As a college, with enrollment growing 23% since 2011 and currently more than 900 graduate and undergraduate students, the Davis College of Business (DCOB) has created an award to recognize our students for their performance. We have selected 40 students who have excelled in the classroom while continuously developing their leadership skills.
After three years of promoting the Top Talent of the Davis College of Business, I feel like uncovering the process in which the list is selected. First, Advantage Business Magazine opened the online application portal in September. After more than 100 students applied, the next step was to narrow the list to 40. This was done by a selection committee made up of Advantage staff and members of the Executive Advisory Board (of DCOB).
All students who applied were invited to have their photos taken by a professional photographer and to attend workshops on how to tune your digital footprint to attract employers or to manage your online reputation (for our currently employed students).
Thanks to our partners at Northwestern Mutual, a behavioral assessment tool was offered to help students better understand their own strengths, decision-making characteristics and areas of improvement.
Lastly, a professional meet-and-greet is scheduled for students and members of the business community alike. It’s our goal to foster long-lasting relationships that will be firmly rooted in Jacksonville.
These students will undoubtedly be the leaders of tomorrow, even perhaps in your organization. Some will continue their current career path and others are looking for employers where they can make a maximum impact.
JU Davis means business. We are committed to providing opportunities for experienced professionals to grow into polished individuals whose skills are verified by their degree, as well as to helping those with untapped potential, establishing the foundation for jumpstarting a career within the business world. Between networking with C-level executive alumni and career-changing internship and job opportunities, our business students are provided with ample opportunities to strengthen and enhance their professional lives.
The Top 40 Talent from this year and years prior are prime examples of this philosophy. I encourage you to introduce yourself, serve as a mentor, and challenge these rising stars to see what some of the smartest new graduates in North Florida can do for you. If your organization needs talent, I urge you to take a look at our students. I know you will like what you see.
MBA in Accounting & Finance
Alharbi has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She worked for three years at three different companies in three different industries (Fitness – Insurance – Ship Supply ) before she came to the United States. As an international student , Alharbi has found that studying abroad in a different country, with a different culture, gives her a chance to widen her gaze, live new experiences, enhance her knowledge and to learn from people with various backgrounds and experiences. She has worked hard to get her MBA and to take advantage of being in Jacksonville so that she can use all of the lessons she has learned when she returns to her country to start her own business. Alharbi is an ambitious woman with strong resolve who is always looking for new opportunities and enjoying the new challenges. She is able to motivate her team or colleagues, which makes her well-suited for leadership positions.
Finance and Accounting
Highly skilled and organized, Alhudaif has earned a high grade point average while participating in the International Student Association. Alhudaif’s future goals include to become a well-known and important person with their own established business.
Andrake has fulfilled what Davis College of Business professors always stress for students to do, and that is to go out into the real world, get hands-on experience, and apply what they’ve learned in classes. A former intern with the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Finance and Ticket Sales departments, Andrake has opened up many potential career opportunities in sports and with the Jaguars themselves, which is uncommon in the sports world. He has also served as captain of the Jacksonville University men’s lacrosse team and has been a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Finance and International Business
In three and a half years living in the United States, Arguedas has learned that there are many ways of doing things and that doing them the wrong way gets you nowhere. His experience playing for the men’s soccer team, including as one of three captains, has forced him to miss many classes, but he has pushed himself to excel. Also a member of the International Students Association, he has held various leadership roles at Jacksonville University as well. He looks forward to being not only a very good student but being excellent in every aspect of his life.
Burns credits the lessons he has learned throughout his education at the Davis College of Business for opening his mind to vital pillars in life, including work ethic, discipline, and the essential need for community. His experience has also opened other avenues in his life. In particular, the leadership and communication skills that he has mastered have given him the confidence to take on active leadership roles within his community; as a captain on the university’s Division I soccer team, and as the vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. As an international student, he has placed great emphasis on engaging in the community around him and stepping outside of his comfort zone. A member of the Sport Business Club, he has found that community engagement is crucial in forming relationships and serving others.
