Fall 2016

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 speaker series is comprised of presentations and seminar-like interaction with entrepreneurs and executives focusing on the practical nature of business development. This speakers series is for FAU MBA students as part of their curriculum.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bradley Kitchens

Bradley Kitchens is the chief human resources officer at NCCI. Her division develops strategies to attract, develop and retain knowledgeable and engaged employees.

Human Resources encompasses all facets of Talent Management such as talent acquisition, employee relations, compensation, benefits, talent development, organization development, performance management, company culture, succession planning, HR systems, recognition, and employee activities.

Ms. Kitchens brings over 25 years of experience in human resources. She joined NCCI after having worked in various industries including financial services, retail, electronics, and manufacturing. During her career at Starbucks, US Bank, and other companies, Ms. Kitchens pioneered initiatives such as offering companywide stock options, developing an international HR strategy, handling mergers and acquisitions, and spearheading diversity programs.]

Ms. Kitchens graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in Business with an emphasis in Human Resources, and then received a Global MBA from Duke University. She attained her Director Professionalism certification from NACD, Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) from World at Work, and Benchmarks certification from Center for Creative Leadership.

Ms. Kitchens is active in the community and has served as Chair of the YMCA of South Palm Beach County Board of Trustees, United Way Campaign Chair, Board member of the Society of Human Resources Management, and President of the Northwest Compensation Forum.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Liv Vesely

Liv E. Vesely is the President of Jupiter Medical Center Foundation, whose mission is to empower Jupiter Medical Center with the resources necessary to reimagine the community’s health and wellness. Ms. Vesely assumed her role with the Foundation in May of 2015 and is currently leading the Foundation’s $300-million-dollar comprehensive campaign entitled, Vision. Innovation. Impact. The goal of the campaign is to raise funds to expand access to world-class health care across the region, and to fulfill the vision outlined in Jupiter Medical Center’s aggressive strategic plan.

Ms. Vesely most recently served as Deputy Chief Development Officer at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, NY, where she provided fundraising leadership for eight translational research institutes including the Icahn Institute and Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, the Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine and Black Stem Cell Institute, among others.

Prior to joining Mount Sinai Health System, Ms. Vesely spent seven years as Vice President of Development at Western Connecticut Health Network, a three-hospital system serving Western Connecticut and Eastern New York, where she built a pipeline of major and principle gift prospects and established a health system-wide grateful patient initiative. Under her leadership, Western Connecticut Health Network conducted a successful $75 million comprehensive campaign, exceeding their goal by 50%.

Ms. Vesely has also held prior positions including: Director of Development at Columbia University Medical Center where she participated in a $100 million alumni campaign; and Director of Public Relations and Development for a unique corporate social responsibility initiative in the Dominican Republic that was recognized within the framework of the United Nations Millennium goals. In this position, she acted as a key liaison between the Institute for Integral Dominican Development and its corporate partners, reporting on the progress of its development projects.

Ms. Vesely has an Executive Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Healthcare Management from Columbia University in New York, as well as two other graduate degrees from New York University and the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

An avid runner and triathlete, Ms. Vesely has competed in three Ironman events and ran 16 full marathons. She is a member of the Seven Continents Club and is pursuing her goal of completing one full marathon on each continent. She lives with her family in Palm Beach County.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Peter Yesawich

Dr. Peter C. Yesawich joined Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) as its Chief Growth Officer in 2011. He served as a member of the CTCA national board of directors from 1997 until 2015.

Dr. Yesawich also serves as Vice Chairman Emeritus of MMGY Global — America’s leading marketing, advertising, and public relations agency serving travel and leisure-industry clients. He has been featured as a commentator on lifestyles and travel trends in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, International Herald Tribune, and on CNN, CNBC MSNBC, BBC World and National Public Radio. Yesawich is a member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Hall of Fame, and a former member of the board of directors of the Travel Industry Association of America. He holds three degrees from Cornell, including a doctorate in applied psychology, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Yale.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Judith Haddad

Judith L. Haddad holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer/Chief Technology Officer for Patriot National, Inc. Previously, Ms. Haddad served as Vice President of Information Technology for NYMAGIC, a multi-line insurance carrier based in New York. In addition, she held senior executive consulting roles with Blue Cod Technologies and Service Soft Technologies, providing clients with assistance on strategic planning for information technology initiatives and she held various executive and technical management positions with NCCI, CGU Insurance and Hanover Insurance companies.

