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Jacksonville University 2800 University Blvd North
Jacksonville, FL 32211

(904) 256-7000
(800) 225-2027 ext. 7000

Board of Advisors

The 25 member, nonpartisan JU PPI Board of Advisors is a diverse cross section of some of Florida's most respected and successful business, civic, and community leaders. It includes 15 CEOs from private, public, or non-profit organizations, the Chairman of the State Board of Education, a former Ambassador and member of the Board of Governors for the State University System, the President of the Jacksonville Bar Association, a former President of the American Medical Association, the Chairman of St. Vincent's HealthCare system,  the first Chairman of the Jacksonville Children's Commission, the leaders of several multi- billion dollar companies, a former Jacksonville Mayor, and industry and public leaders in education, finance, banking, public infrastructure, healthcare, transportation, and other areas.  

Fernando Acosta-Rua
Fernando Acosta-Rua is the Chief Operating Officer of American Pet Resorts – a chain of upscale pet boarding facilities located throughout the southern United States. He has served as COO since January 2007 and has been involved with the company since August of 2004. Prior to APR, he was a partner at the Connecticut based private equity group L&L Capital Partners. Mr. Acosta-Rua led an investment group to invest $11 million in American Pet Resorts, LLC from October of 2005 through December 2006. Mr. Acosta-Rua earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Florida and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Honorable Jason Altmire
Honorable Jason Altmire is Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Government and Community Affairs for Florida Blue. He is a key spokesperson for the company's health care policy efforts and corporate social responsibility programs. Prior to joining Florida Blue, Altmire served three terms as a United States Congressman in Washington, D.C. A nationally recognized leader on health care policy, Altmire is highly regarded throughout the political and health care community. Before being elected to Congress, he led the Department of Government Relations and Community Health at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Earlier in his career, he helped lead the legislative effort for the Federation of American Hospitals in Washington, D.C. and served as an Adjusnct Professor at George Washington University, focusing on politics and policy. Jason Altmire holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Florida State University and a Master's Degree in Health Services Administration from George Washington University.

Ronald R. Austin, Esquire
Ronald R. Austin, Attorney at Law is engaged in the private practice of law as a principal in the firm of Austin & Austin, Jack­sonville, Florida. The firm concentrates in representing governmental entities and in eminent domain, land use, mass trans­portation and bond/corporate matters. Mr. Austin is "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is also listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Register of Preeminent Lawyers in America. Mr. Austin formerly served as Deputy General Counsel for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Tallahassee, Florida and as an attorney representing the Florida Public Service Commission. Mr. Austin earned a bachelor's degree from Alabama A&M University and a law degree from the University of Florida.

Yank Coble, MD
Dr. Yank Coble is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy, University of North Florida, and Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Florida. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Coble served on the USA and WMA Delegations to the World Health Organization and Assem­bly. An endocrinologist in Jacksonville, FL for over 35 years, Dr. Coble is also active in his community. He served on the founding boards of the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. and Leader­ship Jacksonville and as President of Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. Coble has medical degrees from Duke University School of Medicine and the London School of Medicine.

Gary Chartrand
Gary Chartrand is the Executive Chairman of Acosta, Inc. Acosta is a leading full-service sales and marketing agency. The Company employs over 21,000 associates and operates 64 offices in the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Chartrand received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the State of Florida in May 2001. He cur­rently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, St. Vincent's Healthcare System, The Jacksonville Public Education Fund, State Board of Education, and the KIPP schools in Jacksonville. Mr. Chartrand earned his bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire.

Robert M. Clements
Robert Clements has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EverBank Financial Corp and its predecessor companies since 1997. Mr. Clements joined the EverBank family of compa­nies in 1994. Mr. Clements was previously a Vice President at Merrill Lynch & Co., where he was a member of the firm's lever­aged buyout group, Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, Inc. Mr. Clements earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Joseph N. Debs, P.E.
Joseph Debs is a member of the Board of Directors of RS&H and serves as Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to moving into the CMO position, Mr. Debs served as Senior Vice Presi­dent and Director of RS&H's national transportation and infra­structure practice, a practice that spans 14 states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Debs has been active in the planning and design of transportations system for 35 years with responsibilities for many nationally recognized and innovative highway, bridge, transit, rail and port projects. Mr. Debs earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida and an MBA from the University of North Florida.

G. Ray Driver, Jr., Esquire
G. Ray Driver, Jr. practices in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, venture capital finance, securities law and general corporate law and is a partner in the law firm of Driver, McAfee, Peek & Hawthorne Mr. Driver has experience in representing publicly owned and privately held businesses in a wide range of corporate transac­tions. Mr. Driver is a member of The Florida Bar, the American Bar Association and the Jacksonville Bar Association. Mr. Driver earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Montevallo, and a Master's degree in accounting and a law degree from the University of Florida.

