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2014-01-31 Tim Gannon Executive Forum keynote speaker

Executive Forum Speaker Series

The executive forum is designed to provide the wealth of knowledge and experience of inspirational leaders and executives from a wide variety of businesses and industries. The speakers present a brief overview of their businesses, as well as specific professional experiences, followed by a discussion of key issues facing their industries in the current business and economic climate.

ACE proudly organizes the executive forum to help students and external audience members to hone in on their career development interests by enabling them to gain insight from business leaders who represent a wide array of industries.

The speaker series is comprised of presentations and seminar-like interaction with entrepreneurs and executives focusing on the practical nature of business development. Audience members and executives will discuss current challenges facing business and industry today and consider alternative ways of meeting these challenges.

Thursday, Jan 9, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Frank Veros

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailThirty years with Ford Motor Company. During this career, held numerous management and executive positions in Sales and Marketing in North America. Took the lead in the centralization of various activities in the Ford and Lincoln Divisions as well as Ford of Canada and Jaguar. Included are Order Processing, Marketing Programs, Misbuilt Vehicles, and Financial Statements. Was key in the complete overhaul of the distribution of Ford vehicles with over 5,000 dealerships. Recognized as an expert in the distribution process with Ford's legal department and resolved issues in Ford's South African and German Operations. Was recognized both within and outside of Ford via leadership and process improvement awards. Named Vice President of Marketing in establishing $100 million dollar joint venture that supported Sales and Marketing Operations for dealers, fleets and customers in North America for key Vehicle Divisions. Upon retirement, held Vice President positions in global marketing companies.


Bachelor of Science, Marketing; University of Detroit

Masters Degree, Business Administration; University of Detroit

Post Graduate Ford Sponsored Global Marketing Programs; University of Michigan, Duke University; University of Paris (Paris France)

Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Patti Ippoliti

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailDr. Patti Ippoliti is an accomplished business executive, human resource leader and university professor with extensive global and domestic experience in organizational transformation, human resource and talent management, and leadership and organizational development. She is an expert in developing and leading global human capital strategies and solutions that generate revenue and profit growth. Dr. Patti has extensive corporate and consulting experience in successfully transitioning public and private equity-owned companies through growth, turnaround and merger/acquisition situations.

Dr. Patti has had senior-level responsibility for human resources, corporate strategy and operations. She has held the top HR executive position at Reebok, Elizabeth Arden, Live Nation/Ticketmaster and other companies. Dr. Patti is currently the interim VP of Global Recruiting for Hertz.

In addition, Dr. Patti has taught MBA and EMBA courses on leadership, human resource management and organizational development at Temple University, Montclair State University and the University of Connecticut. She is currently teaching those courses at Rutgers University. Dr. Patti has also published several articles on leadership, talent acquisition and talent management.

Dr. Patti grew up in the Philadelphia area where she earned a B.S. in Accounting from Villanova University, and an M.B.A. in Human Resources and a Ph.D. in Organizational Development from Temple University.  

Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Jordan Zimmerman

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnail Sheer determination, perseverance and the relentless pursuit of success is what drives Jordan Zimmerman every day. He is Founder, Chairman and Architect of the Zimmerman Advertising empire, now the 14th largest advertising agency in the country with published billings in excess of $3 billion.

Understanding the value of differentiation and the importance of metrics, Jordan founded “the first metrics-driven business solutions firm that happened to do advertising.” He is known as “Advertising’s Bad Boy” and has trademarked his own term “Brandtailing,” now a well-known methodology throughout the industry. More than 1,100 associates in 22 offices live by his motto “Relentlessly pursue the client’s goal, but never rest in the glory.”

Jordan is the recipient of numerous industry awards and he is recognized for his philanthropy in the community. He and his wife reside in Boca Raton with their children.

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Abdol Moabery

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnail Abdol Moabery is the President and Chief Executive Officer of GA Telesis, a global leader in commercial aerospace. Founded in 2002 by Mr. Moabery, GA Telesis has fast grown into one of the largest firms in its sector, amassing vertically-integrated global businesses with hundreds of employees. He has over 20 years of direct experience in various disciplines in aviation from flight, lease and structured finance to logistics and maintenance.

