On Thursday, Feb. 26, alumni, faculty and friends walked the red carpet for a Hollywood-themed evening honoring three successful business grads, who were inducted into the 2015 College of Business Administration Hall of Fame.
Guests arrived at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel to camera-wielding “paparazzi,” and got to pose for pictures with a tux-clad Knightro. VIP guests and sponsors were treated to a special cocktail party before everyone headed into the main ballroom for hors d’oeuvres and networking.
Business students dressed as Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin and Audrey Hepburn were on hand for more photo ops, which also included the iconic DeLorean and another student dressed as Doc Brown from the “Back to the Future” movie series. In addition, guests could take to the virtual skies in an Occulus Rift flight simulator before enjoying dinner and the awards ceremony.
The College of Business Administration Hall of Fame recognizes business alumni who have demonstrated exceptional professional success in their career fields. This highest honor is given to those who have been in the industry for at least 20 years and have brought notoriety to their alma mater through their professional achievements.
This year’s inductees included:
Therese Gearhart, ’85 | President, Southern Africa Business Unit, The Coca-Cola Company
Prior to her current role, Gearhart served as group marketing and commercial and customer director for the Eurasia and Africa Group, the most diverse operating group of The Coca-Cola Company, encompassing more than 90 countries.
Mitch Less, ’86 | Partner, Grant Thornton LLP
Less is an audit partner with 25 years of experience with Grant Thornton, a global accounting and consulting firm. His professional experience includes serving clients in auditing and financial reporting, as well as consulting, with particular emphasis in large, privately owned businesses. In addition to being a client-service partner, he has held leadership roles in the Florida practice and is currently partner in charge of recruiting, and serves on the National Privately Held Business Initiative.
John Schmid, ’92 | President, Schmid Construction
In 2002, Schmid activated his CGC license and started his own business in land development and commercial construction with the formation of Schmid Construction and Development Inc.
A hall of fame committee selected all of the evening’s awardees, which also included:
These awards are given to organizations that have initiated successful partnerships with, or on behalf of, the UCF College of Business Administration, 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.
Entrepreneurial Alumni Awards
These awards are given to UCF alumni from any discipline who exemplify commitment, vision, calculated risk-taking and growth potential. In their professional careers, these Knights demonstrate perseverance in the face of adversity, and overcome obstacles.
- Dean Caravelis, ’02, ’03 | Founder/CMO, Blezoo Promotional Products
- Vito Scutero, ’92 | CEO, TekPartners & MedPartners
Notable Knights Awards
These awards are given to UCF business alumni who have displayed promise and excellence early on in their respective career paths.
- Jason Feig, ’02 | Corporate Controller, Elliott Management Corporation
- Cristina Calvet-Harrold, ’01, ’03 | Principal, CCH marketing + public relations
- Alex Gramatikas, ’12 | Founder, ALTR
- Brian Iversen, ’04 | CEO, AG Global LLC/AG Global Canada LP
In addition, a special recognition award was chosen by Dean Paul Jarley:
Lifetime of Service Award
- Tom Messina, ’84 | Former Executive Director, UCF Alumni Association, and 2006 CBA Hall of Fame Inductee
After the evening of awards, many attendees hit the links on Friday morning for the college’s annual golf tournament, which took place at the Shingle Creek Golf Club. Proceeds from the tournament benefit UCF business student scholarships and alumni initiatives.
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners! Go Knights! Charge On!
View list of PAST CBA HALL OF FAME WINNERS.