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.
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.
Dr. Kristine Harper joined the Florida State University faculty in 2008 and is a professor of history. She conducts historical research at the nexus of the history of science, history of technology, and environmental history from the late nineteenth through the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the Cold War. A meteorologist and oceanographer before turning to the history of science, Dr. Harper has focused primarily on the history of atmospheric science in the United States. Her first monograph, Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology (MIT Press, 2008) examined the development of numerical weather prediction models in the immediate post-World War II, which were heavily funded by US military. Her latest monograph, Make it Rain: State Control of the Atmosphere in Twentieth Century America (Chicago, 2017) addresses the influence of the American state on efforts to deliberately control atmospheric processes for military and diplomatic purposes abroad, and for domestic purposes, primarily hydropower and agriculture, at home. Make it Rain was the awarded the Louis Battan Author’s Prize by the American Meteorological Association and the Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal for the General Nonfiction in 2018. She was also the coeditor (with Ronald Doel and Matthias Heymann) of Exploring Greenland: Cold War Science and Technology on Ice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
Dr. Harper’s current research is focused on the US government’s support for desalination projects during the Cold War as a way to alleviate shortages of fresh water both at home and abroad. Most of her teaching is done with the FSU-Teach program, which prepares mathematics and science majors to become secondary teachers.
Before coming to FSU, Dr. Harper held a National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship and a Tanner Humanities Center Fellowship at the University of Utah (2007-2008). She was an assistant professor of history at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (2005-2008) and a post-doctoral fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2004-2005). Dr. Harper is also the author of several books for middle and high school students.
Dr. Harper is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside (A.B., Mathematics, 1973), the US Naval Postgraduate School (M.S., Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, 1985), and Oregon State University (Ph.D., History of Science, 2003). She is a retired US Navy commander.
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, Vice Chair
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 Undergraduate Studies Development Council, FSU Veterans Alliance Advancement Board, 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 and has received three awards for service to Theta Chi. In 2017, he was elected to the Southern Scholarship Foundation board of directors as an emeritus member.
In 2018, Mr. Hillis was the recipient of the FSU Alumni Association Emeritus Alumni Society Commitment to Excellence Award, and the FSU Faculty Senate Mores Torch Award. 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.
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.
Evan Steinberg is a junior, studying Political Science and is pursuing a certificate in U.S. Intelligence Studies as well as Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Evan serves as the Student Body President, elected by the fellow student body each spring semester, he administers and enforces all laws of the Student Body.
Evan was raised in Parkland, Florida where he interned for his state representative in 2015 and 2016. Evan worked at the Florida Senate with the President Pro Tempore in 2017 and 2018. During the summer of 2017, he interned with the Broward County Commission promoting international trade in Broward County. Evan had the honor of interning with the United States Department of Defense Southern Command in Doral, Florida in the summer of 2018.
Evan’s involvement on campus includes previously serving in the 68th, 69th, & 70th Student Senate as a Social Science & Public Policy Senator. Evan has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Office of Governmental Affairs for two years, and previously served as the Director of the Office of Governmental Affairs. Evan has also previously been involved with the Student Alumni Association, Homecoming Council, NolePAC, Garnet & Gold Key Leadership Honorary, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and his fraternity Beta Theta Pi. He serves on a variety of university boards and committees such as the Foundation Board of Trustees, Seminole Torchbearers, and the Civic Center Authority Board
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