A serial entrepreneur, he is responsible for the start-up, organization and development of several companies in the fields of finance, defense technologies, military software and commercial aerospace. He previously served as Executive Vice President of Aviation Systems International, Inc., where his responsibilities included oversight and management of all operations. Prior to joining ASI, Mr. Moabery was Director of Marketing and Sales at C-S Aviation Services, Inc. (a Soros Fund Management company), where he was responsible for the sales and marketing of a fleet of commercial aircraft that were placed in EETCs and syndicated leverage instruments.

Mr. Moabery and his wife are prominent philanthropists who have donated and directed millions of dollars to charitable causes that directly impact children. Some of these organizations include His House Children’s Home, Kids in Distress, Florence Fuller Child Development Center, Food for the Poor, the ISTAT Foundation, the Wing’s Club Scholarship Foundation, the Factor Foundation, and the March of Dimes. The Moaberys also sponsor several deserving special needs families through their commitment to cover expenses not generally covered by government programs or charitable organizations.

Mr. Moabery is the President of the Wing’s Club Scholarship Board and serves as advisor to several national and local children’s charities. He is an honorably discharged veteran from the United States Navy and United States Naval Reserve.

Mr. Moabery resides in Delray Beach, Florida with his wife and two children.

Thursday, Feb 6, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Keith Koenig

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailKeith Koenig is president of City Furniture, a retail furniture company of 26 showrooms in South Florida under two brands, City Furniture and Ashley Furniture HomeStores.

City Furniture evolved from Waterbed City which was started in 1971 by Mr. Koenig’s late brother, Kevin. Mr. Koenig is active in many South Florida community organizations, and has received local and national recognition, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the UF MBA Outstanding Alumnus Award, the Furniture Retailer of the Year Award, and is past board chair of the University of Florida Foundation. He was made a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II.

Mr. Koenig and his wife, Doreen, reside in Plantation and have two children, Daren Cronin and Andrew Koenig. Daren and her husband, Ryan Cronin, have two sons: KC, named after Keith’s brother, and Jack.

Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in Bu 120

Marylouise Fitzgibbon

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailMarylouise Fitzgibbon was recently appointed General Manager of the W Fort Lauderdale hotel. As a 21-year veteran of Starwood, Fitzgibbon most recently served as the General Manager of the W Atlanta – Buckhead, where she was responsible for the successful opening of that hotel in 2008, from concept to completion. Under her leadership, the hotel instantly became a local sensation, and the rooftop bar, Whiskey Blue, was named by Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the Top Ten Hotel Hangouts in the country. Within the first 90 days of opening, Fitzgibbon’s marketing savvy was evident as the hotel had secured over 230 pieces of press coverage in top tier publications, including USA Today, Associated Press, New York Post, Hotel Design, US Weekly, OK! Magazine, Jezebel and many more – reaching a global audience of nearly 200 million.

As a busy mother of two sets of twins (8 years, and 2 years), Fitzgibbon has brought a new perspective for the modern professional woman. Her accolades include listing as one of the ‘40 Under 40’ to watch by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for her versatile knowledge of the industry and the implementation of cutting edge concepts. In 2009, she was personally featured in over a dozen articles highlighting the hotel industry including features in USA Today, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Hotel World Network, and Atlanta Woman. In November, 2009 Fitzgibbon was voted by Jezebel Magazine as one Atlanta’s 50 Most Beautiful Citizens. In 2010, she was chosen by the American Hotel & Lodging Association as the National Winner of their General Manager Of The Year award.

Recognized for her never-ending energy and unparalleled enthusiasm, her singular motivation to introduce W guests to a personalized and contemporary luxury lifestyle both inspire and challenge her colleagues in the industry. Fitzgibbon interviews each applicant for employment, and shares with all new talent her philosophy on creating World-Class service. Her goal is for every guest to leave the hotel with an experience/memory that goes far beyond the standard hotel offerings. She personally is involved with all aspects of talent training, and can often be found cleaning rooms, checking guests in, or delivering an In-Room-Dining order. Through her leadership, W Atlanta-Buckhead won several community awards, including 2009 Buckhead Business Of The Year, as chosen by community leaders. For the last eight years, she has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University’s School of Hospitality.