Ms. Haddad has received various industry accolades for her work at Patriot National, Inc. Most recently she accepted the 2014 Impact Award from Novarica in the Transformation category based on the success Patriot achieved for their legacy system replacement project. In 2013 she was named an Elite 8 recipient, an honor presented by Insurance Technology magazine each year to eight distinguished CIOs in the industry. She is currently a member of the Novarica CIO Advisory Council and an Insurance Technology Association (ITA) advisory board member.

Ms. Haddad holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She obtained her Master's degree in Business Administration degree from H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and completed an Executive Management program at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Felecia Hatcher

Felecia Hatcher is a White House Award winning entrepreneur, business rainmaker, bestselling author, globally sought-after speaker, media darling, mother, and Founder of Code Fever and BlackTechWeek. Breathe. She is also the rather awesome former Chief Popsicle at Feverish Pops, a gourmet ice pop boutique and manufacturing brand with a Fortune 500 client roster that would make your head spin.

For the past decade, Felecia has dedicated her life to inspiring a new generation of leaders to do epic shit, through her conversational talks on Entrepreneurship, Tech Innovation, Funding and Personal Branding. As the founder of Code Fever and Black Tech Week, Felecia Hatcher is on a mission to rid our communities of innovation deserts by working with community leaders and government to create inclusive and diverse startup ecosystems. Felecia has spearheaded the inclusive innovaton and startup movement within the Miami Startup ecosystem focused on getting marginalized groups to become major players in the innovation economy.

Hatcher has been featured on MSNBC, The NBC Today Show, The Cooking Channel, Essence Magazine, Entrepreneur, Inc, BET, Black Enterprise, and the Miami Herald.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Duree Ross

Durée Mellion Ross fell in love with public relations at the age of 19 during a fated college internship. Originally a double major in journalism and sociology, she found her place in the world of PR, publicizing and organizing events and fitting the right ideas with the right clients at Zynyx Marketing Communications in Miami Beach.

She has since become an award-winning PR entrepreneur with a broad spectrum of experience spanning the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms founded by people who put client service first.

Demonstrating range and flexibility, Durée has secured publicity for clients as diverse as Dr Pepper, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Elizabeth Arden, Halston Z-14 Fragrance, the King Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohsexhibition, the iconic Miami Beach restaurant Joe’s Stone Crab, NSU Museum of Art I Fort Lauderdale, Plymouth Gin, Wal-Mart, Coldwell Banker, IMAX, SONIC Drive-In, BRIO Tuscan Grille, Titanic: The Artifactexhibition, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Panama Jack Suncare and Clothing, Miami Fashion Week, BRAVO! Cucina Italiana, Broward Health, CVS/pharmacy, Noven Pharmaceuticals, Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Feeding South Florida, Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, SCJohnson, Coral Gables Executive Physicians, Raymond Lee Jewelers, Rising Tide Car Wash social enterprise and Gallery 2014.

A valued PR, marketing and special events expert/speaker, Durée is consistently requested to present at various professional events and has served on a range of marketing panels, including:

  • South Florida Business Journal’s Bizwomen Mentoring Monday in Fort Lauderdale, April 2016, 2015, 2014

  • 32 Events’ Women’s Meet Up 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, August 2015

  • Women’s Success Summit IX in Miami, December 2014

  • BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group’s corporate meeting in Columbus, Ohio; October 2014

  • Association of Bridal Consultants Meeting in Boca Raton, March 2014

  • Women in PR Blog Talk Radio show, December 2013

  • Femfessionals Fort Lauderdale, “7 Ways to Make Your Business Irresistible to the Media,” December 2013

  • Work-Life Integration workshop at Hispanic Unity’s Entrepreneur Summit in Miami, April 2013

  • Ongoing guest speaker for several PR classes at University of Miami, her alma mater

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Vince Pannozzo

Social Media Manager - Miami Dolphins

Vince is a graduate of the University of Miami and is currently in his 8th season with the Miami Dolphins.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Keith Koenig

Keith Koenig is president of City Furniture, a retail furniture company of 26 showrooms in South Florida and Central Florida under two brands, City Furniture and Ashley Furniture HomeStores.

