Three distinguished UCF alumni, who are leaders in their industries and communities, have joined the UCF Foundation’s Board of Directors.
The new members are Robert “Rob” Kantor ’97 ’04MS ’09MBA, vice president for Business Analytics and Industrial Engineering at Universal Destinations & Experiences; Laurette Koellner ’77, former president of Boeing International; and John Mahony ’96, managing partner and chief operating officer of Kavaliro. Each has been elected for a four-year term that began July 1.
“Our volunteer leaders contribute so much to our university through their expertise and deep commitment to helping our students and faculty succeed, as well as through their own philanthropy,” says Rod Grabowski, senior vice president for Advancement and Partnerships and CEO of the UCF Foundation. “We are excited to welcome our new board members as we work together to unleash the potential of people and ideas to positively change the world.”
The UCF Foundation Board of Directors’ 25 members help to advance the mission of the university through their leadership role in the foundation’s efforts to support student success, faculty excellence, first-class facilities and more through philanthropy.
Several board members began serving in new leadership roles on July 1. Brian Butler, a lifelong Central Florida resident and president/CEO of JCB Construction Inc., is the new board chair. He replaced past chair Carrie Daanen, who served in that role for two years.
“It has been an honor serving as board chair for the last two years for an organization I care deeply about. I am thrilled to hand over leadership of the Foundation Board of Directors to Brian Butler,” Daanen says. “Brian is a shining example of exemplary leadership and will no doubt lead the board to great success.”
Stuart Heaton, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Elevation Financial Group, is the new vice chair. Roslyn Burttram, who has worked more than 30 years in the healthcare and nursing fields, has been elected to a second term as second vice chair. Eva Tukdarian, chief financial officer, chief investment officer, treasurer and assistant secretary of Dr. Phillips Charities, has been named treasurer and Dana Patton, a longtime community leader and philanthropist, has been named secretary, both for a second term.
“I am thrilled to take on the role of board chair and lead this group of philanthropic leaders,” Butler says. “It is my pleasure to welcome our new directors and officers. Go Knights, Charge On!”
Briefs on New UCF Foundation Board Members
Kantor has worked for Universal Parks and Resort as a vice president since 2019. He previously worked at Universal Orlando Resort for over 20 years, most recently as senior director of Business Analytics and Industrial Engineering. During Kantor’s career at Universal, he has expanded his support of divisions across the entire business, leading process improvement and cost-saving initiatives in areas like revenue operations, entrance operations, entertainment, warehousing and wardrobe. Kantor’s volunteer experience includes Project Leader and Villa Adopter at Give Kids the World in Kissimmee. He is also a coach at the YMCA and for Little League International. Additionally, Kantor is a Certified Engineer-in-Training for the State of Florida. Kantor attended UCF, receiving multiple degrees and certificates. He earned his MBA in 2009, received a graduate certificate in project engineering and master’s in industrial engineering in 2004, and earned a bachelor’s in industrial engineering in 1997.
Koellner‘s distinguished career encompasses managing large, complex, international institutions in the aviation and technology industries. Koellner began her career at McDonnell Douglas as a contract analyst. She spent 19 years at McDonnell Douglas, with an end position of vice president of Internal Audit. After the Boeing- McDonnell Douglas merger in 1997, she remained with Boeing, first as vice president and general auditor, before being named vice president and corporate controller in 1999. In 2000, she was named the senior vice president of the Shared Services group. From 2002-2004, she served as a member of the office of the chairman, as well as the company’s chief administration and human resources officer. In 2004, Koellner was named the president of Connexion by Boeing, a position she held until 2006, when she was named the president of Boeing International. She remained in this position until her retirement from Boeing in 2008. Koellner earned an MBA from Stetson University in 1980 and holds a certified professional contracts manager designation. Koellner is also a UCF graduate, earning a bachelor’s in 1977. In 2011, she was awarded Stetson University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. She has been designated an “audit committee financial expert” by the New York Stock Exchange. In 2014, she was featured in the book Trailblazers: The Women of The Boeing Company as the highest-ranking female in the history of the company.
Mahony has worked in the recruitment and placement field for over 20 years. Mahony and his wife, Diane Mahony ’96 ’01Med ’EdS, founded Kavaliro with other UCF graduates, Mark Moore ’99 and Bill Peppler ’96. Diane, CEO for Kavaliro, is a former UCF Foundation Board director. John Mahony gives back to the community through a variety of charitable organizations, including supporting Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Catholic Charities, and Kick off for Kids (a Kavaliro-sponsored 501(c)3). John and Diane Mahony have three kids: Caden, Owen and Ava. He enjoys spending time with his family and traveling to support his alma mater’s athletics. Mahoney received his bachelor’s in organizational communication from UCF in 1996.