Fitzgibbon graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Hospitality and then went on to complete her MBA. She continued to hone her skills and talents in various Director roles at Walt Disney World’s Swan & Dolphin Hotel, before taking on several General Manager positions within Starwood.

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

John Duffy

2014-02-10 John Duffy Executive Forum speakerJohn Duffy is a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in communications and payment processing. As founder and CEO of 3Cinteractive, Duffy is responsible for setting corporate strategy, driving revenue, and helping to maintain the company’s key relationships with customers and vendors.

Under Duffy’s leadership, 3Ci ranked 28th on the 2010 Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in the U.S., with three-year revenue growth of 6,844%. 3Ci was also recognized as the Business of the Year, Fastest Growing Technology Company and one of the Best Places to Work in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal. The South Florida Business Journal also recognized Duffy as a 2011 Palm Beach Ultimate CEO. Recently, Duffy was named a finalist for the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Florida.

Duffy began his career as an account executive at MCI. Prior to founding 3Ci, Duffy built several successful companies in a broad section of industries including Internet Billing Company, one of the first Internet-based payment processing companies, which sold to Intercept in 2002.

Duffy believes that giving back is at the heart of his success. He is very involved in several philanthropic organizations including the Dan Marino Foundation, Jason Taylor Foundation, Here’s Help, and the Jim Moran Foundation. Duffy is also a sought after speaker on topics ranging from mobile to entrepreneurship.

Duffy is a graduate of Ohio University where he was a wrestler. He lives in Delray Beach, Florida with his wife and two daughters.


Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Richard Dyer

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailRichard Dyer is the Chief Science and Technology Officer for ASR Group (the parent company of the Domino Sugar brand) and has 30+ years of experience in the food industry. Richard earned his M.S. in Food Science and Technology and B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an EMBA from The Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Prior to joining ASR Group, Richard was Vice President, Research and Development at Heinz North America. Prior to Heinz, Richard worked in the PepsiCo organization in a variety of new product development roles for their Quaker and Frito Lay divisions.

Richard oversees each key step in product development from early concept design through full-scale commercialization and applications support. Although he has managed global innovation for some time, arguably his greatest source of pride comes from the fact that his early career work in food development is still available on grocery shelves today. He lead the development and construction of a world class innovation center in the FAU research campus that leads the global development of products for the ASR-Group.

With deep experience in and a passion for flavors and ingredients, Richard is a “foodie” in the truest sense and has been a guest judge on the culinary show “All Mixed Up”. He and his wife Donna recently moved to the South Florida area. They have 3 children that live in Pittsburgh PA and Chattanooga Tennessee.


Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Beverly Raphael

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailBeverly Raphael is the President & CEO of RCC Associates, one of the nation’s premier restaurant, retail and commercial construction firms, which lists clients such as The Cheesecake Factory, China Grill, Del Frisco’s, Yard House, IPic Theater, Zuma, Timpano’s, The Grille, Brio Tuscan Grill, Kaluz, Valentino’s, Bongo’s Cuban Café, Story Nightclub, LIV Nightclub, PF Chang’s, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Victoria’s Secret, Ann Taylor, Hublot, Longchamp, Sephora, DKNY, Wells Fargo, Bank United, Bank Atlantic, Fisher Island Beach Club, the Sun Life Stadium remodel and many more.

Beverly Raphael is a shining example of entrepreneurial success. Following the unfortunate death in 1998 of her husband Richard Raphael, founder of RCC Associates, Ms. Raphael took the helm of the general contracting firm, growing the business from a respectable $19 million dollars in revenue to more than $100 million dollars in just 15 years.

Prior to RCC, Raphael owned BRA Inc., a fashion apparel sales representative company with showrooms in the Miami and Atlanta Merchandise Marts. Raphael has been awarded many distinctions, including Nova Southeastern’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business & Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the Sun Sentinel’s Excalibur Award, the South Florida Business Journal’s CEO of the Year, and this year, Ms. Raphael was honored by the prestigious Wharton Club of South Florida as the first woman Entrepreneur of the Year. Along with her husband, Joel Altman of 9 years, they have supported numerous charities such as the Boys & Girls Club, Kids@Home, Seeds of Peace, Jewish Federation, Jewish Women’s Fund, Breast Cancer Research, Boca Community Hospital, Boca Children’s Museum, and Women of Tomorrow. Ms. Raphael sits on the board of the Broward Performing Arts Center where both she and her husband are Benefactors on the Broward Center Honor Roll.

