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Board of Trustees

Meet the Trustees

Edward E. "Ed" Burr, Chair

Edward E. 'Ed' Burr

Edward Burr is president and chief executive officer of GreenPointe Holdings, LLC, a diversified holding company he founded in 2008. After graduating from FSU College of Business with a B. S. in Accounting in 1979, he began his career with Coopers & Lybrand LLP. He founded the LandMar Group LLC in 1987 and led the company's creation of master-planned, award-winning communities in Florida and coastal Georgia. Ed also co-founded Hampton Golf & Lifestyles Management.

Ed has served on Board of Trustees of the FSU Foundation, the board of the Seminole Boosters and the Executive Board of the FSU Center for Real Estate Education and Research in the College of Business.

Throughout his career, Ed has been actively involved in business, civic and community organizations. He has served as chairman of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce and is currently on the Chamber Board of Directors overseeing the Downtown Development Council. Burr was named Developer of the Year by his peers and accepted a gubernatorial appointment to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. He is actively involved in the Urban Land Institute, the National Association of Home Builders and the Northeast Florida Builders Association. A longtime advocate for bettering the lives of children, Ed is founder of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, a foundation committed to the prevention of child abuse.


Leslie "Les" Pantin, Vice Chair

Leslie Pantin, Vice Chair

Leslie Pantin is president of Pantin/Beber Silverstein Public Relations in Miami.

Pantin was appointed to the Florida State University Board of Trustees by the Florida Board of Governors on Jan. 17, 2013. His term is five years.

In 2006, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Pantin to a five-year term on the FSU Board of Trustees, where he served as chair of the Student Affairs Committee. In addition, Pantin has served on the FSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, the FSU Foundation Board of Directors and the Seminole Boosters Board of Directors.

In 1992, former Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles appointed Pantin to the Board of Trustees of Miami-Dade Community College, where he served for two years. From 2002 to 2006, Pantin was chairman of the Board of Trustees of Barry University.

Pantin is active in a number of civic organizations, community affairs and special events in the South Florida area. In 1997, he served as president of the Orange Bowl Committee, which hosted college football's national championship game, and is the founding chair of the Orange Bowl foundation. He is also a past member of the Miami Business Forum, Miami's pre-eminent civic/business association.

A resident of Miami for more than 50 years, Pantin was a member of the South Florida National Parks Trust, Trust for Public Land's South Florida Advisory Council and the Dade Heritage Trust's Board of Advisors. In 1999, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court appointed him to the Florida Judicial Management Council. Pantin was also on the board of directors of the Collins Center for Public Policy.

Pantin, who earned a bachelor's degree from Florida State in 1970, is the father of two FSU graduates. He is the recipient of several FSU Alumni Association awards, including the Bernard F. Sliger Award and the "Circle of Gold" award.


Maximo Alvarez

Maximo Alvarez

Maximo Alvarez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948, the son of Spanish immigrants. In 1961 at the age of 13, he came to America as part of Operation “Pedro Pan.” He stayed in a children’s welfare home with Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh who was also the Catholic Priest responsible for the Operation in which over 14,000 children under the age of eighteen were given refuge from Communist Cuba. Maximo attended La Salle High School and was a part of the school’s very first graduating class in 1965. He then attended Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina from 1965 to 1967. In 1967 he transferred to Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1969 and his Master’s degree in 1970.

Soon after graduation, Maximo began his career in the oil industry with Cities Services Oil Company (CITGO Petroleum) where he worked from 1971-1973. In 1973 Maximo switched to Mobil Oil Corporation working as a marketing representative in Tampa, Florida. In 1976, Maximo left the corporate life and decided on his first business venture as an independent entrepreneur opening Sunshine Citrus Corp. Sunshine Citrus enjoyed a successful 11 year run as a citrus gift packing and shipping enterprise. In 1987, when the expansion of I-595 caused Maximo to re-locate his business, he had the opportunity to purchase four underperforming gas stations from Southland Corp, (7-Eleven).

These four gas stations were the cornerstone of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors, Inc . From barely two hundred thousand gallons per month, Sunshine Gasoline grew to over half a billion gallons sold per year. As of today, Sunshine operates over 300 locations and supplies another 250 branded retail facilities (Chevron, BP, Shell, Citgo, Marathon and Exxon/Mobil). Sunshine Gasoline is one of the largest independent branded suppliers for all of their represented brands in the South Eastern United States. In 2016, CSP (Convenience Store and Fuel News) named Sunshine Gasoline as #31 in their “Top 101 Convenience Stores” list, which ranks the largest convenience store chains by store count in the United States and Canada.

