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Press Release for Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Coggin College Recognizes Distinguished Community Leaders

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida will recognize three individuals at the 19th Annual Prime F. Osborn III Distinguished Business Leaders Award Luncheon for their continuing career achievements. The awards luncheon will take place at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, at The River Club. The presenting sponsor of this event is CenterState Bank.

The 2016 award recipients include George Gabel Jr., Dr. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz and Brian Tollberg. Gabel will be presented the Distinguished Business Leader award, while Baliamoune-Lutz will receive the Distinguished Professor award. Tollberg will be given the Distinguished Alumnus award.

“The Prime F. Osborn III Distinguished Business Leaders Awards recognize community role models who have made outstanding contributions to business leadership and business education,” said Dr. Mark Dawkins, dean of UNF’s Coggin College of Business.

A partner with Holland & Knight LLP, Gabel is a maritime lawyer representing ship owners and underwriters and a First Amendment lawyer representing newspapers and television stations. He is chairman of the North Florida Logistics Advisory Group and a critical community partner for the Coggin College of Business Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program. In addition to generating funding for an intermodal study to develop a regional plan for freight distribution, Gabel has campaigned on port issues and led the effort to brand Jacksonville as “America’s Logistics Center.”

He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and was recognized with the Pete Weitzel/Friend of the First Amendment Award from the Florida First Amendment Foundation for his efforts in furthering the cause of open government in Florida. He has won several other awards, including the Lawyer of the Year by the Jacksonville Bar Association, Jacksonville Admiralty and Maritime Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America and International Business Leader of the Decade by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and JAXUSA Partnership.

Baliamoune-Lutz is professor of economics in the Coggin College at UNF, where she teaches macroeconomics, international trade, international economics, the global economy and economic policy. She is the 2012 UNF Distinguished Professor and a Coggin College of Business Kip Fellow. She has an extensive record of service to the national and international community, serving as president of the African Finance and Economics Association, as well as associate editor of the Journal of African Development, the Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences and Information Technology for Development.

She is ranked among the top economists in Florida, and her empirical work on the effect of policy and institutional reforms in Africa has received significant national and international recognition. Baliamoune-Lutz is a regular contributor to research themes debated at the United Nations World Institute of Development Economics in Helsinki, United Nations Economic Conference on Africa, African Development Bank and the European Report on Development.

After graduating from UNF with a bachelor’s degree and double major in corporate finance/economics in 1996, Tollberg pursued a baseball career as a pitcher. He was the first player to make it to the major leagues from the Frontier League, debuting in 2000 with the San Diego Padres. Upon his retirement from baseball, Tollberg became a business owner and leader in the Tampa area. He is the successful owner of an Edible Arrangements franchise that was awarded the 2014 Small Business of the Year from the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

Tollberg remains active in youth baseball, giving pitching lessons and conducting baseball camps. He served as the director of player development for Palma Ceia Little League in Tampa and continues to volunteer his time with many nonprofit organizations, including the Mali Vai Washington Youth Foundation, Train Up Foundation and Metropolitan Ministries.

The Prime F. Osborn III Distinguished Business Leaders Award was established in 1998 by UNF’s Coggin College of Business as an annual award to recognize the long-term career achievements of individuals who provide leadership in business and the local community. Qualifications for these honorees include success in business, significant contributions to community quality of life and a commitment to ethical practices.

The award has been named in honor of 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. Prime Osborn was known throughout the nation as a person of character, integrity and high ethical standards.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.