While growing RCC to where it is today, Ms. Raphael raised two daughters, Lindsay Raphael, partner at the prestigious Tripp Scott law firm, and Robyn Raphael, Director of Project Management for RCC Associates, and with the firm 10 years. Ms. Raphael has 5 grandchildren and leads a very active social life, which includes numerous philanthropic causes, as well as being an avid HEAT fan along with her husband.

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Michael Thomas

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnail Michael J. Thomas is a retired corporate executive, author, and consultant. He began his career as an underwriter trainee with The Allstate Insurance Company in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972. Over the course of nearly thirty years he moved through the management ranks to hold positions in Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Indiana, and Michigan. In November of 1993, Mr. Thomas became the first minority male to be elected as Vice President in the history of the company, and spent the rest of his career at corporate headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois. He retired in 2001.

The retired executive turned author in 2006 and wrote “From The Street Corner to The Corner Office”, a savvy insider’s look at how to effectively socialize, politicize, and patronize within the corporate environment. Mr. Thomas is president of Corporate Consultant Services, Inc. and resides in Boca Raton, Florida with his wife, Connie.



  • Began career as an entry level Personal Lines Underwriter; Atlanta, Georgia 1972 - 1976
  • Underwriting Division Manager; Dallas Texas 1976 - 1977
  • Field Review Manager; Home Office, Northbrook Illinois 1977 - 1978
  • Underwriting Division Manager, complex; Morristown, New Jersey 1978 - 1979
  • Underwriting Department Manager; Indianapolis, Indiana 1979 - 1983
  • Underwriting Department Manager; Southfield, Michigan 1983 - 1986
  • Underwriting Department Manager; Bannockburn, Illinois 1986 - 1987
  • Underwriting Director; Home Office, Northbrook, Illinois 1987 - 1988
  • Assistance Vice President, Underwriting; Home Office, Northbrook, Illinois 1988 - 1992
  • Team Leader, Pricing & Product Administration Core Process Redesign; Home Office, Northbrook, Illinois 1992 - 1993
  • Vice President, Product Administration; Home Office, Northbrook, Illinois 1993 - 1995
  • Catastrophe Team Management Member; Home Office, Northbrook, Illinois 1995 - 1997
  • Marketing Vice President; Home Office, Northbrook, Illinois 1997 – 2000 • Retired 2000


  • Reversed a 5-year, $25 million annual loss in Michigan. Generated a $20 million annual profit after installing new Underwriting and Pricing criteria. 1983 - 1986
  • Reversed a 3 year, $10 million annual loss in Illinois, after installing new Underwriting and Pricing criteria. 1986 - 1987
  • Installed a countrywide credit Underwriting strategy which improved the auto combined ratio by 2 percentage points. 1992 - 1993
  • First minority male elected Senior Officer (Vice President) in the history of Allstate. 1993
  • Developed and installed a risk management strategy in Florida that reduced corporate exposure to catastrophic hurricane losses by nearly $1 billion. Market cap increased by $1.2 billion on the day of initiative announcement (Clarendon). 1997



Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Fabiola Brumley

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailFabiola Brumley is Southeast Region Business Banking executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In this role, she is responsible for the Business Banking segment in a 10-state area, ranging from Maryland through the mid-Atlantic and south to Florida. Since she began her career in 1982, she has served in a variety of roles, including controller, chief financial officer, commercial lender, client manager, market manager and market executive for the Premier Banking and Business Banking groups in Palm Beach, the Treasure Coast and Southwest Florida. She is also market president for Palm Beach County, a position she has held since April of 2007.