MBA & JD
In addition to studying at Jacksonville University, Campione attends the Florida Coastal School of Law, where he is a member of Phi Delta Phi (Legal Honors Society), the American Bar Association (ABA), and the Federalist Society. He has excelled in JU’s MBA program with a near perfect GPA and is ranked at the top of his class at Florida Coastal School of Law. In addition to being a full-time student, he volunteers as a teacher assistant for a Constitutional Law class and works for the Alexander Law Practice as a Legal Clerk, and at Campione & Hackney, P.A. as a Consultant for Legal Research. Campione is a licensed pilot and is a member of the American Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA), and the National Rifle Association (NRA). He looks forward to utilizing the tools the program has given him to best represent the school in the business community.
Aviation Management with Flight Operations
Clarkson has helped the college and its students, doing his best to perform as a role model for all. His efforts include traveling to Taipei, Taiwan, to help set up a foreign exchange program with the National Taipei University. A flight Instructor at Aerosim Flight Academy and co-captain of JU’s flight team, he has taught and tutored students as well as helped to bring the team to the national competition in Ohio. He has also assisted the Davis College of Business by talking to many new and prospective students. Lastly, he has been involved in other organizations across campus such as Sigma Alpha Pi and Sigma Chi. Through these, he has been able to meet new students and students of different majors and share with them his experience and leadership abilities.
Accounting/ Management Minor
Collins enjoys a challenge, maintaining a 4.0 her junior year while juggling different activities. She is a hard worker who is dedicated to her education and has proven herself in trying circumstances. In high school, she graduated as the valedictorian of her class with a GPA of 4.8. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma, and the Brumos Circle of Excellence.
Aviation Management and Flight Operations
Crutchfield has worked full-time as a flight instructor for Aerosim Flight Academy during his junior and senior years. He maintained his academic success, serving as a role model for future Aviation students. He is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success and Alpha Omicron Alpha Honor Society.
D’Amico does not let anything get in the way of achieving her goals. A member of the university’s women’s soccer team for four years, she suffered a severe concussion during the second game of her sophomore season and has now had four concussions over the past two years. Dealing with the symptoms from her concussions has been the greatest challenge of her life. Constant headaches make it difficult to read, write, attend class, complete assignments and take tests. Because of this, she has had to use great time management skills to ensure that she gets all of her work done while still dealing with her cognitive setbacks. Doctors urged her to take a semester off. Instead, she worked through adversity and managed to make Dean’s List every semester since her initial concussion, while simultaneously working as an intern in the soccer operations department for the Jacksonville Armada Professional Football Club.
MBA – Accounting & Finance
A quote by Anita Roddick states, “To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.” This quote constantly reminds Dioneda to never lose sight of the prize. One of the most defining instances was the day she made the difficult decision to drop her lifelong desire of becoming a nurse. After 11 years of dreaming about it and two years of experiencing it, she realized it was not her ideal career. It was not until about a month later when she found her niche in accounting. Her second most defining instance came when she gave up seven years of cross country & track to join the rowing team. However, it was not until she became a coxswain that she explored how to use criticism to better herself, motivate others, and always be prepared to make last minute decisions. She has witnessed that a race, much like life, will almost never go according to plan. But she has also learned that it is not about constantly playing the sympathy card when things do not go well but instead learning to successfully play the cards that she is dealt.
MBA – Accounting & Finance
A full-time employee who saw his potential to excel in a management career path, Emling returned to school to seek a graduate degree when he realized an opportunity for growth at his position. With a background in finance, he chose to pursue an MBA with a concentration in finance and accounting. During his time as a working student, he has maintained a 3.8 GPA at school while receiving multiple promotions by his employer.
