UCF’s College of Business will host its 20th annual Business Hall of Fame gala Feb. 12, 2019, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rosen Shingle Creek.
During the event, which honors the college’s most distinguished alumni and partners, three UCF graduates will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Nine other UCF alumni and two organizations that have partnered with the university will also be receiving awards.
More than 650 College of Business alumni, faculty, students, corporate partners and friends of UCF are expected to attend and celebrate in style at the New York City-themed event, which will begin with a cocktail party, followed by the awards ceremony.
2019 UCF Business Hall of Fame Inductees
UCF Business Hall of Fame inductees have demonstrated exceptional professional successes in their fields. This highest honor given by the college to graduates is awarded to those who have been in the industry for at least 20 years and have brought notoriety to the university through their professional achievements.
Jessica Blume ’80 is a retired vice chairman and board member at Deloitte, the largest professional services organization in the world. She holds an accounting degree from UCF and is engaged with the College of Business as an advisory member for the Integrated Business program. Blume serves on two Fortune 100 Boards of Directors —Centene Corporation, and Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Clint Bullock ’95 is general manager and CEO for Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), the 14th largest municipal power utility in the United States. He was named OUC’s 10th CEO in 2018, 28 years after joining the company as a summer student. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management information systems from UCF and serves on the board of directors for the UCF Foundation, where he is a member of the finance committee.
Rick Cardenas ’92 is chief financial officer for Darden Restaurants, which owns and operates over 1,700 restaurants employing more than 180,000 people serving nearly 390 million guests annually. Cardenas joined the company in 1984 as an hourly team member and has held multiple leadership roles across many of Darden’s iconic brands. He graduated summa cum laude from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting and received the Elijah Watt Sells Award for High Distinction on the Uniform CPA Exam. He is the chair of the Board of Trustees at The Paragon School, a K-12 school for high-functioning students with autism.
The Partnership Awards recognize organizations that have initiated a successful partnership with or on behalf of the UCF College of Business, resulting in the advancement of the college’s academic offerings or public outreach. These organizations embody the spirit of collaboration and are recognized for their initiative, leadership and involvement in the betterment of business education.
CLA, the country’s eighth largest professional services firm, has been a continuous supporter of UCF with repeat visits to The EXCHANGE to help motivate and educate students on life as a professional in the business world, scholarships, and active involvement in numerous campus boards. With more than 6,100 professionals and over 2,600 CPAs, including UCF alumni, CLA exists to create opportunities for its array of clients, its people, and the communities through the company’s industry-focused advisory, outsourcing, audit, tax, wealth advisory and consulting services.
Gartner is one of the top research and advisory companies with more than 15,000 associates in 100+ countries around the globe. Since 2013, Gartner has partnered with the College of Business through the Professional Selling Program, where it assists students in preparing for a successful career in sales with priceless insight and hands-on experience. Gartner has hired 75 College of Business graduates and continues to mold the future minds of the business world.
Entrepreneurial Alumni Awards
The Entrepreneurial Alumni Awards honor UCF business alumni from any discipline who exemplify commitment, vision, calculated risk-taking and growth potential. In their professional careers, these alumni demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles.
Natalie Alzate ’16 is a YouTube sensation with more than 9 million subscribers and 1.7 billion views across her channels. One of the fastest growing multi-cultural female creators on YouTube, her signature content includes beauty, fashion and lifestyle advice. Her podcast #VIRAL focuses on the business of online video and topped the iTunes podcast chart. Alzate was a part of the Professional Selling Program in 2015.
Socrate Exantus ’00 is the CEO of four All County Property Management franchise offices. He has served as president of the All County Advisory Council, with his team being the “Top All County Office” for six consecutive years. Exantus earned his B.A. in management from UCF and frequently speaks at the College of Business, guiding and leading students through his extensive experience and expertise. Exantus is a Licensed Real Estate Instructor and Florida Realtors Instructor. He is also a published author of Find Your Hedgehog and STOP Working!.
