Gator100 celebrates the world’s “Fastest Growing Gator Companies” and honors UF Engineering alumnus Scott Pressly with the Pinnacle Award.

In Alumni Spotlight, News

Scott Pressly, Pinnacle Award

Scott Pressly, 2020 S. Clark Butler Pinnacle Awardee

Recognized as one of the country’s leading franchise investors, Pressly’s career includes over 25 years of venture capital, brand management and franchise expertise. Using his signature Franchise Accelerator Model, he has helped entrepreneurs create dominant franchise brands such as Schlotzsky’s Deli, Fastsigns, and Cinnabon. Most recently, he led the transformation of Tropical Smoothie Café from a small, regional concept to one of the nation’s hottest franchise brands with over 850 locations.

Pressly is currently the founder of 10 Point Capital, a private equity firm supporting entrepreneurs to expand their concepts. Previously, he was the co-founder of BIP Capital, one of the most active venture capital firms in the Southeast, and a partner at Roark Capital Group; he also held leadership roles with The Walt Disney Company and Dow Chemical.

Pressly received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1990 from the University of Florida, graduating with high honors, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1995. “Throughout my career, I have drawn on the critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills developed in my chemical engineering classes,” Pressly said. “Whether contemplating a new investment or developing a competitive strategy to dominate the market, I will be forever grateful for my experience and education from the University of Florida.”

The S. Clark Butler Pinnacle Award recognizes an established business leader who has demonstrated success in his/her industry. The recipient is an entrepreneur who has shown sustained excellence and leadership. He/she is, or has recently been, a significant company leader, entrepreneurial and innovative in spirit, and has matriculated at the University of Florida. The vision for the S. Clark Butler Pinnacle Award was inspired by Roy H. Lambert Sr. to honor his friend S. Clark Butler, a leading entrepreneur in Gainesville. The award embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and reinforces the vitality of the contributions of S. Clark Butler in the life of the local community and the University of Florida.

Rod Rogers, BSISE ’87, served as this year’s special guest speaker at the Gator100 Awards Dinner. Rogers, a prior Gator100 honoree,  has more than 30 years in the technology services industry. He is recognized as a successful serial entrepreneur and expert technologist, known for his leadership contributions in the realization of two back-to-back “unicorns” – startups that achieve billion-dollar valuations. Today, Rod operates as a founding partner of the Blue Lagoon Companies. Blue Lagoon, through its various entities, develops, advises and invests in disruptive technology start-ups and next-generation technology companies.

Engineering Awardees

Alumni from the University of Florida have created and guided some of the most innovative and profitable businesses in the nation and the world. Each year, the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center recognizes these amazing entrepreneurs with the Gator100 at a ceremony held on the main UF campus in Gainesville.

Congratulations to our talented Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering alumni who made the 2020 list for leading one of the world’s Fastest Growing Gator Companies!

No. 7 – ShalePro Energy Services, LLC

  • William Johnson
  • 1985 B.S. Electrical Engineering
  • William Johnson, president and CEO of ShalePro Energy Services, LLC, is a senior executive with 30+ years of diversified market experience in the engineering, construction, and field services industries. ShalePro Energy Services is headquartered in the metro-Pittsburgh area, heart of the Marcellus/Utica Shale Basin, where it provides best-in-class services to the production and midstream sectors of the ever-growing oil and natural gas industry. Johnson holds an engineering degree with honors from the University of Florida, completed the advanced business management program at Wharton, and is a registered professional engineer in multiple states.

No. 8 – Feathr, Inc.

  • Aidan Augustin
  • Industrial & Systems Engineering Alumnus
  • Aidan Augustin was an industrial and systems engineering student at UF when he first attended a national networking event. Determined to improve on the way attendees engage with each other through technology and innovation, he and his roommate founded and developed Feathr. Today, more than 500 associations and event organizers use Feathr to market thousands of events, initiatives, and member programs to more than one hundred million customers around the world. Augustin supports the Gainesville community through his positions as chairman of the board of startupGNV, a non-profit focused on growing and supporting the Greater Gainesville tech/startup ecosystem, and as a board member of the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce.

No. 22 – Verdex Construction, LLC

  • Rex B. Kirby, Jr.
  • 1980 B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Rex Kirby, a 35+-year veteran of the construction industry, is the founder and president of Verdex Construction, LLC, located in Palm Beach, Florida. The company is involved in pre-construction concepts, construction management, design/build, general contracting, tenant improvements and special projects. Kirby is a licensed professional engineer and certified general contractor in the state of Florida. Verdex has received numerous awards from industry organizations, and Kirby is currently president of the board of HomeSafe, a South Florida organization focused on helping abused and abandoned children.

