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Coggin College of Business

50 Years of Excellence Leadership Series


 Join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of UNF and the Coggin College of Business 

Since our founding in 1972, the Coggin College of Business has been a lynchpin in the commercial development of Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida area.  Now in 2022, we celebrate 50 years of serving the community by providing world-class education and mentoring to students who become the next generation of business leaders.  We invite you to be part of the celebration.

All events take place at the Adam W. Herbert University Center (12000 Alumni Drive).


Time Scheduled Event
4:45-5:30 P.M.                 Meet & Greet with Keynote*
*This is a ticketed event.
5:00-5:30 P.M. Main Session Check-In
5:30-6:15 P.M.  Main Session
6:15-6:30 P.M.  Question & Answer
6:30-7:30 P.M.      Networking Reception 



Adam W. Herbert University Center
12000 Alumni Drive
Free parking is available in the University Center parking lot.


David GarfunkelMark Wilson  | Melanie PatzTom Crowley

 David Garfunkel: Economic Mobility

David Garfunkel is President of LIFT JAX, an initiative of business and community leaders working to eradicate generational poverty in Jacksonville. David leads LIFT JAX in its role as Community Quarterback, the nonprofit organization that drives the community revitalization initiative in Jacksonville’s Eastside in partnership with resident leaders.

Prior to joining LIFT JAX, David worked for five years at FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm focused on finding new ways to advance social change. David developed expertise in collective impact, a structured approach that brings together community leaders from across sectors to work on solving challenges in their communities. David started his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, where he served for three years in the area of community economic development. Following the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti, he moved to Port-au-Prince, where he led a rural loan and education program for Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest microfinance institution.

David holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s Degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in Spanish and International Management. David lives in Jacksonville with his spouse, Stephanie, and their two daughters, Lucia and Eliza.
   Mark Wilson: Economic Mobility 

Mark Wilson serves as president and chief executive officer of Florida’s largest and most influential business advocacy organization. Wilson leads the substantial political, lobbying, grassroots, and economic research operations of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Florida Chamber focuses on creating a business climate that generates prosperity and high-paying jobs, vibrant communities and global competitiveness in the state of Florida by focusing on job creation and the Six Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy: Talent Supply & Education, Innovation & Economic Development, Infrastructure & Growth Leadership, Business Climate & Competitiveness, Civic & Governance Systems and Quality of Life & Quality Places.

Through his focus on unifying the business community, Wilson created the Florida Business Agenda and the Florida Chamber Grassroots Network, which mobilizes the business community on issues ranging from taxes and talent, to insurance and constitutional amendment reform. Wilson was also the first president of the Florida Justice Reform Institute, a Florida Chamber partner organization focused on reducing frivolous lawsuits.

In addition to his legislative successes, Wilson is also the architect of groundbreaking statewide political campaigns in 2004 and 2006 that passed significant constitutional amendment reforms, as well as numerous legislative and issue campaigns. In 2010, he served as treasurer and co-chair of the Vote No on 4 campaign, an anti-growth proposal, in one of the most successful political campaigns in Florida’s history.

Wilson serves on the Board of Directors of Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, Enterprise Florida, Workforce Florida, Leadership Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Chamber Foundation, and the Council of State Chambers, as well as serving as an active member of the Florida Council of 100, the U.S. Chamber’s Committee of 100, and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.

A native of Illinois, Wilson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and has earned the national designation of Certified Chamber Executive (CCE). Prior to joining the Florida Chamber in 1998, Wilson served as vice president of the Chicagoland Chamber and previously served with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 
        Melanie Patz: Economic Mobility 

Melanie Patz uses her love of learning and her innate ability to connect ideas and people to end structural racism and poverty so all people have the opportunity to contribute and thrive. Melanie knows how social challenges like poverty and racism cultivate illness, violence and defeat. Melanie’s futuristic vision combined with strategic actions and perseverance inspires others to co-create transformational initiatives. Melanie values and listens deeply to all perspectives and provides opportunities for colleagues to lead and contribute and finds common ground on which people with differing perspectives can work together.

