Development and Alumni Affairs

Outstanding Young Alumni

Warrington graduates Jeremy Delaplane, Diana Kelly and Allison McCarthy were recipients of the University of Florida's Outstanding Young Alumni Awards. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes alumni ages 35 or younger who have distinguished themselves in their profession and community.

Press Release

2013 University of Florida Outstanding Young Alumni


2012

Bill Miller BSBA '08

Heavener School of Business

Miller, representing the Heavener School of Business, has overcome incredible physical obstacles en route to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Miller, a quadriplegic, co-invented the IKAN Bowler, a device that attaches to wheelchairs allowing power wheelchair-dependent people to bowl with more freedom and control. Miller successfully earned his degree through the College's Online Business Program where he graduated with a 4.0 GPA.


Brian Zophin BSAc '98; MAcc '98

Fisher School of Accounting

Zophin, representing the Fisher School of Accounting, is a Certified Public Accountant and an Audit Partner at Cherry, Bekaert & Holland.

Based in CB&H's South Florida practice, Zophin has extensive experience serving a broad range of industries, including the restaurant and hospitality industry, manufacturing, healthcare, not-for-profit, entertainment, timeshare, travel and leisure, employee benefit plan and technology sectors.

Prior to joining CB&H, Zophin served as an assurance and business advisory senior manager with a large international accounting firm where he worked primarily on audit and attestation engagements, public and private offerings, registration statements, agreed-upon procedures and internal controls projects.

Prior to joining CB&H, Brian served as an assurance and business advisory senior manager with a large international accounting firm where he worked primarily on audit and attestation engagements, public and private offerings, registration statements, agreed-upon procedures and internal controls projects.

At UF, Zophin was active in the Beta Alpha Psi national accounting honorary society and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA). He is on the Board of Directors of the Florida Venture Forum and is a member of Leadership Tampa Alumni and the Association for Corporate Growth.


Kristine Ferrone MBA '07

Hough Graduate School of Business

Ferrone (MBA '07), representing the Hough Graduate School of Business, is a Space Vehicle Concept Design Engineer for The Aerospace Corporation in Washington, D.C. She performs integrative spacecraft systems engineering and mission assurance for several government agencies including NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office. Prior to working at The Aerospace Corporation, Ferrone was a flight controller for the International Space Station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center supporting mission planning and timeline development for crew and ground activities. In 2009, Ferrone served as Interdisciplinary Scientist for the 12th crew to the Mars Society’s Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), living and working in an analog Mars environment for one month. Ferrone earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics-Astrophysics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004. In addition to her UF MBA, she earned a Master of Science in Sports Medicine from the United States Sports Academy in 2010 and a Master of Science in Space Architecture from the University of Houston in 2011.

2011

Peter N. Chung BSBA '02

Heavener School of Business

Mr. Chung has four years of investment experience and is currently an Associate and Analyst for Steinberg Asset Management. Prior to joining Steinberg Asset Management, he was an Assistant Vice President in the Global Real Estate Capital Markets Group at Lehman Brothers/Barclays Capital. Before joining Lehman Brothers/Barclays Capital he was an Equity Research Associate at Raymond James & Associates where he covered companies in the technology distribution sector. He holds a BS in Finance from the University of Florida and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Scott Bridgman BSAc '05; MAcc '05

Fisher School of Accounting

Bridgman practices as a CPA and is a manager at the accounting firm of LarsonAllen LLP, which acquired Graham, Cottrill, Jackson and Hostetter, LLP in November of 2010. Bridgman’s practice focuses primarily in the areas of international taxation, corporate audits and taxation, and audits of employee benefit plans and services clients from Hawaii to Europe. He also helps direct LarsonAllen's recruiting efforts at the University of Florida.

Bridgman is an active member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and is also a member of the AICPA Employee Benefit Audit Quality Center. He is a parishioner at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Winter Springs, and has chaperoned mission trips to foreign countries with UF students. He enjoys spending time on the various lakes in Orlando and Winter Park, playing golf, running, and reading. An avid sports fan, Bridgman enjoys coming back to campus to cheer for the Gators at various University of Florida athletic events.


Melissa Hilliard BSPR '02, MBA '08

Hough Graduate School of Business

Hilliard is the media relations manager for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. She is responsible for daily interaction with national, international, trade and local media supporting more than 50 MFC programs. She also serves on the Corporation's Strategy Advisory Council, is on multiple Corporate and Electronic Systems process improvement teams and is a Lockheed Martin University Relations recruiter.

Hilliard has been with Lockheed Martin since 2002 when she entered the company’s Communications Leadership Development Program (CLDP), a two-year program designed to cultivate future Communications leaders of the Corporation. After completing the CLDP in 2004, Hilliard joined the Missiles and Fire Control at its headquarters in Dallas. In 2006, she transferred to Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando as a program communicator supporting Apache Programs.

