One day Jim Allmond woke up and realized he was 40 years old and had
a son who was going to get a college degree before his dad. That's when
he decided to go to UNF and finish a degree he had started about 25
Allmond started out at Florida State but came back to Jacksonville
after three years, got married, had kids and started on a career. "I
try to drill into my kids to finish college now. It's a lot harder to
do when you have a wife, two kids and a job."
Allmond earned his UNF degree in economics in 1998. Two months
later, a general manager position became available at Ferguson
Enterprises Inc., a company for which he'd started working three years
earlier. He got the promotion. "Having finished my degree put me into a
position for that promotion."
Ferguson Enterprises is one of the nation's leading suppliers of
plumbing, mechanical and waterworks materials with more than 1,400
service centers in 50 states. Allmond manages the Waterworks Division
in Northeast Florida.
The education he received at UNF continues to play a role in
Allmond's job. He applies some of the economic lessons learned at UNF
to today's conditions. "Our business is market-driven. I have a better
feel for what's going on in the economy and how long it will last. It
(a UNF education) gives you the background for making business
decisions for the future."
Allmond specifically recalls how faculty took a sometimes-dry
subject like economics and managed to make it interesting. "The
professors would ask me about my experience and talk about market
conditions that were relevant to me."
While graduating from UNF was a major accomplishment for Allmond,
his involvement in the community is also a source of pride. For 14
years he coached various youth sports, including baseball and flag
football. "It gave me a chance to spend some time with my sons, but
also work with a lot of other boys who have gone on to their own
careers. I like to think I had something to do with building character
Allmond also has been involved in raising money for the Muscular
Dystrophy Association, coaching for Special Olympics and helping in the
construction of a new office for Dreams Come True.
When not volunteering in the community, Allmond, his wife Ginna, and
their two sons, Philip and Preston, enjoy outdoor activities. He
purchased his first boat shortly after buying his first house, which
led to many family fishing trips off the coast and in the Florida Keys.
Allmond is proud of his sons and the time they have been able to
spend together. He's also proud to have finished his UNF degree and set
a good example for them, even if it took nearly a quarter century to
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