During Melanie’s tenure at Baptist Health, she spearheaded the implementation of a school health center in Ribault High School, brought the health care clinics caring for un- and under-insured Duval County residents together resulting in the creation of JaxCareConnect, and led a cohort of leaders in learning about direct cash assistance which resulted in a pilot that will launch in January 2022 for FSCJ students underwritten by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Melanie recently led the development of a 4-year strategic plan that will increase Baptist’s focus and double its investments to significantly address health priorities over the next four years including infant mortality and mental health, and she convened leaders from health systems across Florida to develop a state advocacy agenda to improve access to mental health services.

During her tenure with United Way, Melanie led the development of several initiatives designed to improve student achievement through access to high-quality early learning and student and family supports during the difficult transition of middle school. In addition Melanie led the initial transition of Full Service Schools from hub-based to school-located therapists.

Melanie currently serves as Chair of the System of Care Initiative Board of Directors and is a founding Board member of 904WARD. She is a graduate of the 2005 Community Coaches program and Class of 2006 Leadership Jacksonville. Melanie was recognized as a 2013 Woman of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal, a 2019 Community Health Hero by Agape, a 2020 Woman of Distinction by Gateway Council of Girl Scouts, and a Humanitarian by OneJax in 2020.


Tom Crowley: The Future of Logistics

Thomas B. Crowley Jr. has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors since 1994, succeeding his father and grandfather in such roles dating to the company’s founding in 1892. Today, Crowley is a global, $2.5 billion-a-year marine solutions, energy, and logistics services company for the commercial and government sectors.

Under Mr. Crowley’s leadership, the U.S.-based company has advanced its industry-leading assets and solutions into areas of opportunity such as commercial and government supply chain services, fuels transportation and distribution, ship management, naval architecture and engineering, project management and energy services. Recent advances provide total value chain solutions in new energy, such as offshore wind, and technology. Amid these strategies, he has set the company’s ambition to be the most sustainable and innovative maritime and logistics solutions provider in the Americas by 2025.
Strategically, he has focused on building the company relative to its expertise on water, while leveraging other asset-light and non-asset areas of expertise in supply chain services to develop a portfolio of businesses that offer both strong integration and diversification of risk.

In recent years, for example, Mr. Crowley has guided the company through the construction and operation of the first-of-their kind combination container/roll-on roll-off (ConRo) ships powered by LNG, and usage of other cleaner, alternative fuels and services. In another example of the company’s diversification and innovation, Crowley is leveraging the abundance of natural gas in the U.S. to distribute LNG and related engineering services. The company has operated assets that also leverage mariner engineering, project management and various solutions that support value chains. The company completed the largest, most technically demanding marine salvage project in history – the refloating and removal of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia.

A staunch supporter of the American maritime industry, Mr. Crowley has invested billions of dollars during his tenure in the construction of American built tugboats, heavy-lift flat-deck barges, articulated tug-barges (ATBs), tankers and the LNG-powered ConRo ships in the U.S.-Puerto Rico trade, utilizing best-available technology with a focus on safety, sustainability, performance and efficiency. And the company’s growth plans call for further investment in a variety of new vessels over the next several years, including use of clean energy sources and technology such as all-electric tugboats.

Recognizing the importance of having knowledgeable, skilled and safe employees, Mr. Crowley has dedicated a significant amount of his attention to employee learning, management training and other initiatives to build a nimble, collaborative and high-performance culture. He has placed safety at the center of everything the company does, and every employee has authority to work to ensure safety.

Mr. Crowley holds a business finance degree from the University of Washington. Away from work, Mr. Crowley lends his time and expertise to various organizations. He is on the board of directors of the World Shipping Council, an advisory board member at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, and a longstanding member of the Young Presidents Organization.


Each of our Leadership Series events is made free to public through the generosity of our sponsors. In lieu of registration costs, we ask that you consider making a gift to support Coggin’s 50th Anniversary Scholarship. Follow this link to support Coggin students:

Economic Mobility
Wednesday, March 16, 2022  
The Future of Logistics
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Business Analytics
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

For assistance with registration or logistical details, contact