Hilliard is an active member of the Florida Public Relations Association, the Public Relations Society of America, and the UF MBA Program's Working Professional Alumni Advisory Board.

2010

Scott Friedman BSBA '01

Heavener School of Business

Scott Friedman is an investment professional at TPG Axon Capital Management, a privately owned hedge fund sponsor. The firm provides its services to high net worth individuals, pension funds, and banking institutions. It manages limited partnerships for its clients. The firm invests in the public and private equity markets across the globe. TPG-Axon Capital Management was founded in February 2005 and is based in New York, New York with additional offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo, Japan. Prior to his current employment, Scott worked for Goldman Sachs and was a member of the Risk Arbitrage and Principal Strategies groups. Scott is a 2001 graduate of the University of Florida with a BSBA degree in Finance. He is also a Certified Financial Analyst charter holder, a certified Financial Risk Manager holder, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

Scott is actively involved with the UF finance program, often returning to campus to speak with students about the financial services industry and mentoring students interested in working on Wall Street. He is a leading volunteer within a prominent network of Gators on Wall Street and is a loyal donor to the college and university. Scott's wife Kara, also a UF alumna (BS in Psychology), is an Associate in the Fried Frank law firm.


Nick Reader BSAc '97

Fisher School of Accounting

Reader is currently Chief Executive Officer of MVP Holdings, a private investment firm created by Outback Steakhouse founder Bob Basham. He is responsible for overseeing all investments, raising capital related to acquisitions, and day-to-day management of the company's varied holdings.

Prior to holding the senior position at MVP Holdings, Reader was Chief Financial Officer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the youngest CFO at the time in the National Football League (NFL). His duties ranged from managing the team's NFL relationship and requisite financial reporting and compliance to player, sponsorship and vendor contract negotiations.

Prior to his stint in the NFL, Reader began his career in public accounting at PwC where he led audit teams and assisted clients strategic planning of mergers and acquisitions.

Reader is a Certified Public Accountant in the State Florida. He is involved in the Tampa Bay community as a board member of the Shack Harris/Doug Williams Foundation, a board member of the Shelton Quarles Impact Foundation, Junior Achievement and the Gold Shield Foundation

Reader resides in Tampa with his wife Melanie and their two sons: Tre age 6 and Troy age 5.


Liping Chang MSM '07

Hough Graduate School of Business

Liping Chang is a productivity analyst for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in Orlando and has recently taken on an added role as assistant to the revenue manager for SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica.

Liping is the poster-child for the “American dream” and for what happens when you have a positive, “can do” attitude and are willing to work to your full potential-take constructive criticism, ASK for it regularly and actively use it. She is extremely thankful and is very proud to have graduated from UF.

Liping has maintained her involvement with UF serving as an alumni volunteer for the Master of Science in Management program hosting groups of students for career site visits to SeaWorld.

2009

John Hettinger BSBA '06

Heavener School of Business

John Hettinger is a 2006 graduate of the University of Florida with a BSBA in Economics. While at UF, John was a member of Florida Blue Key and the Sigma Chi fraternity. After graduation, John worked in the Corporate Advisory group of Perella Weinberg Partners, where he focused on advising clients on Mergers & Acquisitions and Restructuring transactions across an array of industries.

John earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2012 and works for a New York-based real estate firm.


Jeff Nickell BSAc '98; MAcc '98

Fisher School of Accounting

Since 2007, Nickell has been serving a two-year Practice Fellowship with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). In this role, he researches and advises the FASB on implementation and emerging practice issues relating to business combinations, fair value measurements, consolidations including FIN 46R, and leasing.

Prior to joining the FASB, Nickell was selected for Deloitte & Touche's Management Development Program. He spent one year as a senior manager in the Quality Assurance group of Deloitte's National Office. Prior to joining the Quality Assurance group, Nickell spent two years in Deloitte's National Office Accounting Services group, where he specialized in advising Deloitte's largest and most prestigious clients on leasing transactions, business combinations, and consolidations.

Before joining the Atlanta office of Deloitte, where he served Southern Company, Nickell spent five years in the audit practice of Arthur Andersen.

Nickell is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the states of Georgia and Connecticut.


Daniel Byrnes BSBA '03 MSRE '04

Hough Graduate School of Business

Thomas D. Wood and Company is a commercial mortgage banking firm, established in 1974, with four offices in Florida. Serving as an Assistant Vice President, Dan is responsible for providing clients with advice regarding the lending industry and securing both debt and equity for clients' commercial real estate needs through a variety of lending sources including Life Insurance Companies, Banks, Credit Unions, private money and large institutional sources. After graduating from the University of Florida with a BSBA in Finance and an MS in Real Estate, he spent three years with a local firm involved in both the financing and development of commercial real estate. Being an active alum, Dan serves as the “Central Florida Captain” for the UF-FARE Program (Friends & Alumni of Real Estate). Dan also serves on the Board for CCIM Central District as part of University Alliance Committee.