Brenda B. Ezell, Esquire
Brenda Ezell is the founder of the Ezell Law Firm, practicing in the areas of commercial real estate and business transactions and state and local government law. Ms. Ezell is an active in community volunteer, currently serving as a mem­ber and immediate past chair of the OneJax board of directors, a member of the board of Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville, Inc., and the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society. Ms. Ezell earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from Jacksonville University and a law degree from the University of Florida.
Steve T. Halverson
Steve Halverson is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Haskell Company, one of the nation's largest integrated design-build organizations, with operations throughout the United States and Latin America and headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Halverson is Chairman of the Florida Council of 100, Past Chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and is Vice-Chairman for St. John's University. Mr. Halverson earned his bachelor's degree from St. Johns University, law degree from American University and completed executive business education at Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Lamping
Mark Lamping, President of the Jacksonville Jaguars is a veteran of more than 20 years in professional sports including two as president of the Jaguars, thirteen with anheuser-Busch, fourteen as present of Major league Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals and four as CEO of New Meadowlands Stadium Company. As president and CEO of the New Meadowlands Stadium Company he was responsible for managing the construction and operations of MetLife Stadium. From 1994 to 2008 Lamping was the president of the St. Louis Cardinals, who earned the 10th World Championship in 2006. From 1981 to 1994 Lamping served in a variety of positions with Anheuser-Busch. Lamping serves on the boards of directors of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville Civic Council, Ronald McDonald House Charitiesof Jacksonville, Inc., and the American Heart Association. He hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Rockhurst University, and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Saint Louis University.

Wally Lee
Wally Lee served as President of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce from 1989 to 2013.  Under his leadership, the Chamber addressed complex community issues, while establishing a reputation for offering high value membership programs and services. It was recognized nationally for its effectiveness. Mr. Lee was involved in establishing the Women's Business Center to facilitate the growth of women owned businesses and has received the Person of the Year Award from both the Florida Baptist Children's Home and the Arthritis Foundation. Mr. Lee received his B.A. degree in history from Furman University and is a graduate of the "Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management" program of the Harvard Business School.

Kelly Madden
Kelly Madden is the North Florida Wholesale Regional President for Wells Fargo Bank. A 24-year veteran of the company, Ms. Madden started her career in 1988 with First Union National Bank, a predecessor institution of Wells Fargo. Prior to her current role, she served as North Florida Regional President. Ms. Madden has earned numerous awards in her career, including  First Coast Business Hall of Fame from the Florida Coun­cil on Economic Education, Women of Influence award from The Girl Scouts,  the MS Hope award, and Top Women in Leadership award from the United Way. Ms. Madden received her bachelor's degree in Marketing from Florida State University.

Douglas C. Miller, P.E.
Douglas Miller's 35-year public works and engineering career has incorporated both private consulting and municipal engineering. For the past 30 years, he has been a managing principal of Eng­land, Thims & Miller, Inc. Mr. Miller has directed construction manage­ment and contract administration services on construction projects valued in excess of one billion dollars. Mr. Miller serves as District Engineer for multiple Community Development Districts in Florida. Miller earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida.

Willard Payne, Jr.

Willard Payne is the President/Treasurer of Northern Florida Recruiting & Consulting Services, Inc. (NFRCS) and directs professional recruiting, consulting and lobbying client services. An educator by training, Mr. Payne spent 14 years with the Chicago Public School System as a teacher and district administrator. In 1975, he left Chicago when he was awarded several McDonald's Corporation franchises in Jacksonville, Florida. He was first African American franchise operator in the city and built four stores, hiring more than 500 employees. The Mayor of Jacksonville appointed Mr. Payne as the first African American to serve on the Jacksonville Port Authority Board and he also served as the first President of the The100 Black Men of Jacksonville and the Downtown Rotary Club. Mr. Payne received his Bachelor's Degree in Education from Xavier University in New Orleans, LA and holds a Master of Science Degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Loyola University in Chicago.

Honorable John Peyton
John Peyton was named President of GATE Petroleum Company, one of the largest privately-held companies in Florida, in January 2012 after serving two consecutive terms as Mayor of Jackson­ville, Florida. He has been actively involved in the community serving as chairman of the Jacksonville Transportation Agency, Jacksonville Symphony Association and Greenscape of Jackson­ville. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Mr. Peyton to the board of trustees of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Mr. Peyton earned his bachelor's degree from Mercer University and completed the Harvard Executive Education Program.   