Honorable Knight Awards
The Honorable Knight Awards recognize UCF business alumni with more than 10 years of experience who have displayed excellence in their respective career paths.
Brian K. Nichols ’86 is vice president of the enterprise project and risk management office for NBCUniversal. He graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in accounting from UCF. Nichols helped launch the College of Business’ first Diversity Speaker Series following the Pulse nightclub shooting in hopes of inspiring students as they grow in their personal and professional lives. As the very first speaker in the series, Nichols shared with students his personal story and how one can overcome personal and professional hardships with hard work and determination.
Dave Patton ’93 is vice president of business strategy and general counsel at Mohawk Industries, Inc., the largest flooring company in the world. He graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in finance before graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School. Patton became a partner at Alston & Bird LLP prior to joining Mohawk’s senior leadership team, where he has played an instrumental role in shaping and directing the company’s global strategy initiatives. Patton is currently a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UCF College of Business, and previously served on the board of directors of UCF Alumni.
Shelly Wilkes ’02 ’04MBA is the team president for Lakeland Magic, the G League affiliate of the Orlando Magic. She began as a game-night staff member for the marketing department of Orlando Magic in 2003 and was hired full time in 2004 holding multiple positions in the sales and marketing area before launching the Lakeland Magic in 2016. Wilkes was a member of the UCF women’s volleyball team and earned her bachelor’s degree in general business as well as a master’s degree in business administration and sport business management from the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at UCF.
Notable Knight Awards
The Notable Knight Awards recognize UCF business alumni who have displayed promise and excellence early (first 10 years) in their respective career paths.
Margo Beard ’09 ’12MBA serves as the operations program manager for Apple in California. She graduated from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication from the Nicholson School of Communication and an MBA from the College of Business. Her extensive on-campus involvement throughout her time at UCF enabled her to excel in her career with experience in event management, defense manufacturing and consumer technology.
Brian Charif ’13 is vice president of sales learning and development for Gartner. He joined the company as an account manager upon his graduation from UCF. He earned his B.S. in marketing as a member of the Professional Selling Program and the Burnett Honors College. He also was on the Dean’s List.
Matt Stiefeld ’10 is the director of asset management for Demetree Global, a pioneer in Florida in land development, construction, commercial real estate and land use. He graduated magna cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in real estate and business management from UCF and later went on to earn his MBA. His dedication to real estate has driven him to a successful career where he hopes to one day own or partner with an investment company.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a UCF College of Business alumnus who has excelled and displayed undeniable success throughout his or her career and serves as a role model for current and future Knights to come.
Bob Case ’70 currently serves as president of Demetree Global. A 2002 inductee of the College of Business Hall of Fame and a graduate of the charter class of UCF’s College of Business with degrees in management and marketing, Case also is a member and past chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board as well as an advisory board member for the Integrated Business Program. Throughout his career, he has been a leader for multiple organizations, such as Sears, Roebuck, and Company, All America Termite & Pest Control, R B Case Consulting, Inc., eSchool Solutions, Inc., and Handex Consulting & Remediation, LLC.
Tickets and Hotel Accommodations
Individual event tickets for the gala are $150, or guests may purchase up to 10 table seats for $1,500, which includes sponsor recognition. Discounted hotel rooms of $119 per night are available for guests at Rosen Shingle Creek, valid Feb. 09-13. For reservations, call 866-996-6338 and mention you are with the UCF College of Business Hall of Fame.
Established in 1968, the UCF College of Business offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and executive levels. All programs, as well as the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting, are accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The college provides high-quality academic programs designed to give students a competitive advantage in the world of business. As such, the college establishes partnerships with some of the nation’s most innovative leaders to model new and best practices that harness evolving technology. In addition, the college promotes a unique culture of engagement, risk-taking, cross-disciplinary collaboration and data-driven decision making in an effort to ensure students are well prepared to enter a dynamic marketplace.