2008

Marcus E. Adolfsson BSBA '02

Heavener School of Business

Marcus is the President and Founder of Smartphone Experts which is a leading online retailer and manufacturer of smartphone accessories, powering a network of e‐commerce stores that offer a wide selection of products, rapid fulfillment, and knowledgeable expert support. As a freshman at UF, Marcus started the community site VisorCentral in late 1999 and followed up with TreoCentral in 2002. TreoCentral at the time featured a ringtone store, Marcus's first attempt at integrating commerce into the community sites. The ringtone store, which brought the first paying customers, is considered the root of Smartphone Experts. Before founding Smartphone Experts, Marcus served as Chief Technology Officer for Legendary Marketing and co‐founded Level 2 Group. In 2007 Smartphone Experts ranked as the fastest growing retailer of the Inc. 500 list of private companies in America, also achieving an impressive 37th overall position on that list.


Bettina Hakerem (Weiss) BSAc '97 MAcc '97

Fisher School of Accounting

Weiss works for McKinsey and Company, a leading global management consulting firm. Her work has largely been focused on consumer facing industries including consumer packaged goods and telecommunications. She currently leads consultant learning—curriculum development and delivery—for the Southern Region of McKinsey. She also leads the Analyst Program for the Southern Region and manages Professional Development for all Miami office consultants.

While at the University of Florida, Weiss was active on campus as a member of Florida Cicerones and Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity and was a member of various honor societies. She was also selected for a Fred Fisher Full Fellowship.

After graduation Weiss joined Arthur Andersen in Atlanta where she was a tax consultant specializing in State and Local Tax. She left Arthur Andersen for Harvard Business School in 2000, where she was recognized with fellowships both for her academic track record as well as her involvement in Junior Achievement. While at Harvard she worked with D2D Fund—a nonprofit focused on bringing scalable, low cost web-based systems to deliver quality investment and financial products to underserved low and moderate income households.


Tom Mulligan BSBA '91 MBA '98

Hough Graduate School of Business

Tom accepted his current position in January of 2008. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the firm's marketing efforts, and manages a staff of eleven individuals. Prior to taking on his current role, Tom was with Raymond James Asset Management Services, developing new product strategies and contributing to sales and marketing campaigns for high-net worth individuals. During the previous four years, Tom was Director of Institutional Client Relations with Eagle Asset Management, a subsidiary of Raymond James. In this role, he was responsible for maintaining strong relationships with existing clients, representing the portfolio management teams in client meetings and managing the firm's marketing and client service teams. Tom also spent three years a member of Eagle's Small Cap Equity research team. He was responsible for all aspects of communication for two portfolio managers over five investment products, and assisted with certain aspects of portfolio management and equity research.

Tom received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Finance, from the University of Florida in 1991 and his MBA from the University of Florida in 1998. He became a CFA charterholder in 2007. In addition, he holds NASD Series 7 & 65 registrations. Tom has over 14 years of experience in the financial services industry.

2007

Laura S. Phillips BSBA '95

Heavener School of Business

Laura Phillips is the Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Entertainment for Walmart, leading an incredible team focused on helping Walmart customers live better and save money. She manages the product development, sourcing, buying and merchandise development for the Entertainment division. She is responsible for $25 billion annual revenue and over 126,686 SKU’s for 4,479 U.S. stores. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPf7rc5FJoY


Wendi Christensen BSAc ‘96 MAcc ‘96

Fisher School of Accounting

Wendi Christensen is a tax partner in the Florida Lead Tax Services Group and has over 13 years experience in public accounting. Wendi specializes in providing a variety of corporate tax consulting services to publicly and privately-held companies in many industries including travel, hospitality and leisure, waste collection, service, retail, health care and life sciences. Wendi is experienced in assisting companies with accounting methods reviews, FAS 109 Accounting for Income Taxes, Internal Revenue Service examinations, structuring reorganizations and acquisitions, and with post-merger integration tax planning.


John R. Eder MBA ‘97

Hough Graduate School of Business

Sr. VP of Finance at Seminole Gaming
Miami/Fort Lauderdale AreaGambling & Casinos

2006

Adam J. D. Scott BSBA ‘95

Heavener School of Business

Back in 1991, finding Amazing Flavor was not so easy – especially at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL where Matt Friedman and Adam Scott were away at school.

Fraternity House Origins – Matt and Adam spent many a night in their fraternity house kitchen perfecting the recipes that one day would become Wing Zone’s trademark flavors. The strength of the concept was never in doubt as they quickly ran out of food on each of their first two nights in business.

