​The mission of the Davis Leadership Forum is to provide opportunities for discovery and discussion within the Jacksonville community through scholarly and life-enriching topics.

The JU Davis College of Business hosts business and civic leaders each year to complement academic coursework at JU.  Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, the Forum will extend beyond JU and engage not only our students, but the greater Jacksonville community, fulfilling the University's mission of "life-long success in learning, achieving, leading and serving."


 Connect with our audience through sponsorship


Click here for sponsorship package information


Please contact Barbara Commander to be a part of the 2017-18 Forum.  bcomman1@ju.edu / 904.256.7121


Past Speakers

Spring 2017

 Terry Patrick WaltonTERRY PATRICK WALTON, Founder, 20'sEmpowered

Ms. Walton, former executive search firm partner and college recruiting manager, has founded several businesses and websites focused on career coaching, successful job search, and helping people find great careers.  She is the author of "Yes! The Job is Mine. 4 Steps to Get the Job," and founder of 20'sEmpowered, focusing on helping 20-somethings make the most of their lives and careers in this important decade.


Nat FordNAT FORD, CEO, Jacksonville Transportation Authority

Mr. Ford's career spans more than three decades, including 15 combined years as CEO of the JTA, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.  Ford is a champion of multimodal transportation, walkable neighborhoods, public-private partnerships, and transit-oriented development.  Ford is also a visionary who embraces change and technology that promotes sustainability.


Debbie BucklandDEBBIE BUCKLAND, Market President, BB&T

Ms. Buckland is the Market President for BB&T in Jacksonville.  She began her career in financial services, continuing a long career that included time in many different roles, in many different markets in Mid-Atlantic.  Ms. Buckland joined BB&T in 2014 - believing strongly that their community banking model is the best model to serve clients in the highly competitive marketplace we have today. 


Mike WachholzMIKE WACHHOLZ, President, Pontoon Solutions

Mr. Wachholz is the President of Pontoon Solutions, a business unit of Adecco Group S.A.  Headquartered in Jacksonville, Pontoon is a leading global HR outsourcing company with operations in nearly 100 countries and more than 1,600 colleagues worldwide.  Mr. Wachholz's responsibilites with Pontoon and Adecco have taken him to more than 30 countries across EMEA, APAC and the Americas.  During his tenure at Pontoon, he has been recognized by Staffing Industry Analysts as one of the 100 most influential figures in the world of contingent work.


Lane Gardner


LANE GARDNER, Managing Director, Hines - Mr. Gardner is Managing Director of Hines, a privately owned global real estate investment, development and management firm.  Mr. Gardner is responsible for identifying, developing, managing, financing, leasing and marketing select projects in the SE Region of the United States.  




William (Tripp) Gulliford, Senior Managing Director, CBRE, oversees Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville for the commercial real estate firm. Mr. Gulliford brings more than two decades of commercial real estate, banking and management experience to CBRE.




jenksTraci Jenks, Senior Director, Cushman Wakefield, specializes in leasing of office and flex properties in the Jacksonville market and represents tenants and owners of real estate. Ms. Jenks started her career in commercial real estate in 1992 after graduating with a BBA in Real Estate from the University of Georgia.






verlanderC. ALAN VERLANDER, Executive Director and COO, JAXSPORTS Council and TaxSlayer BowlMr. Verlander became the Executive Director and COO of the Jacksonville Sports Council (JAXSPORTS) and TaxSlayer Bowl in 2013. His duties include raising the sports profile of the NE Florida area and working to increase the sports culture and tourism of the region. Prior to this, Mr. Verlander served as the Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment for the City of Jacksonville and Director of Athletics at Jacksonville University.

babbyKEN BABBY, Owner and CEO, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp - Mr. Babby became the Owner and CEO of the First Coast's longest-tenured sports franchise in September 2015, and introduced the team’s new identity as the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Nov. 2, 2016. Babby, 36, is the youngest multi-team professional sports owner, owning the Akron RubberDucks since October 2012. Prior to then, Babby spent 13 years in marketing positions with the Washington Post and its online and social media counterparts. He was named one of Sports Business Journal's 2016 "Forty Under 40," recognizing excellence and innovation in sports business careers.


Fall 2016


Steven Grossman     CEO Jacksonville Aviation Authority
Frank Lonegro EVP and CFO CSX Corporation
Anthony "Tony" Kurlas Market Director Merrill Lynch Bank of America
Jonathan Bennett Chief Merchandising Officer Interline Brands
Ted Baker II President Bluegrass Materials
Greg Strong Director Florida Department of Environmental Protection


Click here for more past speakers