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FCEE inducts 4 leaders into Hall of Fame

Four business leaders from the Jacksonville area were inducted into the First Coast Business Hall of Fame by thehall_of_fame Florida Council on Economic Education Oct. 16. The Four were Barry Allred, chairman and CEO, Elkins Constructors; Dr. Carlton D. Jones, chairman and president, Renaissance Design Build Group; David Smith, chairman and CEO of PSS World Medical; and Michael Ward, chairman and CEO of CSX Corp.

Dr. Carlton D. Jones, Barry Allred, Michael Ward, David Smith

Dr. Carlton D. Jones, Barry Allred, Michael Ward, David Smith

The induction was held at a celebratory luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in Jacksonville where 300 business people applauded the accomplishments of the newest members of the Hall of Fame. The ceremony was the eleventh FCEE has held.

The event honored these business leaders for their achievements and success in the First Coast community. The distinction is earned through an individual’s business and civic achievements and by being a lifelong example of integrity and decency to future generations.

Hall of Fame members must live and or work in the First Coast area (Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, and St. Johns counties). A committee consisting of business leaders from the First Coast community selected individuals for induction. Selection criteria centers on the nominee’s community contributions, reputation for solid business success, and high moral principles.


Dr. Carlton D. Jones

Dr. Carlton D. Jones

• Dr. Carlton D. Jones.

An economic developer and small business owner, Jones holds a degree in architectural engineering, theology, and two honorary doctorate degrees in divinity.

He has had leadership roles developing programs for minority and women’s businesses and has been instrumental with redevelopment projects within and around the state. Among his many accomplishments is being managing general partner of Gateway Town Center, a 700,000 square foot mixed-used development on the north side of Jacksonville. He was also a member of the program management team for Jacksonville Veterans Arena and Jacksonville Ball Park.

A small-business owner, Jones, is active in the community and has affiliation with the Northwest Chamber of commerce, Leadership Jacksonville, First Coast African-American Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Florida Builds Association, among others.


Barry Allred

Barry Allred

• Barry L. Allred.

As CEO and president of Elkins Constructors, Inc., Allred has grown the company to become a prominent building contractor in Jacksonville. Under his direction, the company has overseen the building of the Jacksonville Main Library, Clay County Courthouse, Ring Power Corporate Headers, and the University of North Florida Student Union.

Allred has been an active member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Baptists Health Foundation, Associated Builders and Contractors Advisory Council, the University of North Florida’s Dean’s Advisory Council, and the Mayor’s Council on Literacy.

His personal philosophy is to strive for excellence; hire the best people; and treat customers the way you expect to be treated.


David Smith

David Smith

• David A. Smith.

As chairman and CEO of PSS World Medical, he led the company’s successful turnaround, doubling revenue and profitability by refocusing on customer needs and organic growth and by instilling a strong strategic planning process along with a spirit of innovation and discipline. During his nine years as president of the company, he has delivered a 990% gain in stock price by improving cash flow and reducing debt.

Smith was named Ernst & Young’s 2009 Florida Entrepreneur of the Year for Distribution and Manufacturing, and Forbes named him one of eight CEOs to “keep an eye on in 2008.”

He is chairman of Florida TaxWatch and has served as past Chairman of the University of North Florida’s Business Administration Advisory Council. He is a current board member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and he was a founding member of the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless.


Michael Ward

Michael Ward

• Michael J. Ward.

A 30-year veteran of CSX, Ward as served as chairman and CEO of CSX since 2003. He and his team are committed to consistent, continuous improvement in the company’s operating, financial, and safety performance.

He was recently recognized as “Railroader of the Year” for 2009 by Railway Age Magazine, primarily for leading CSX’s turnaround that has brought a level of consistency and profitability to the railroad industry.

Ward serves on the boards of the Association of American Railroads, Ashland Inc., the Center for Energy and Economic Development, City Year, and Take Stock in Children. He is also involved in the Florida Council of 100, the Business Roundtable, and the Kentucky Coal Council.

The mission of the FCEE is to prepare Florida’s young people for personal and financial success through education programs in economics, the free enterprise system, and personal financial literacy.

Jacksonville Advantage was a gold sponsor for the Hall of Fame luncheon. Other gold sponsors were Publix Supermarkets and BlueCross BlueShield of Florida. The event sponsor was Raymond James.

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