Because of his humble beginnings, Maximo has always believed in helping the community as well as the industry in which he has spent most of his career. Maximo has been extremely involved in the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association and was elected Chairman of the Board in 2000 and inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2005. He has worked closely with the Petroleum Council as a tireless advocate for the industry and currently serves on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Consumer Council. He has also received awards for his work in Hope for Vision and the Transplant Foundation. In 2006, Maximo became a trustee of Pedro Pan Group, a non-profit organization for immigrant children. In 2010, he was inducted into the Belmont Abbey Wall of Fame and later received a doctor’s degree honoris causa in 2015. He also serves as a trustee for The First Tee, a junior program that sets out to positively impact the lives of young people through the game of golf. Sunshine has been a constant sponsor of Miami Children’s Hospital and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Maximo’s biggest dream was recently fulfilled when Centro Hispano Catolico opened its door to over 300 children. The Centro Hispano Catolico is a day care center for under privileged children created in honor of Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh. Maximo is a strong believer in the philosophy that every new generation must be better than the last. This philosophy is carried out by his legacy of generosity that began when he was thirteen years old. Ever grateful of the country that allowed him to be where he is today and proud of his success, Maximo states; “If I were to give back everything I have today, it would only be 10% of what was given to me”.

Maximo has been married to his wife, Esther, for over forty years and has three children, Sandra, Maximo Ricardo and Eduardo. His two oldest children are following in his footsteps, working at Sunshine Gasoline and his youngest child, Eduardo began his career as a mechanical engineer after his graduation from the University of Miami. Maximo and Esther are also the proud grandparents of Samuel, Eric, Lucas and Maximo Jose.


Kathryn Ballard

Kathryn Ballard

Kathryn Ballard has a long history of charitable and community work, including service on the Board of Directors of the Florida Special Olympics, the Florida State University College of Human Sciences Board and the Board of Trustees of the Maclay School of Tallahassee. She also served as Chairman of Maclay School Capital Campaign.

A lifelong FSU fan, Mrs. Ballard has been honored for Outstanding Achievement by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and the Tallahassee/Leon County Historic Preservation Commission for her efforts to restore Tallahassee's historic Lively House.

Mrs. Ballard graduated from Florida State University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Human Sciences.


William “Billy” Buzzett

William 'Billy' Buzzett

William (Billy) Buzzett has almost 30 years experience in engineering, law, and development. With an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, he practiced for several years in New Orleans before advancing to law school at Florida State University. After graduating from law school, Buzzett worked in private practice, for the Florida Legislature, as an Assistant General Counsel to Governor Bob Martinez, and as the Executive Director to the 1997-1998 Constitution Revision Commission.

From 2001-2009, he worked for The St. Joe Company, and in 2011, under appointment from Governor Rick Scott, Buzzett served as the Secretary of Florida’s Department of Community Affairs – Florida’s land planning agency. He is currently a partner with the law firm of Harrison, Rivard, Duncan & Buzzett, located in Panama City.

In 1996, Buzzett was instrumental in creating one of Florida’s first charter schools, the Seaside Neighborhood School. As the Chairman of the Board of Directors for 6 years, he helped guide the school to its current designation as one of the highest performing middle schools in the state of Florida.

Buzzett is a fifth-generation Floridian, whose family hails from Apalachicola. He is married to FSU law graduate, Kelly Haynes Buzzett, and resides in Grayton Beach. They have two sons, one of whom is a recent graduate of Florida State University.


Emily Fleming "June" Duda

Emily Fleming Duda

Emily Fleming Duda, of Oviedo, is an active member of the FSU Booster Club board, serving five years on the board's executive committee. She was awarded the Godfrey Smith Award for Outstanding Service to the board in 2000.

Ms. Duda also served on the board of directors of the Florida Leadership Program for Agriculture and Natural Resources, which is administered through the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences.


Susan Fiorito

Dr. Susan Fiorito

Dr. Susan S. Fiorito currently serves as a Jim Moran Professor of Entrepreneurship for the College of Business at Florida State University. She was also recently tapped to be the Founding Director of the new Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship. The Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship is made possible through the generous gift of $100 million from Jan Moran and the Jim Moran Foundation. In addition, Dr. Fiorito is serving as Faculty Senate President. She has taught at the university level since the early 1980s and received her doctorate from Oklahoma State University completing her dissertation on the financial performance and marketing strategies of selected small apparel stores. She has owned apparel and leather goods stores in Atlanta from the mid-1970s until 1980.

In addition to over 26 years of teaching at FSU, Dr. Fiorito has also taught and conducted research at the University of Iowa, Florida International University and the University of Stirling in Scotland, where she taught graduate-level courses and developed a module for their Executive MBA program. Dr. Fiorito’s research focuses on retail, small business management and buying, and has been featured in a variety of academic journals, including International Journal of Research and Distribution Management, the Journal of Retailing, and Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. She has received research grants totaling nearly $170,000. In addition, Fiorito taught summer study-abroad courses in Milan, Paris, London and Valencia Spain for eight years and spent one year on sabbatical at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Dr. Fiorito has received three University teaching awards and is one of three inaugural Jim Moran Institute Faculty Fellows. She served for two years as the first female president of the American Collegiate Retailing Association, and she was the organization’s treasurer for six years. Dr. Fiorito was appointed to the Florida Retail Federation Board in 2003. Additionally, Fiorito contributes to several university, college and department committees.