MBA – Management
A member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Frost is in the top 10 percent of business graduate students academically. His professional goals following the completion of his degree entail Human Resource or Management consulting. These careers align with his personal values of creating a positive work environment for employees of all levels. During his diverse career as a musician and office employee, he has recognized the need to culturally change most organizations. His well-rounded background and valuable business education can make a positive impact.
Fuller graduated from high school with a 1.7 GPA without much hope of success. After graduation, he spent nine years active duty in the United States Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller. Hoping to become an airline pilot, he eventually separated from the Air Force and moved to Jacksonville to complete his college degree and flight training at JU. All of this was done without having a source of income, or his wife having any job prospects or friends. In short order and with a lot of perseverance, he completed his undergraduate degree (Magna Cum Laude) and began work as a flight instructor at Comair Aviation Academy and adjunct professor at Jacksonville University. He began his airline career soon after and is now a Captain of an Airbus A320 at JetBlue Airways.
Aviation Operations & Flight Management
As the pioneer student in an exchange program between Jacksonville University and City of Glasgow College in Scotland, Gale demonstrated initiative and a sense of purpose by working through academic and government issues that arose, creating great relationships with the college staff and faculty, and achieving high marks in his studies. Also, as a successful Flight Operations Intern at Delta Air Lines, he exhibited an ability to work in a real-world environment in his chosen field. He has also operated a small business as a technology contractor, specializing in personal computers, during his college career. Throughout these experiences, he has maintained focus and discipline with his studies, earning a 4.0 GPA overall.
International Business/ Minor in Spanish
As an active member of the International Student Association (ISA), Gillio is honored to have the opportunity to help others who come from abroad to pursue their intellectual and professional development while adapting to the American society. During the last four years, Gillio has helped her family’s local linguistics business grow and prosper. Humbly, but objectively speaking, as her very name Chiara (meaning transparency evident in Italian) implies, she is an outspoken and persuasive speaker who is at ease in advocating any well-worth pursuit or idea. Her native language is Spanish and her childhood in South America has afforded her a well-rounded perspective in two contrasting cultures and languages. Coupling that with her passionate zeal for travel and meeting others, regardless of their origin or creed, she is adequately suited to further domestic and international interests for the well-being of our planet’s survival.
MBA – Consumer Goods & Services Marketing
Claudia works for a Fortune 14 company in the medical supply chain industry, leading strategic projects in a highly complex and regulated environment. With a degree in logistics, six sigma black belt training, and her international upbringing, Claudia is able to perform at the highest level in global initiatives. While attending the MBA Program, a challenge by itself, she is able to continue to deliver results for her company while balancing her family life. She has also added value to all of her classes through her work and contributions and is widely recognized as a top talent in the Jacksonville community. She is a former board member of the Council of Supply Chain Management (CSCMP) Jacksonville Roundtable, and an active participant in the local supply chain community. Being a woman in the supply chain and distribution field is difficult, but she has persevered and excelled. Upon graduation, she hopes to be able to apply her marketing and consumer goods knowledge acquired through the MBA program to her work contributions. The ideal role for Claudia is in the area of new product development and marketing strategies, where she can utilize her analytical skills, and project management experience to deliver financial results.
MBA – Accounting & Finance
Pursuing an education has been a lifelong passion for Graham, who for eight years completed night classes at Florida State College of Jacksonville and the University of North Florida while working full time in medical underwriting for Florida Blue. Then in 2014 after committing full time to his education he successfully completed 18 classes in one year and graduated from UNF with degrees in both Accounting and Finance. In 2015 he joined the MBA program at Jacksonville University, where he has maintained an exceptional GPA and has been inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma’s international honor society. He plans on graduating with an MBA focused in Accounting and Finance at the end of 2015 and looks forward to pursuing a challenging career in public accounting.