Starting with a Storefront – Matt and Adam quickly outgrew the frat house and went on to open locations in Gainesville, FL. Starting with a single storefront, Matt and Adam built the Wing Zone brand, satisfying the cravings of Flavorholics in other towns, states and now, worldwide.

Growth and Renown – Today, Matt and Adam are among the few ever to be inducted in the Buffalo Wing Hall of Flame. Wing Zone’s flavors are recognized year after year as the Festival Favorite at the National Buffalo Wing Festival where Buffalo Bliss is the official flavor for the wing-eating competition. Wing Zone has received awards for Hot Shot, Thai Chili and Garlic Parm.


Shannon Brouillette BSAc ‘94

Fisher School of Accounting

Shannon Brouillette has joined CNLBank's Board of Directors, announced C. Michael Collins, president & chief executive officer of CN LBancshares,Inc., the bank's holding company.

"We are deeply honored to have such a distinguished and prominent leader serving on our board," said Collins. "Shannon Brouillette brings tremendous talent, leadership and vision and will be a valuable asset to our bank and board of directors."Brouillette is founder and president of CFO Strategic Partners, a Florida based company that provides firms with highly qualified financial executives on an as-needed consulting basis. With offices in Orlando and Tampa, CFO offers high-level, strategic financial vision and planning services that empower business owners to make sound decisions. Brouillette founded the firm in 1999 and has successfully grown the company to an enterprise with over 30 employees and more than 400 clients."Shannon Brouillette's unique experience in public accounting, banking, and ultimately in her role as CEO and entrepreneur made her a natural fit for our board," said Sandy Hostetter, president of CNL Bank. "She is an accomplished, respected business woman and will provide enormous value and insight to our Prior to forming CFO Strategic Partners, Brouillette was a commercial lending officer at United American Bank and served as an auditor for KPMG Peat Marwick. Brouillette has been the recipient of many awards including recognition by Working Mother Magazine as one of the nation's top family friendly workplaces in 2007; "Business Woman of the Year" and Orlando Sentinel"Women of Magic" finalist in 2005; and the Orlando Business Journal "Up and Comer" Women Who Mean Business award in 2004.An Orlando native, Brouillette received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Florida and currently resides in Orlando with her husband, Dr. Chris Brouillette, and two young sons.


Leigh Ann Horton BSAc ‘94 MAcc ‘94

Fisher School of Accounting

Leigh Ann is also currently serving on the Board of Directors for J4, Nine 12, The Orlando Christian Foundation, The Florida Fellowship Foundation and Grace Medical Home. Leigh Ann has formally served on the Board of Directors of Second Harvest Food Bank and Summit Church.

She began her career in New York with IBM as an accounting intern; later joining KPMG Peat Marwick in the Mutual Fund Tax Practice in New York and transferring to Orlando in 1996. In 1998, Leigh Ann joined Hard Rock Cafe’ International as the international tax manager. In 2000 Leigh Ann became a partner at CFO Strategic Partners, offering a wealth of experience for small to mid-size companies. In September of 2009 Leigh Ann left CFO to buy AIT Life Safety with her husband. In addition Leigh Ann enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

Leigh Ann is a longtime resident of College Park and is an alumnus of the University of Florida.


Rhys Williams MBA ‘00

Hough Graduate School of Business

Rhys L. Williams is President of iTherapeutics, a biotechnology company developing therapies for macular degeneration, which he co-founded with prominent faculty from Scripps Florida and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (Univ. of Miami). Previously he co-founded Tequesta Marine Bioscience, a marine natural products venture focusing on therapeutic and cosmeceutical applications. He is also President & Co-Founder of New World Angels, Inc., a member-managed, structured angel investor group with chapters in Southeast Florida and Tampa Bay. His prior business experience includes roles as a venture capitalist with SI Ventures (Gartner Group-affiliated fund) and executive positions with Ixion Biotechnology, Smith Barney, American Express, and U.S. Army Special Forces (commander, combat diver detachment).

He serves on the Boards of the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (gubernatorial appointee), Florida Atlantic University Foundation, Univ. of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, University of Miami’s Coulter Center Technology Review Committee, and the South Florida Science Museum (former Chairman). He is a member of BioFlorida, the Economic Council of the Palm Beaches, the Harvard Club of the Palm Beaches, Florida Blue Key, and Leadership Florida (former Boardmember). He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College magna cum laude and both MBA and J.D. degrees from Univ. of Florida (MBA class president; admitted to practice in FL & NY). A fifth generation South Floridian, Rhys lives in Delray Beach with his wife Dr. Lorna Sohn Williams and their two children. Rhys and Lorna have supported both the JFK Medical Center Foundation and Hospice of the Palm Beaches, as Annual Fundraiser Event Chairs and/or Underwriting Committee Co-chairs.

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Warrington College of Business Administration
100 BRY
PO Box 117150
Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
Phone: 352.392.2397
Fax: 352.392.2086

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