2012 Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award Winners

 


2012 Jerome P. Keuper Distinguished Alumni Award

Thomas Folliard

Thomas Folliard

Mr. Folliard entered the wholesale car business in Melbourne, right out of college. His career path was soon accelerated when he was hired to join a new company with a unique concept in used car sales. In the early 1990's Carmax was established. The car retailer, with Mr. Folliard's guidance and input, established a no-hassle process of selling and buying used cars in a fair, customer-relaxed process. Since that time, Mr. Folliard has served as the company's senior buyer, director of purchasing, vice president of merchandising, senior and later executive vice president of store operations. Currently he holds the position of President and CEO of the Fortune 500 Corporation which has revenues in access of $10 billion. Carmax has over 100 stores, and is expanding into new areas across the nation.

Basketball is a family tradition for the Folliards. Mr. Folliard was on the Panthers basketball team when in school, and was inducted into the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. Mr. Folliard Sr. played the game and was a coach at FIT for seven years. Mr. Folliard's brother and wife were both on Florida Tech basketball teams, and his children are carrying on the family tradition of playing the game.

Mr. Folliard serves on many boards, including the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation and that of the PulteGroup which consists of multi-level housing construction companies.

Mr. Folliard gives back to his university in many ways, donating his time, expertise and money. He helps to recruit capable prospective students, supports the men's and women's basketball teams financially and participates in the Visiting Executive program of the Nathan M. Bisk's College of Business.

 


2012 G.O.L.D. Award

Chrishanth Fernando

Chrishanth Fernando

Mr. Fernando graduated from the College of Aeronautics in 2002 with a Bachelor's degree in aviation management. He began his career at Wyle Labs as an aviation analyst conducting aircraft and weapons noise analyses for military and civilian clients and subsequently joined HNTB Corporation, where he utilized his expertise in aircraft noise to support airport/airspace NEPA projects.

He is currently a senior environmental specialist/associate at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C., supporting the FAA's NextGen Initiatives with a focus on performance based navigation, environmental modeling and NEPA Compliance.

Mr. Fernando also supports his local community as the co-director and a member of the board of directors of Hands on DC, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the learning environment in D.C. public schools.

He has also been instrumental in revitalizing the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area chapter by reaching out to younger alumni. He has strengthened communications with the alumni through the creation of the chapter's FaceBook page. Mr. Fernando has also organized several chapter events in 2012.

 


2012 Outstanding Alumni Awards

David A. Byers, Ph.D.

College of Aeronautics - Skurla Award
Outstanding Alumni Award
David A. Byers, Ph.D.

Dr. Byers is a 1978 graduate of the College of Aeronautics holding a B.S. in Air Commerce (transportation technology). He also holds a Master of Business Administration in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2004, Dr. Byers received his Ph.D. in Science Education (Aviation) from FIT's College of Science, the first aeronautics candidate to complete the program. Dr. Byers currently serves as an associate professor for the Aviation Institute at the University of Nebraska, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in airport development, management and aviation policy.

In addition to his academic credentials, he has 35 years of experience in airport development, environmental analysis, and financial planning for commercial service and general aviation airports throughout the U.S. He is currently blending his academic and professional experience by leading a team of researchers and engineers in the development of a Synthetic Air Traffic Advisory System (SATAS), designed to enhance flight safety at busy airports where manned air traffic control towers are not practical.

A charter member and past president of FITSA, Aeronautics' alumni affinity group, Dr. Byers has worked over the years with many graduating students and alumni to network with industry professionals for career and project teaming opportunities. Dr. Byers holds a commercial pilot license and is a certificated aircraft Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic. He is also a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

 

Joseph Caruso

Nathan M. Bisk College of Business
Outstanding Alumni Award
Joseph Caruso

Mr. Caruso is founder and principal of Omnifirst Capital Corporation, a successful private investment firm focused on opportunities in the technology, health care and entertainment industries. Mr. Caruso is presently the managing partner in nine companies and becomes involved in every aspect of a client's business including arranging appropriate debt and equity funds, debt restructures, and other consulting and advisory strategies that create solutions. He founded Omnifirst in 1984 following a decade of hands-on financing and growth in the banking industry.

Mr. Caruso has brought all of the various operations and strategic partnerships under the umbrella of The Omnifirst Group. After a career of relationship development and coalition building, The Omnifirst Group is uniquely positioned to consider and effectively lead in business development strategies.