Mark Hillis

Mark Hillis

Mark Hillis, of Tallahassee, earned a bachelor's degree from The Florida State University College of Business in 1964 and a juris doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1977. He served for 33 years as first vice president for SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. Continuing his service, in 2016, he was appointed to the SunTrust Bank Florida Panhandle Regional Advisory Board of Directors.

Mr. Hillis currently serves as the Chair of the Select Committee for Strategic Planning and for the Academic Affairs Committee. He previously served as Chair of the Finance, Business & Audit Committee and Chair of the Collective Bargaining Issues Committee for the Board of Trustees. He is a retired major from the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Hillis served on the FSU College of Business Board of Governors from 1989 to 2015, including service as chairman from 1996 to 1998. Since 2003, he has served as a director on the Executive Board of the College of Business Center for Real Estate Education and Research. In 2011, he was inducted into the College of Business Hall of Fame. A lifetime member of the Florida State Alumni Association, he served on the Alumni Association's Development Committee from 2004 to 2008, and served on the Alumni Association's Board of Directors from 1993 to 2002, including a term as treasurer. He also served as a member of the Alumni Association's Centennial Steering Committee. From 1995 to 2008, he was a member of the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees, serving as secretary and chairing the Finance, Real Estate, Development and Capital Campaign Executive Committees. In addition, he is a member of the Seminole Boosters, the FSU Graduate School Advancement Council, the FSU Undergraduate Studies Development Council, the FSU Veterans Advancement Board and the FSU National Capital Campaign Committee. In 2011, he joined the Board of Directors of the Foundation Chapter of the Theta Chi Fraternity, serves as Secretary, and Chairs the Scholarship Committee. A generous contributor and active alumnus, he received the Florida State University Alumni Association Circle of Gold Award in 1996. Hillis' wife, Nan Casper Hillis, is a 1976 graduate of Florida State and is involved in numerous university activities.


Craig Mateer

Craig Mateer

Craig Mateer, CEO and Founder of Orlando based Bags Inc., graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Social Sciences in 1988 after attending the university on a basketball scholarship. Mateer was a member of the Florida State University Men’s Basketball team during his college career.

Shortly after graduation, Mateer founded his first valet parking company which he has transformed into Bags Inc., a diverse aviation, logistics and hospitality services company that operates in more than 250 cities across the United States, Canada and Europe. The Orlando-headquartered company generates over $150 million in revenues annually and is listed as one of the top 15 employers in Central Florida.

Mateer’s innovations and accomplishments have recently been recognized when he was selected as a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of The Year 2014 Award in Florida and a CEO of the Year honoree by the Orlando Business Journal. Bags is routinely on the list of Central Florida’s top 100 privately held and 50 fastest growing companies.

Mateer is an active philanthropic supporter of the disadvantaged, multiple health initiatives and Florida State University and has served on numerous community boards including Visit Orlando, The Salvation Army and YMCA among others.

Craig’s support and dedication to FSU is apparent as a member of the prestigious Micco Club, the FSU Varsity Club, and a Seminole Boosters Platinum Chief. Mr. Mateer resides in Orlando, Florida, and has 4 children.


Kyle Hill


Bob Sasser

bob Sasser

Bob Sasser is the Chief Executive Officer of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar Stores, the nation’s largest discount variety store chain selling everything predominately for $1.

Bob is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He was inducted into the College of Business Hall of Fame in 2009 and returns to FSU when possible to share his experience and ideas with students and faculty. Bob serves on the FSU Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board of Trustees. He is a lifetime member of the FSU Alumni association, a member of Seminole Boosters, a Double Golden Chief and a member of the FSU Presidents Club.

Married for 40 years to Pamela Sunderland Sasser, they have 2 children, Robert and Jennifer, and 2 grandchildren, Caroline and Catherine. Active in civic and community affairs, Bob serves as a Trustee for the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges and The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia.

Additionally, Bob serves on the Board of Directors of The Fresh Market.


Brent W. Sembler

Brent Sembler, of St. Petersburg, is vice chairman of The Sembler Company, one of the country's most recognized shopping center development and management companies responsible for over 130 major shopping center projects and over 165 freestanding retail stores since its inception.

Mr. Sembler serves on the boards of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Gulf Coast Community Care and All Children's Hospital. He is a past member of Shorecrest Preparatory School's Board of Trustees. He and his wife Debbie established a philanthropic fund that benefits numerous Bay Area charities.

Born in 1957 in Dyersburg, Tennessee, Mr. Sembler earned a B.S. degree from Florida State University in 1980. He and his wife have three children: a daughter and two sons, one of whom currently attends Florida State University.


Vacant Position


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Meeting dates and times are subject to change.

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216 Westcott
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trustees@fsu.edu
(850) 644-1000
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