No. 34 – Tellus

  • Christopher Pernicano
  • 1989 B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1993 M.E. Environmental Engineering, 1993 MBA Finance/Economics
  • Chris Pernicano has more than 20 years of experience in the finance technology space across all aspects of small and medium company operation. He is the chief operating officer at Tellus, a leading provider of mobile care delivery, Electronic Visit Verification (eVV) and claims processing technology designed especially for the home health and long-term care markets. In 1996, Pernicano co-founded his first startup, and by 2000, he had co-founded his second, a SaaS-based technology startup that would eventually become the second largest of its kind in the country. He transitioned to Tellus in 2017.

No. 35 – Engineered Design Services LLC

  • Craig McKenzie
  • BSAGE 2005 Engineering
  • Craig McKenzie is the President and CEO of Engineered Design Services LLC and has 12 years of engineering experience, with over 300 projects completed to date. His diverse experience includes all disciplines of civil engineering, with a specialization in surface and groundwater hydrology. The combination of these skills has been used successfully to provide engineering services to mining, power, commercial, and governmental clients. Engineered Design Services is a leading full-service engineering and construction management firm, offering its services nationwide to a wide variety of utility, municipal, and industrial clients. Utility scale electrical engineering, hydrology, civil engineering, and building system designs are just a few of the services provided.

No. 43 – Protean Design Group, Inc.

  • Kimberly C. Horlander
  • 1989 B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Kimberly Horlander is a founding principal and president of Protean Design Group, Inc., a multi-disciplined civil engineering consulting firm with expertise in transportation, traffic, and lighting. While Horlander’s main expertise is in the structural design of highway bridges, retaining walls and miscellaneous structures, she is also experienced in the areas of traffic and storm water engineering. As a member of both ASCE and FES, Horlander has served in leadership roles on numerous committees during her career, including Engineers Week (Chairman) and Engineering Management Forum (President).
  • Scott Horlander
  • 1988 B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Scott Horlander, vice-president/chief business officer and principal of Protean Design Group, Inc., has a broad range of experience, spanning more than 22 years, including roadway design, traffic engineering and traffic studies, highway lighting and drainage design. As a member of ASCE, FES and ASHE, he has served in various leadership and involvement roles.
  • David Reed
  • 1989 B.S. Civil Engineering
  • As vice-president/chief operations officer for Protean Design Group, as well as a principal in the company, David Reed offers clients more than 20 years of highway engineering experience, ranging from minor intersection improvements to complex interchange design. In addition to his extensive technical experience, Reed has been an active member of various technical societies including ASCE and FES.

No. 51 – OpenJAUS, LLC

  • Daniel Kent
  • 2006 M.S. Mechanical Engineering, 2007 Ph. D. Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Daniel Kent is a robotics engineer and president of OpenJAUS. He has been a member of the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS) working group since 2004 and currently holds the position as the Chair for the Environment Sensing and World Modeling task group under the SAE’s Unmanned Systems standards division (AS-4). In this role, Dr. Kent was the document sponsor of the JAUS Environment Sensing Service Set (AS6060). OpenJAUS is designed for software developers that want to use JAUS without needing to know the low-level details of the standard itself.
  • Thomas Galluzzo
  • 2006 M.S. Mechanical Engineering, 2006 Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Thomas Galluzzo is a robotics engineer and vice-president of OpenJAUS. In 2006 Galluzzo co-founded OpenJAUS, a leading software implementation of the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS) that is used worldwide. He has led the development of OpenJAUS architecture and implementation, as well as advancement of the JAUS standard itself. Dr. Galluzzo was the document sponsor for the published JAUS Mobility Service Set (AS6009) standard.
  • Nicholas Johnson
  • 2010 M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2010 Ph.D. Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Nicholas Johnson leads OpenJAUS’ focus on developing software to facilitate interoperability between robotic systems and is the company’s chief technology officer. He has served on the JAUS working group, helping to develop a standard for communication between unmanned systems and has over 10 years of experience working on numerous ground vehicles and software frameworks using this standard. He also has over 15 years of experience in software development ranging from low-level embedded devices to user facing applications and high-level algorithms.

No. 52 – JAX REFRIGERATION, INC.

