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Press Release for Wednesday, May 23, 2012

University of North Florida Recognizes Four Distinguished Community Leaders

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 

Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 




The University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business will recognize four individuals during the 15th Annual Prime F. Osborn III Distinguished Business Leaders Award Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel for their continuing career achievements and leadership+.  


The Coggin College established the award in 1998 to honor the late Prime F. Osborn III, whose long career in the railway industry was noted as much for service to mankind as it was for business acumen. Osborne was known throughout the nation as a person of character, integrity and high ethical standards. 


This year’s recipients include John D. Baker II, Audrey M. Moran, Dr. Reinhold P. Lamb and Mark P. Vitner, who will be honored for their career achievements and their commitment to the Jacksonville community. Baker and Moran will be awarded the Distinguished Business Leader Award, while Reinhold will receive the Distinguished Professor Award and Vitner the Distinguished Alumni Award.  


“Nominations for the award were sought from a wide range of the community, including the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations, the City Council, the Mayor’s office as well as UNF alumni and faculty,” said Dr. Ajay Samant, dean of UNF’s Coggin. “The pool of nominees was outstanding, and the winners of this prestigious award have showed stellar leadership as well as an exemplary commitment to our community.”  


As Executive Chairman of Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc., John Baker is an admired business leader and committed community volunteer. Before joining Patriot Transportation, he was president and CEO of Florida Rock Industries, Inc. Among his many civic involvements, Baker has played a crucial role in increasing access to and improving the quality of early childhood education. His efforts led to opening the YMCA’s Tiger Academy and bringing the KIPP School to Jacksonville. In addition, he is the current trustee chair of the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and a board member of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. Baker has served on regional and national boards and is currently a board member of Wells Fargo, Progress Energy, Inc. and Texas Industries, Inc. 


Audrey Moran is senior vice president for social responsibility and community advocacy at Baptist Health. Her belief that anything is possible and her emphasis on partnership and collaboration define her leadership qualities. Before joining Baptist Health, Moran served for four years as the president and CEO of the Sulzbacher Center, which provides comprehensive services to men, women and children in our community who are homeless. She served in a leadership role for four Jacksonville mayors, served as chair of the Downtown Development Authority and was an inaugural member of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission. In 2005, Moran was selected to be a trustee of the Jessie Ball duPont fund. 


An accomplished senior member of the finance faculty at the University of North Florida, Reinhold Lamb has earned the respect and admiration of students, faculty and the financial community. Among his many courses, he leads the instruction in the Osprey Financial Group, the student managed investment fund in the Coggin College. Over the 10 years of its operation, Lamb has helped students achieve an impressive record in earnings for the fund. He fosters an environment where learning takes place and encourages his students to unleash their potential. 


Mark Vitner serves as managing director and senior economist for Wells Fargo Corporation, where he enjoys a distinguished reputation for clear and accurate analysis of U.S. and global economic conditions. He has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and many other publications. He is a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN, Fox Business News and National Public Radio. Vitner is an active member of many professional organizations, including the Bond Dealers of America, the Joint Advisory Board of Economists for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Florida Econometrics Club. He is a 1992 MBA graduate of UNF. 


Coggin College has recognized 48 honorees during the last 15 years and is pleased to add four more to its Distinguished Business Leaders’ wall of fame, located on the first floor of the College. Since 1976, Coggin College has been accredited by AACSB, a world leader in accreditation for business education. Only one in five business schools are awarded the accreditation, which honors the best business schools in the world.  


With more than 4,300 students, the Coggin College’s mission is to educate and develop business professionals through rigorous, relevant accredited degree programs offered by faculty devoted to student learning and engaged in scholarly activities.  


Corporate sponsors for this year’s awards luncheon include The Florida Times-Union, SunTrust Bank and CenterState Bank.