C. Daniel Rice
C. Daniel Rice has served as President and CEO of Mayport Venture Partners, LLC since its founding in 2000. Mr. Rice currently serves on the Board of Directors of American Pet Resort, Inc. and has been an adviser to other portfolio companies on issues such as strategic partnerships, fundraising, business plan development, operational issues and restructuring. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Saint Vincent's Healthcare System.  Mr. Rice received his bachelor's degree from Clemson University and an MBA and law degree from the University of Florida.   

Ambassador John D. Rood (Ret.)

John Darrell Rood is the Chairman of The Vestcor Companies, Inc. and The JDR Companies, Inc, both real estate development companies. In September of 2004, President George W. Bush appointed Mr. Rood as United States Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas where he served until 2007. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the State University System and a member of the Board of Trustees of Flagler College. Mr. Rood earned his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from University of Montana.

Robert T. Shircliff
Robert T. Shircliff has distinguished himself as a successful leader in business, civic, volunteer, philanthropic, and religious organizations. He had a successful business career with the Pepsi-Cola bottling companies. He founded a consulting group specializing in equity enhancement and retired in 1988. He served at various times as president of the National Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Association and as a director of General Cinema Corporation, Atlantic National Bank of Jacksonville, EverBank Financial Corporation and others. He served as Chair of the Jacksonville University Board of Trustees and JU's Campaign 2000. Mr. Shircliff earned his bachelor's degree in Marketing from Indiana University.

Richard L. Sisisky
Richard L. Sisisky is President of The Shircliff & Sisisky Company, a management-consulting firm based in Jacksonville, FL. His company has had consulting agreements with more than 200 clients, primarily franchised bottlers of Pepsi-Cola products in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Middle East. Mr. Sisisky currently serves as Lead Director of Stein Mart, Inc. and has held leadership positions in many not-for-profit organizations includ­ing Baptist Health System, Jacksonville Children's Commission, The Bolles School, Jewish Federation of Northeast Florida and United Way. Mr. Sisisky earned his bachelor's degree from The College of William and Mary and a law degree from the University of Richmond.

David Strickland
David Strickland, Vice Chairman Community Affairs for EverBank is a native of Daytona Beach, Florida, Mr. Strickland has over 40 years of experience in financial services, having held senior leadership positions at Trust Company of GA (SunTrust) in Atlanta, Barnett Banks of Florida, and since 1998 at EverBank in Jacksonville, FL, where he was the founding President and CEO of EverBank of Florida.  He has been a long time member of the Florida Bankers Association and lectured for the American Institute of Banking.  His non-bank activities have involved education, community service, and conservation.  He has served on boards of various educational institutions including Stetson University, University of North Florida Coggin School of Business, and the Whitney Laboratory of the University of Florida.  Other boards on which he has served include the Youth Crisis Center Foundation, North Florida Land Trust, Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation, and Equinox Documentaries.  Current board responsibilities include the Cummer Museum, Jacksonville Symphony, World Affairs Council and HabiJax. He is a graduate of Emory University, the Stonier School of Banking at Rutgers University and the PMD Program of the Harvard Business School.

William H. Walton, III

Bill Walton is co-founder and managing member of Rockpoint Group, L.L.C., a global real estate investment management firm with offices in the U.S. and Europe.  In 1994, Mr. Walton also co-founded Westbrook Real Estate Partners, L.L.C., a similar firm that sponsored four opportunistic funds.  Since 1994, the Rockpoint founding managing members have invested over $10 billion of equity capital in over $40 billion of real estate around the world. Prior to co-founding Westbrook, Mr. Walton was a managing director in the real estate group of Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, which he joined in 1979. Mr. Walton has served as a Director or Trustee on the Boards of several public companies, as well as private and non-profit organizations, including the American Enterprise Institute, Princeton University and Princeton University Investment Company.  Mr. Walton received an A.B. in 1974 from Princeton University and an M.B.A. in 1979 from Harvard Business School.

Nina Waters
Nina Waters is the President of The Community Foundation in Jacksonville. Ms. Waters was promoted to this position in January 2005 after serving as Executive Vice President for three years. Her primary responsibilities include the leadership and management of donor services, grant making and ad­ministrative services functions of the Foundation. Prior to joining the staff of the Foundation, Ms. Waters served as Executive Director for the PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville program for twelve years. Ms. Waters was the recipient of the JU Distinguished Alumni Award, Scouts Women of Distinction Award, and is chairman-elect of the Southeastern Council of Foundations. Ms. Waters earned her bachelor's degree in Sociology from Jacksonville University.

Ben Warner
Ben Warner is President & CEO of the Jacksonville Community Council Inc., Northeast Florida's longstanding center for civic engagement in public policy. He is globally recognized for his work in community consensus-building around data-driven public policy issues, and has served as President of the National Association of Planning Councils and the international Community Indicators Consortium. Mr. Warner earned his bachelor's degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University and his Master's in Social Work from Florida State University.