  • Mark Lowery
  • 1990 B.S. Mechanical Engineering
  • Mark Lowery founded JAX Refrigeration in 2010, after more than two decades in the refrigeration and HVAC industry. He is licensed in more than 40 States and provinces for professional engineering and contracting and is an active member of ASHRAE, IIAR, NCEES and RETA. As president of JAX Refrigeration, he has established a charitable foundation, JAXCares, helping support inspiring individuals and charitable organizations through fundraising and events. JAXCares has contributed to more than 30 civic, charitable and educational organizations.

No. 65 – Securifera, Inc.

  • Ryan Wincey
  • 2012 M.S. Computer Engineering
  • Ryan Wincey is the founder and president of Securifera, Inc., in Irvine, California. Securifera assesses the network security posture of its clients over long term red team engagements, through tasks that include open-source intelligence gathering, email phishing, vulnerability research, exploit development, scripting (Python, Ruby, Powershell, VBScript, Bash), remote administration tool development, and network operations using commonly used security tools (Metasploit, Nmap, Maltego, Canvas, Kali). Wincey previously worked as a senior red team specialist at Blizzard Entertainment, a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software.

No. 66 – LeadingAgile, LLC

  • Mike Cottmeyer
  • 1990 B.S. Computer Engineering
  • Mike Cottmeyer, CEO of LeadingAgile, LLC, serves as his company’s resident champion of core agile values and principles. He is a thought leader and industry disrupter in the field of enterprise-focused agile transformation. Cottmeyer has given back to the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering by serving as the Entrepreneur in Residence from May 2016 to the present. In this role, he works with college faculty and student entrepreneurs to help them become more innovative and successful in starting, operating, and managing companies. Cottmeyer holds many certifications, including Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), and DSDM Certified Agile Project Leader (DSDM APL).

No. 73 – J2 SOLUTIONS, INC.

  • Jess Fronckowiak
  • 2000 B. S. Civil Engineering
  • Jess Fronckowiak founded J2 Solutions, Inc., in 2002 and has transitioned it from a one-man start-up to a full-service, self-performing, design-build, construction management firm, servicing the entire state of Florida. His company has won numerous awards, including Business of the Year, Contractor of the Year and induction into the prestigious “BIG-50 Remodeling Contractors” from Remodeling Magazine. Today, as president of J2 Solutions, Inc., Fronckowiak splits his time between commercial business development and strategic planning.
  • David Fouche
  • 2001 B. S. Civil Engineering, 2002 M.E. Civil Engineering
  • David Fouche is co-owner and executive vice president of J2 Solutions, Inc., with the vision of growing the firm into a premier commercial contracting company. Fouche’s experience and knowledge in Health Care operations allowed him to earn the distinction of Certified Health Care Constructor (CHC) by the American Hospital Association. His current duties include leading the operations of the company, as well as all Health Care projects within acute care hospitals all over the state of Florida.

No. 74 – Southeast Forensic Consultants, LLC

  • Andrew Cherepon
  • 2010 B.S. Mechanical Engineering
  • Andrew Cherepon is a licensed Professional Engineer specializing in accident reconstruction and forensic engineering at Southeast Forensic Consultants, LLC, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm that specializes in forensic engineering and safety consulting. Cherepon has trained in accident reconstruction, forensic engineering, safety engineering, human factors, traffic engineering, and more. He is recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) and is a Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH).

No. 78 – Mainstay Salire, LLC

  • Craig LeGrande
  • 1991 B.S. Electrical Engineering
  • Craig LeGrande is the founder and CEO of Mainstay, starting the company over 15 years ago to help high technology companies succeed by quantifying and communicating the business value of their solutions. LeGrande achieved his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering with a specialty in semiconductor physics from the University of Florida and his MBA from Dartmouth. Mainstay provides value-based sales and marketing solutions to Enterprise B2B companies including the high tech industry, healthcare and financial services. LeGrande recently authored the best-selling book Competing for Customers with Jeb Dasteel, chief customer officer of Oracle, and Amir Hartman, co-founder of Mainstay.

No. 96 – Campbell Spellicy Engineering, Inc.

  • Kevin Spellicy
  • 2009 B.S. Mechanical Engineering
  • Kevin Spellicy serves as principal engineer and president of Campbell Spellicy Engineering, Inc., overseeing all firm operations. Campbell Spellicy Engineering is a full-service mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering firm specializing in commercial, educational, and institutional construction projects. Away from the office, Spellicy and his family enjoy visiting the Gainesville area’s many parks, springs, hiking trails, museums, and attending Gator sporting events. Spellicy is also a very active community leader and volunteer, serving on multiple local non-profit boards, providing tutoring for Project Youthbuild students, and serving as a mentor through the Take Stock in Children program.

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