Meet the Trustees
Edward E. "Ed" Burr, Chair
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.
Dr. Todd Adams is a professor of physics and serves as the President of the Faculty Senate at Florida State University. He joined the FSU faculty in 2001.
Todd’s research is in the field of particle physics. He currently works on the CMS experiment at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory. He uses data collected from proton-proton collisions to search for evidence of new physics. Todd has guided the research of numerous undergraduate and graduate students (including four Ph.D.’s awarded). He is co-author of more than 1000 peer-reviewed publications as a member of collaborations at Brookhaven National Lab, Fermi National Accelerator Lab (Fermilab), and CERN. In 2009-2010, Todd served as Chair of the Fermilab Users Executive Committee, representing the 2000 users of the laboratory.
Todd is a graduate of Hope College (B.S. 1991) and the University of Notre Dame (M.S. 1994, Ph.D. 1997). He previously worked at Kansas State University as a post-doctoral researcher.
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 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 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, 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.
Jorge Gonzalez is president and chief executive officer of The St. Joe Company, a Florida-based real estate development and operating company with additional interests in resorts, leisure and forestry. The St. Joe Company was incorporated in 1936 and is publically traded (NYSE: JOE).
Jorge holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Florida State University. He serves or has served on various community, civic, and business related organizations including the Florida Chamber Board of Directors, Enterprise Florida Board of Directors, Bay Economic Development Alliance (current Chairman), Northwest Florida Manufacturer’s Council, Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, FSU Panama City Development Board (former President), The St. Joe Community Foundation Board of Trustees, and Panama City Beach Chamber Board of Directors.
Jorge is married to Pamela, who is also a proud FSU graduate, and have one son, Jake.
Jim W. Henderson
Jim Henderson is Chairman, CEO, and Founder of AssuredPartners, a national insurance brokerage firm. Prior to establishing AssuredPartners in March of 2011, Jim Henderson brought his insurance expertise to Brown & Brown when he joined the company as its CFO in 1985. Jim served in a variety of roles including President and Chief Operating Officer as well as Vice Chairman. In 25 years at Brown & Brown and its predecessor company, Jim executed 300 plus acquisitions, grew revenues from $7 million to $1 billion. Earlier, Jim joined Ormond Reinsurance Group as its CFO and Treasurer in 1975. He began his career in Audit and Consulting for the insurance and healthcare practice at Ernst & Whinney (now EY). Jim is a graduate of Florida State University with a BSBA in Accounting and Economics.
Jim’s civic and professional services include: Chairman of the Board for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Hallmark Insurance Company Board, Ironshore Insurance Company Board, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Florida), Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers Board, Stetson University Business School Board, Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Advisory Board Chairman, Alaqua Country Club Board, Ronald McDonald Homes of Central Florida Board, Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts of America, and United Way.
Jim and his wife, Carole, reside in Longwood, Florida, and have three (3) children and eight (8) grandchildren that all reside in Florida.
Mark Hillis of Tallahassee earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University’s College of Business in 1964 and a juris doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1977.
Mr. Hillis, a retired major of the U.S. Marine Corps, served 33 years as first vice president for SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. In 2016, he continued his service by accepting a seat on the SunTrust Bank Florida Panhandle Regional Advisory Board of Directors.
Mr. Hillis has served as a member of FSU’s Board of Trustees since 2010. He is the Vice Chair of the FSU Board of Trustees and Chairs the Academic Affairs Committee. Throughout his service on FSU’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Hillis has also served as Chair of the Select Committee for Strategic Planning, the Finance, Business and Audit Committee, as well as the Collective Bargaining Issues Committee.
Mr. Hillis served on the FSU College of Business Board of Governors from 1989 to 2015, which included a term as chairman from 1996 to 1998. Since 2003, he has served as a director on the Executive Board of FSU’s College of Business Real Estate Center. In 2011, he was inducted into the College of Business Hall of Fame. In 2017, Mr. Hillis and his wife, Nan Casper Hillis, were honored with the FSU Real Estate Network Award in recognition of generous contributions to the Real Estate program.
A lifetime member of the Florida State Alumni Association, Mr. Hillis served on the Alumni Association’s Development Committee from 2004 to 2008 and the Alumni Association’s board of directors from 1993 to 2002, which included 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 and served as secretary. He also chaired the Finance, Real Estate, Development and Capital Campaign executive committees.
In addition, he is a member of the Seminole Boosters, FSU Graduate School Advancement Council, FSU Undergraduate Studies Development Council, FSU Veterans Advancement Board, FSU National Capital Campaign Committee, The FSU Libraries Advancement Board, FSU Strategic Plan Implementation Committee and the FSU Branding Committee.
In 2011, Mr. Hillis joined the board of directors of the Foundation Chapter of the Theta Chi Fraternity. He serves as secretary and chairs the Scholarship Committee. In 2017, he was elected to the Southern Scholarship Foundation board of directors as an emeritus member. A generous contributor and active alumnus, he received the Florida State University Alumni Association Circle of Gold Award in 1996. Hillis’ wife Nan, a 1976 graduate of Florida State, is involved in numerous university activities.
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.
Stacey Pierre is a student at Florida State University and serves as the Student Body President. She joined the FSU community in the summer of 2015 through her involvement in the CARE Summer Bridge Program.
Stacey is a current Biology major with the hopes of one day becoming an obstetrician and serving the community. Additionally, some of her hobbies include reading, scrolling through Youtube, exercising. She is excited to work together with faculty, staff, and administrator to help further Florida State University into a leading institute of higher education through her role as Student Body President.
Bob Sasser is the Executive Chairman of Dollar Tree, North America's leading operator of discount variety stores.
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. Bob serves on the FSU Board of Trustees and he formerly served on the Foundation Board of Trustees. He is a lifetime member of the FSU Alumni association, a member of Seminole Boosters, and a member of the FSU Presidents Club.
Married for more than 40 years to Pamela Sunderland Sasser, they have 2 children, Robert and Jennifer, and 3 grandchildren, Caroline, Catherine, and Harper. 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.
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.