’s financial future.
“Imagine your worst-case scenario if you fail. If it’s acceptable, go for it.”
Mike Lester, BSA ‘96
The Villages, FL