Fab earned her B.S. in Accounting and M.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University. She has also earned her Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. She is a member of the executive committee and most recent past chair of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, on the Executive Board

of the Economic Council, has served as member and chair of the Governing Board of West Boca Raton Medical Center, served as a member and chair of the Board of the Palm Beach Black Business Investment Corporation and held board positions with the Executive Board of the Gulfstream Boy Scouts of America, the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Bank’s Women’s Exchange, and the executive sponsor of the South Florida Chapter of LBGT as well as past management advisor for Team Bank of America’s Diversity Network. She recently served as a Global Ambassador for emerging women leaders in Brazil, a program in partnership with Vital Voices, a global non-profit established by former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.


Fab has been heard on Broward County’s financial radio station WFTL as a Financial Advisor to Moms on a program titled “Mom Talk Radio”, and on a variety of national radio stations discussing financial issues for entrepreneurs for eWomen Radio. Her prior awards include South Florida Business Journal’s Palm Beach County Ultimate CEO and Top 100 Power Leaders, Sun-Sentinel’s Excalibur and United Way Leadership Awards.

Thursday, Apr 3, 2014 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm in BU 120

Mark Emalfarb

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailMark A. Emalfarb is the founder of Dyadic. He has been a member of Dyadic’s board of directors since October 2004 and has served as its Chairman as well as President and Chief Executive Officer from October 2004 until April 2007 and from June 2008 until the present.

Since founding Dyadic in 1979, Mr. Emalfarb has successfully led and managed the evolution of Dyadic from its origins as a pioneer and leader in providing ingredients used in the stone-washing of blue jeans to the discovery, development, manufacturing and commercialization of specialty enzymes used in various industrial applications and the development of an integrated technology platform based on Dyadic’s patented and proprietary C1 fungal microorganism.

Mr. Emalfarb is an inventor of over 25 U.S. and foreign biotechnology patents and patent applications resulting from discoveries related to the Company’s patented and proprietary C1 fungus, and has been the architect behind its formation of several strategic research and development, manufacturing and marketing relationships with U.S. and international partners.

Mr. Emalfarb earned his B.A. degree from the University of Iowa in 1977.

Friday, Apr 11, 2014 from 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Tim Gannon - CEO - Palm Beach PDQ

Spring 2014 Executive Forum Speaker Series thumbnailTim Gannon, Co-Founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc. is an extremely successful businessman, great sportsman and a staunch polo sponsor. He is the creator of the “Bloomin’ Onion” recipe, and many of the other dishes on Outback’s menu.

An alumnus of Florida State University, he studied art history and dreamed of being a museum curator which took him to Florence, Italy, where he became a tour guide for an art gallery. He then went to Aspen, Colorado where he developed his passion for food and cooking. The French chef at the Four Seasons Hotel had offered to train him to be his assistant.

Over the next 14 years he worked at Steak & Ale for Norman Brinker, and then Al Copeland hired Tim to help operate his Copeland’s Cajun Cafe’ in New Orleans. In 1987 Tim sold his saddle for $250.00 and arrived in Tampa with $37.00 in his pocket when Bob Basham and Chris Sullivan asked him to become their partner and launch a new restaurant concept that became known as Outback Steakhouse.

In 1994, Inc. Magazine named Tim Gannon Entrepreneur of the Year. In 1999, The Florida Restaurant Association honored him with its “Lifetime Achievement Award”. In the year 2000, Tim received an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration and Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University. He is also a member of the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame. In 2009 he was inducted into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame along with his partners Chris Sullivan and Bob Basham. In 2011 he launched “Kettle Comfort, Cooking for America” based in West Palm Beach which is Chef inspired food that will be delivered to thousands of hungry or nutrition deprived people each day but at year end 2012 this was dissolved due to economic pressures.

His favorite past time was playing polo of which he had his own team, Outback Polo. Since 1992 he has been an active polo player and one of the greatest sponsors of the game. In 2001 Outback Polo won their third US Open in a row, which no other polo team has ever done. Tim Gannon also led his team in being the first team ever to hold five US championships (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000 and 2001). He has played high goal polo in the U.S., England, Spain, Argentina, Dubai and Uruguay. In 1999, he received the USPA Sponsor of the Year award for his contribution to polo. He is now very involved with tennis along with his wife, Christie.

In 2012 he started the South Florida Franchise of the new PDQ concept which was founded by his Outback partner, Bob Basham.

His other passion is his family; wife, Christie, and five children, Christopher, Kathleen, Blake, Bettina and JT.  


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