Hensley is a highly motivated student-athlete who performs well in the classroom as well as in athletics. He manages his time between running JU’s Sporting Clays, Skeet, and Trap Team team as captain and treasurer; fulfilling his commitment to his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, and his classes. He is also co-owner and vice president of Mike Hensley Construction, Inc., for which he draws floor plans and 3D renderings in his spare time. He takes his obligations and schooling seriously and looks forward to pursuing a graduate degree after graduation.
Being a full-time Florida Licensed Realtor has taught Hernon to work efficiently in an administrative setting and to solve problems independently in a fast-paced sales environment. As a real estate professional, she has learned that the best way to achieve success is to motivate the resources she has with well-defined objectives and empowerment. A management belief based on integrity, value, dedication, and service, along with a positive attitude, an aptitude for strategic thought and planning, and the ability to adapt quickly to new ideas and situations allows her to achieve consistent success in her career and education. She is committed to follow-through and has a passion for growth. She has continued her education beyond her Associate of Science degree in Aviation Operations and has maintained an above average GPA while managing a career, multiple extracurricular activities, and volunteer service. She is a member of Jacksonville University’s Women in Aviation chapter, Jacksonville University’s American Association of Airport Executives chapter, the international professional college aviation fraternity Alpha Eta Rho, the Jacksonville University Aviation Ambassadors, and the National Society of Leadership.
MBA – Accounting & Finance
Jadav’s experience and knowledge set her apart from the crowd. Loyal, reliable, personable, responsible, dependable, and extremely organized, she likes to be challenged and to multi-task. As a problem solver, she is is known for thinking outside the box. She fits in beautifully and would be a great addition to a team. Most importantly, she loves whatever task she is assigned and enjoys interacting on a business level. Her background as an Information Technology graduate brings into light another image of creating a positive impact on the business world. While pursuing her graduate degree, Jadav has also managed to work as a graduate tech assistant at JU and as an intern at Interline/Home Depot’s merchandising department as an analyst. She is a member of the Brumos Circle of Excellence and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
Management and Marketing
Kent has been involved in a copious amount of organizations on campus. First and foremost, she is an active member of the Honors Student Association. This group has aided in her education by requiring community volunteer work, an internship, and undergraduate research to be eligible to graduate with honors. She is also a sister of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, in which she has held two executive positions and a chair position. She was invited to join the Student Alumni Association in Spring 2015 and was a member of the Brumos Circle of Excellence from Fall 2013-Fall 2014. Kent is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, and the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. She has worked hard throughout her education and in turn has kept her GPA above a 3.7 at all times while also being an active member and officer in multiple organizations on campus. She also completed a summer internship at Southeastern Grocers, which culminated in an opportunity to present her own campaign to a room full of university partners, company executives and the CEO.
MBA – Accounting & Finance
The university has been grooming and fine tuning Lambert as both a student and an individual since he arrived in January 2010, following his older brother’s statement that he would be thrilled if they attended school together at JU. His best years, grade-wise, have taken place during his years at JU; which needless to say, was most rigorous. This success has changed his view of an obstacle; which he now sees as simply an exercise that builds resiliency. Recently, despite limited exposure to the subjects, he chose Finance and Accounting as an MBA concentration. Not only has he unexpectedly take a liking to these subjects because of their thought-provoking, although sometimes perplexing nature, but he now plans on taking one of two parts of the Certified Management Accountants Exam in January.
Lee loves sports and all of the business concepts that it entails. Whether it is living the student-athlete life or studying specific sport focuses, she has a diverse knowledge in business, management, and various sports and events. From researching economic impact (NCAA March Madness) to composing marketing strategies for a national organization, she has been able to expand her experiences beyond the classroom. Lee’s interpersonal skills allow her to strive in areas like coaching, leadership, and communications/public relations. Her professional and goal-oriented character has enabled her to effectively impact her school, team, and community. Outside of academia, Lee leads over four different clubs/groups in order to better the JU experience for her peers. As she concludes her undergraduate studies, Lee aspires to continue on to earn her MBA at JU.
