FSU College of Business Inducts 3 Alumni Into Hall of Fame

By: FSU News Release
By: FSU News Release

Tallahassee, Florida - March 31, 2011 --

Florida State University’s College of Business has selected three accomplished alumni to be inducted into its Hall of Fame. Mark Hillis, Floyd D. “Bud” Jordan Jr. and Kenneth M. Willis were inducted into a prestigious group of 23 business leaders on Thursday, March 31, at the college’s Ninth Annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Ceremony.

Begun in 2003, the FSU College of Business Hall of Fame honors and celebrates individuals who embody the qualities that make the College of Business at Florida State an extraordinary place to learn and grow. Hall of Fame inductees have excelled in their careers and have made significant contributions to the mission of the college.

Mark Hillis

Mark Hillis, a 1964 alumnus with a B.S. in finance from Florida State and a juris doctorate from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law, has helped shape the College of Business and Florida State University throughout the years by serving and giving back to his alma mater. Hillis’ career includes 33 years at SunTrust Bank in Atlanta, where he retired in 2002 as the first vice president of real-estate finance. He also retired from the U.S. Marine Corps at the rank of major, having served from 1966 to 1986. Since retirement, he has immersed his business talents into advocating for the university, its colleges, programs and various units.

Hillis’ contribution at Florida State University has spanned the College of Business, the Alumni Association, the FSU Foundation, the university’s Board of Trustees and Seminole Boosters. He has been an active member of the College of Business’ Board of Governors since 1989, serving as chair from 1996 to 1998. He has also served on the College of Business’ Real Estate Executive Advisory Board since 2003.

A lifetime member of the FSU Alumni Association, Hillis was a member and treasurer of that organization’s board of directors from 1993 to 2002, a member of its Development Committee from 2004 to 2008, and a member of its Centennial Steering Committee in 2009. He also is a member of the Orlando Seminole Club and a former board member of the Atlanta Seminole Club.

Hillis’ service with the FSU Foundation began in 1992, when he served as chairman of the Georgia FSU Capital Campaign Committee. From 1995 to 2008, Hillis was a member of the FSU Foundation’s board of trustees, serving as secretary and chairman of the Real Estate, Finance, Development and Capital Campaign Executive Committees. In 2010, he became a member of the FSU Board of Trustees and currently serves as chairman of its Finance, Business and Audit Committee. In addition, he is a member of FSU’s Francis Eppes Society, James D. Westcott Society and Custodes Lampadis Society, and is a Seminole Booster.

Hillis’ philanthropy began in 1988 when he and his wife, Nan Casper Hillis (B.S. ’76), established the Nancy Casper Hillis and Mark Hillis Endowed Fund for Finance in the College of Business. In 2000, the Hillises established the Mark and Nancy Casper Hillis Dining Room at the FSU Alumni Center, as well as the Mark Hillis and Nancy Casper Hillis Endowed Fund for Real Estate in the College of Business in 2004. Their most recent gift was the Mark and Nancy Casper Hillis Endowed Scholarship for Football, which was established in 2010.

As a generous contributor and active alumnus, Mark Hillis received the Florida State University Alumni Association Circle of Gold Award, which honors his unwavering Seminole spirit.

Floyd "Bud" Jordan Jr.

Floyd “Bud” Jordan Jr., a 1957 alumnus with a B.S. in accounting, is an executive financial adviser for Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. Jordan has a reputation for vision and a command of the investment markets that has earned him the respect of clients, colleagues and competitors.

After graduating from FSU, Jordan began his career as an auditor for the U.S. Army Audit Agency. His career flourished as he worked in positions for the Eason Company, American Chemco and F.I. DuPont, eventually becoming senior vice president of E.F. Hutton. It was in this capacity that Jordan was identified as one of Wall Street’s top brokers by Securities Week, and his Stuart, Fla., office was identified as one of the top-producing offices.

Jordan also served as senior vice president of investments for a number of investment firms, including Prudential Securities, Shearson and, most recently, Legg Mason. He was senior vice president of Wealth Management for Smith Barney Inc. before he and his financial team, The Jordan-McGovern Group, were recruited by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management in 2009. At the time, The Jordan-McGovern Group managed $500 million in client assets.

Jordan has been a licensed financial adviser for more than 41 years and has numerous professional affiliations. During his career, he was selected for 11 consecutive years as one of the top 30 brokers of E.F. Hutton Group Inc. In 2008, Jordan was named by Barron’s as one of the top 1 percent of financial advisers in the industry.

Jordan’s passion for Florida State began in his college days when he was a clown and juggler in the FSU Circus. Today, he serves on the Investment Committee of the FSU Foundation and supports both the circus and athletics. Jordan established the Floyd D. “Bud” Jordan Endowment Fund in the College of Business and, most recently, contributed to FSU’s Fort Pierce Regional Medical Campus.

Kenneth M. Willis

Kenneth M. Willis, a 1976 alumnus with a B.S. in marketing, is president and CEO of Anewda Consulting, a leading consultancy helping small businesses, and a veteran of 30 years with Quaker/PepsiCo.

Willis has driven revenue and profit turnarounds in most of the organizations he has led by rethinking existing business models, building top-tier teams and executing the fundamentals. He possesses proven sales and general management skills in addition to a broad business perspective gained through numerous cross-functional assignments in marketing, finance and strategic planning.

Willis’ notable accomplishments with Quaker/PepsiCo include redesigning and rolling out a $9 billion PepsiCo Division that grew top-line revenue $700 million in one year; overcoming customer declines and bankruptcies to drive a $300-million, two-year growth of the $1.8-billion South Region; and launching Quaker’s first Customer Business Center, a then-unique “profit & loss” approach to growing customer revenues and profits. In his position as president and CEO of Test Tools, he was responsible for the successful purchase and relaunch of an education software company, which eventually posted a 250-percent growth in customer/consumer penetrations. Finally, Willis founded Anewda Consulting LLC, a company helping small businesses accelerate growth through aggressive planning and breakthrough execution.

In addition to his professional success, Willis has always given back to the community, especially with respect to his alma mater. He is a member of the FSU College of Business’ Board of Governors, where he has served as chairman. He also returns to campus often to speak with students, most recently serving as the Charles A. Bruning Distinguished Speaker. Willis is a member of the board of directors of Seminole Boosters and is currently the chairman-elect of the board’s executive committee. He also is a member of the President’s Society and a Platinum Golden Chief donor to Seminole Boosters.

In addition to his bachelor’s degree in marketing, Willis earned his MBA from Northwestern University in 1998. He has also completed several self-development programs, including Harvard University’s Executive Leadership Seminar, the University of Virginia Darden Business School’s Executive Leadership Seminar and the University of Southern California Management Program.

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