City Furniture evolved from Waterbed City which was started in 1971 by Keith’s late brother, Kevin. Keith 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.

Keith resides in Plantation and has two children, Daren Cronin and Andrew Koenig. Daren and her husband, Ryan Cronin, live in Ft. Lauderdale and have two sons: KC, named after Keith’s brother, and Jack. Andrew and his wife, Deana, live in Plantation and have a new son, Aaron.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scott Silverman

Scott R. Silverman, 51, is a dynamic CEO that has successfully led 5 public companies over the last 20 years. He is a leader in technology and healthcare recognized as the world’s foremost expert in implantable Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”) technologies. His managerial expertise is broad including operations, P&L management, budget, legal, investor relations, public relations, capital markets and personnel motivation. Mr. Silverman attended the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University School of Law. He practiced law for 6 years before beginning his business career.

From 2011- current, Mr. Silverman founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Veriteq Corporation- a leader in RFID technology for medical devices. Veriteq went public in 2013 and was recently sold to a leading breast implant manufacturer.

From 2003-2011, Mr. Silverman served as Executive Chairman of VeriChip Corporation (NASDAQ:CHIP) and its successor company PositiveID Corporation (PSID). He also served as VeriChip’s CEO from 2006-2008. VeriChip completed its initial public offering on the Nasdaq in 2007 raising more than $30 million. Verichip was sold to Stanley Works in 2008 for in excess of $50 million. Prior to its IPO in 2007, Verichip was a wholly owned subsidiary of Applied Digital (NASDAQ:ADSX). Mr. Silverman served as Applied Digital’s Chairman and CEO from 2003-2006. From 1996-2003, Mr. Silverman held other executive and Board positions at Applied Digital.

From 2004-2008, Mr. Silverman served as Chairman of Digital Angel Corporation (AMEX:DOC), a majority owned subsidiary of Applied Digital. He was a director since 2003.

Mr. Silverman began his career as an attorney specializing in commercial litigation and communications law at the law firm of Cooper Perskie in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Silverman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 1985) and Villanova University School of Law (J.D., 1989).

Mr. Silverman is involved in various philanthropic and community endeavors. He is on the Board of Trustees of The Pinecrest School, Fort Lauderdale, Fl. He also serves on the Board of the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation. He has received many awards and honors, including, but not limited to, the 2004 Abacus Award of the AeA as Executive of the Year and the 2004 ID Spotlight Award of the ID World International Congress.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Jordan Zimmerman

Jordan Zimmerman is Founder, Chairman and architect of the Zimmerman Advertising empire, now the 14th largest advertising agency in the world with published billings in excess of $3 billion.

Jordan Zimmerman founded his company in 1984 working tirelessly, personifying an insane commitment to be the best. Jordan trademarked his own term, “Brandtailing®”- a maverick combination of long-term brand building and short-term sales boosting that delivers measurable results. This methodology became well known throughout the advertising industry and is the hallmark of Jordan Zimmerman’s success.

Jordan Zimmerman is known as “Advertising’s Bad Boy” and his list of winning clients is a “who’s who” of the retail world. His is the firm that is behind such great brands as ADT, Atlantis, AutoNation, Ashley Furniture, Boston Market, Carfax, CBS, Chico’s, Chuck E. Cheese, Consolidated Credit, Dish Network, Dunkin’ Donuts, Extended Stay America, Firehouse Subs, five Below, The Florida Panthers, The Fresh Market, hhgregg, Jamba Juice, Kanes, Lane Bryant, La-Z-Boy, Lennar, Logan’s Roadhouse, Lucky Brand, Michaels, Office Depot, Papa John’s, Party City, Pep Boys, Nissan, Saks Fifth Avenue, Soma, Tire Kingdom, Toys”R”Us, White Castle, White House Black Market, Modell’s, Advance America and many more. The list is long and impressive, and ever growing.

Through The Jordan Zimmerman Family Foundation, he generously supports the University of South Florida and its unrivaled Zimmerman Advertising Program (ZAP), a specialized program that he founded and continues to support.

Jordan believes strongly in philanthropy and giving back to the greater community. He is a Golden Circle Member of the National MS Society. Other organizations he supports include FAU College of Business, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jack & Jill Children’s Center, Take Stock in Children, Junior Achievement of South Florida, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Boca Raton Regional Hospital.