Leon, who goes by “Gaby,” gives her best effort every day, as evidenced by her grades and hard work. She is well versed and fluent in three languages. She is also currently employed at Mooney Financial and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. During her time in the US, in addition to studying and working, she has been helping people with rehab services as an interpreter. Gaby sees all of her work in her personal and professional lives as an extension of herself and she wants to transmit that to everyone.
MBA – Accounting & Finance
Liu has passion and capability for business. Leaving China to study abroad one year ago, she became a Kinne Scholarship Recipient as she entered into the MBA program. She is good at accounting and helps classmates as a tutor. She also works as a graduate assistant at the Graduate Office. Devoted to her academic and professional lives, she is chair of the Academic Success Committee for the Brumos Circle of Excellence and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.
Business Administration/ Marketing minor
Miller admits that he started his time at JU “a little slow” as a freshman but as it dawned on him that graduation was not so far in the future he improved his work ethic. As a junior, in the second semester he earned a 4.0 GPA while taking 19 credits and getting awarded a spot on the Dean’s List. This was no easy feat as he was also a member of JU’s Men’s Lacrosse team, which greatly reduced the amount of time he had for homework. Last season, he earned a spot on the SOCON academic all-conference team for his efforts on the field and in the classroom. He was also recently nominated to be inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. Miller has been a member of Lions International Service Club since high school as well.
Ryan Miller is a senior human resources and business leader experienced in providing strategic direction for Fortune 500 retailers and has a proven track record of innovation that drives organizational performance and bottom line results. He currently serves as Sr. Director of Field Human Resources at Southeastern Grocers, a Jacksonville-based regional grocer with more than 800 stores. In this role, he is responsible for the organizational talent strategies that drive business performance. Prior to his current role, Ryan held progressively responsible roles within Southeastern Grocers and Target Corporation.
Nicolini has always had a passion for aviation. He started flight training when he was 15, and soloed on his 16th birthday. He has been actively involved in the aviation industry ever since. Graduating from Santa Fe College in Gainesville with an associate’s in Engineering, and after studying Military Science at the University of Florida, Nicolini moved to Jacksonville to continue his education at Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business studying Aviation Management and Administration. Focusing on Airport and Airline Management, he will graduate in 2016, and hopes to compete in the global business market to impact industry worldwide.
A father of three children, a grandfather and a sole provider for a family of six who is on active duty with the US Navy, Olmeda knows it is not easy to accomplish so much with so little time and so many complexities and responsibilities. He wants to be an example to people by proving that it does not matter how much life throws at you; one can always give their best and accomplish what’s unimaginable. It’s not only about the intelligence that one may have, but how bad they want something and what sacrifices they are willing to make to reach their goal. Olmeda says, “It’s how hungry you are for success.”
A first-year student at JU who speaks three languages (English, Russian, Tajik), Rakhmatov transferred from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and before that attended the Technological University of Tajikistan, majoring in International Relations. Rakhmatov has learned that if you want to be successful you must have a passion. Passionate about finances, Rakhmatov is amazed by how one can look at an annual report for a company and tell everything about it and even predict its future.
Ramirez is a Jacksonville native who graduated from Ed White High School. After graduating from the University of Florida, he joined Black Knight Financial Services, a technology services organization in the Mortgage and Consumer lending industry. He has been with Black Knight Financial Services for 20 years and has held several roles during his tenure. He started in the Technical Operations area, held several development positions, managed Development teams, and is currently the CTO Client Engagements manager focusing on system integration and implementations.
Ricci has maintained a high GPA and made the Dean’s List four times while playing Division I baseball. He has also been an Atlantic Sun Conference Scholar and a four-time member of the all-conference academic team. He is an accounting club member as well. His experience balancing sports and academics has improved his time-management skills and taught him many lessons that he will use throughout his accounting career.