Mr. Caruso is the co-founder/owner of the Trenton Thunder Double-A minor league baseball affiliate of the 26 time World Champion New York Yankees and the Lakewood BlueClaws, a Single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Both teams have been recognized multiple times for their marketing expertise.

His expertise has been sought by various industry groups such as the New Jersey Banking Association Mortgage Committee and the New Jersey Shore Builders Association, where he served as board member, consultant, and contributing writer for the association newsletter.

Mr. Caruso is a member of the board of trustees for his alma mater, Florida Institute of Technology, and also is a member of the board of trustees for the Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation raising funds to educate and empower principled leaders.

 

Travis Proctor

College of Engineering
Outstanding Alumni Award
Travis Proctor

Travis Proctor is the CEO of ndtArtemis. He founded Artemis IT, in 1995 while a sophomore at Florida Tech, and recently merged his company with netDirective Technology. Mr. Proctor graduated top of his class with a degree in computer science information systems. ndtArtemis currently employs 52 people and provides IT management and consulting services to clients throughout the Central Florida region from its offices in Melbourne.

Travis has always been interested in entrepreneurial activities and co-founded his first company, also providing computer support, while a junior in high school in his home community of Montrose, Colorado. In addition to his responsibilities with ndtArtemis, he has founded and manages two real estate investment companies that currently own and operate a variety of residential and commercial rental properties located in Florida and Colorado.

Travis is an active member of the community and serves on several community and company boards. He was the 2008 Chairman of the Melbourne Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce representing over 30,000 employees in the Brevard Community. He is past chair of the entrepreneurial support organization, Founders Forum. In addition, Travis serves as a board member of Florida Tech, the Brevard Heart Foundation, the Brevard Achievement Center, the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, the Salvation Army, Junior Achievement, and MyRegion.org.

ndtArtemis has won numerous awards in its field for outstanding service and community support, and Travis has been selected as one of the top 4 leaders under 40 in Brevard County. He is active in his community and serves on several boards of charitable and educational organizations.

 

Candace Leigh Bowering

College of Psychology and Liberal Arts
Outstanding Alumni Award
Candace Leigh Bowering

Candace (Boyer) Bowering is head of global marketing communications at St. Jude Medical, located in Minneapolis, St. Paul. She manages a multimillion dollar budget and leads a team of professionals responsible for marketing communications, events and digital marketing for global markets in Europe, North America, Japan and Asia Pacific. St. Jude Medical has $5.6 billion in sales, 16,000 employees worldwide, and operations and manufacturing facilities worldwide, with products sold in more than 100 countries. It is a Fortune 500 company and ranked No. 1 on FORTUNE Magazine's 2011 list of "World's Most Admired Companies" in the Medical Equipment category.

Prior to St. Jude Medical, Ms. Bowering was with Philips Healthcare, which offers diagnostic imaging systems, healthcare information technology solutions, and patient monitoring and cardiac devices. As the marketing communications director for North America and later as the global integrated communications campaign director, she developed global campaigns to establish Philips Healthcare as the clinical thought leader in cardiovascular and radiology science.

Ms. Bowering enjoys international travel, reading, fine arts, swimming and photography and also serves as an adjunct faculty member for Florida Tech's College of Psychology and Liberal Arts.

 

Max Mutchler

College of Science
Outstanding Alumni Award
Max Mutchler

Mr. Mutchler has been working on the Hubble Space Telescope for over 22 years -- its entire mission. He was hired just two weeks before the launch of Hubble in 1990, and just a few months before completing his M.S. degree in space sciences at Florida Tech. Thanks to the proximity of FIT to the Kennedy Space Center, he was able to witness the launch of Hubble - and his own career - from the VIP site at Banana Creek.

He is a research and instrument scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, on the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He manages a group of 35 analysts and scientists, and he continues to make a range of contributions to the Hubble mission.

Mr. Mutchler is an expert on Hubble's cameras. He is a member of the Hubble Heritage team, which has produced many of the iconic images that Hubble is famous for. He also specializes in observations of Solar System objects, often in support of planetary missions such as New Horizons (en route to Pluto) and Dawn (currently exploring the Asteroid Belt). He is a member of a team that discovered several new moons of Pluto, including one last July. Asteroid "6815 Mutchler" was named in honor of his role in these discoveries. This work was featured as the cover story for the August 2006 edition of Florida Tech Today.

He is also involved in a range of educational outreach activities, which has recently included citizen science, tactile images with Braille captions, and the first-ever astronomical star party on the South Lawn of the White House.