Magazine Names UCF Leaders, Alumni to Orlando's Most-Powerful List
Five University of Central Florida leaders and several alumni were named this week to Orlando magazine’s 2014 list of the region’s 50 most powerful people.
The 11th annual list in the magazine’s July edition represents the region’s political leaders, educators, business owners, tourism officials and others who lead and inspire.
UCF President John C. Hitt earned the No. 4 ranking. The top three names on the list are Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, attorney and businessman John Morgan, and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.
Hitt, UCF’s president since 1992, leads the nation’s second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students. The magazine praised the development of high-tech and research areas at UCF, as well as the creation of the Blackstone LaunchPad to help students develop entrepreneurial ideas into successful businesses.
Others with UCF roles who were named to the list are:
- No. 6 – Harris Rosen, hotelier and businessman. UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management was developed in large part because Rosen donated the initial $18 million in money and land to jump-start the campus that opened in 2004. Rosen also is a former member of the UCF Board of Trustees.
- No. 7 – Alex Martins, CEO of the Orlando Magic. Martins joined the UCF Board of Trustees in November. Martins earned an MBA from UCF in 2001. He is a member of the College of Business Administration’s Hall of Fame and serves on the Dean’s Executive Council for the college.
- No. 25 – Dr. Deborah German, UCF vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the College of Medicine. UCF’s medical school opened in 2009 and graduated its second class this spring. Under German’s leadership, the college has begun a new internal medicine residency program in partnership with Orlando VA Medical Center and Osceola Regional Medical Center.
- No. 30 – Marcos Marchena, attorney, general counsel for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Marchena is a member of the UCF Board of Trustees and the UCF Foundation, and the university awarded him with its 2013 Service to UCF Award.
- No. 31 – Jim Atchison, CEO and president of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Atchison also is a member of UCF’s Board of Trustees.
In addition to Martins, Marchena (College of Sciences, UCF Class of 1982) and Atchison (College of Business Administration, ‘92), there are five other UCF alumni on the top-50 list:
- No. 8 – George A. Kalogridis, Sciences, ’76, president of Walt Disney World Resort.
- No. 10 – Barbara Jenkins, Education, ’83, ’86 and ’96, Orange County School Superintendent.
- No. 20 – Rasesh H. Thakkar, Business Administration, ’84, senior managing director of Tavistock Group.
- No. 43 – Dick J. Batchelor, Sciences, ’71, business and political consultant, and advocate for children’s causes.
- No. 47 – Patty Sheehan, Art, ’87, Orlando city commissioner.
A separate list in the Orlando article includes 12 people to watch in the coming years, including these UCF graduates:
- Chris Castro, Environmental Studies, ’10, self-described “ecowarrior” who also advises Orlando on improving energy efficiency.
- Joe Kilsheimer, Communication and History, ’79, longtime public relations consultant and new Apopka mayor.