Rich has a balance of academic achievement, community involvement, and proven leadership qualities. During Rich’s 15-year tenure at CSX, he has been placed in multiple leadership roles and has been put in charge of multiple strategic initiatives including Mobility, User Experience, and Modernization. At JU, he was selected by peers in his EMBA program to be the project manager for their International Business program, in which they compiled a business case and marketing report for Cinepapaya, a multi-national corporation in Lima, Peru. In a post-assessment briefing in Lima, CEO Gary Urteaga indicated it was far and away better than the work and material that a group from Harvard had created over a two-week onsite engagement with Cinepapaya.
Richardson attributes much of his knowledge of professionalism to working at a five-diamond executive conference resort for five years, in four different departments. He is persistent and conscientious in his effort to better himself as a person, especially in regards to academia. He realizes that he is tasked with the opportunity of success each and every day and makes sure to strive to complete all of his goals. In his time at DCOB and JU as a whole, he has learned what it takes to be a driven member of society in the professional world. He has also gained key characteristics such as leadership, multitasking ability, a team member mentality and a driven mindset. He knows that education has great importance, but it is not just the grades you earn but the values and methods you obtain through the process. As a representative of JU, he conducts himself in accordance with its strong ideals as he works to make his life better. He looks forward to Spring 2016, when he will attending the European Business School in Germany, where he will build upon his skills, including the German language.
MBA – Accounting & Finance
As an undergraduate at Jacksonville University, Slater took only one business class. The rest of her classes were in mathematics or education. Upon graduation, she thought to herself, “If I could do it all over again, I would definitely take more business classes!” That is why she chose to do an MBA when she decided to return to school. Also, she chose to concentrate in finance and accounting so that she could still work with numbers, one of the things she loves most. With the support and knowledge of DCOB faculty and staff, she has developed a strong foundation in a field that she had never experienced. She has now reached a level of understanding that not only allows her to excel in her classes but to help those around her who may not have reached that same level of understanding. She has also maintained a 3.75 GPA while working as a key holder at a local retailer and as a mathematics tutor for middle-school and high-school children.
Accounting and Management
After serving in the United States Navy for 26 years, Smith knows that hard work and persistence will lead to success. For the past three years, he has spent an enormous amount of time reading, researching and studying to ensure that his quality of work is above standards. This has allowed him to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.80 throughout his tenure. Smith is also the Circle Leader of Brumos Circle of Excellence, an exclusive group of students that are in the top 5 percent of the Davis College of Business. His academic achievement has led to a lifetime membership in the International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma as well. This is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a baccalaureate program.
MBA – Accounting & Finance
Triana-Garcia came to the United States 15 years ago, knowing that it would offer her opportunities to grow as a person and as a professional. She also knew that this wouldn’t happen overnight, and that hard work and dedication would be the keys to succeeding. She has strong leadership skills and has proven that she can help an organization achieve its goals and objectives.
MBA – Management
Weeks has carried a 4.0 GPA in the JU MBA Flex Program since starting the program in August 2014 while also working 40+ hours a week at EverBank as a Rotational Development Associate. The Rotational Development program is a highly competitive, management trainee position and she was selected as one of two candidates out of 400 applicants. She was selected as an RDP associate based on her leadership, communication, work ethic, and dedication not only to EverBank but also to her academic goals.
MBA – Accounting & Finance, Management
With an undergraduate degree from Stockholm University, Wikenholm’s international experience has taught her the importance of diversity. She believes diversity contributes to higher performance and she values the knowledge that it brings to an organization. While pursuing her graduate degree, Wikenholm worked as a graduate assistant at JU and, currently, as a finance intern at CSX. She is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Students Association and Brumos Circle of Excellence. Studies in combination with work have accelerated Wikenholm’s learning and inspired her to pursue a career in finance in the United States. When there is spare time, Wikenholm enjoys traveling, yoga and board sports.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Double Major, Finance & Accounting
Management and Psychology
Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership
Marketing Major w/Education & Music Minors
Sean Clayton Meyer
Management & Marketing
Finance and Economics