Eassa Scholarship Recipients Pursue Path to Business Success

Three graduate students in Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Rinker School of Business received the Joe J. Eassa Scholarship during the 14th annual M.B.A. Awards Presentation on Dec. 3.

M.B.A. Award honoree Priscilla Taylor (second from left) congratulates Eassa Scholarship recipients Austin McNally (from left), Gentry Benjamin and Sean Wright.

M.B.A. students Gentry Benjamin of Greenacres, Austin McNally of West Palm Beach and Sean Wright of Loxahatchee were named recipients the scholarship, which was established by Palm Beach Atlantic in honor of Dr. Joe J. Eassa, professor of graduate business studies, and his many years of service to the University. Dr. Eassa presently serves as professor of graduate business studies at PBA.

Benjamin, who grew up in Belle Glade, said she became inspired to pursue her M.B.A. after attending her friend’s PBA graduation ceremony a year ago. She left her job as a practicing attorney to pursue her childhood dream of someday making an impact in the business world. She recently was invited to join the Palm Beach Atlantic Chapter of Sigma Beta Delta, a national honor society.

McNally is the owner of Palm Coast Shutters & Aluminum Products in Vero Beach. Five days a week, he commutes 135 miles to lead nine dedicated employees. One of the biggest lessons he has learned since attending PBA “is that hard work, discipline and focus can provide you with opportunities you never imagined,” he said.

Wright is a father of three boys who formerly worked as a drafter for an IT company. He earned an undergraduate degree in organizational management from PBA in 2011 before enrolling in the M.B.A. program. He said he decided to pursue an M.B.A. in order to become an effective leader. He is a member of Sigma Beta Delta honor society.

The speaker during the awards ceremony was Karl Watson Sr., retired president and chief operating officer of Rinker Materials Corporation and consultant for CEMEX.

This year’s M.B.A. honoree was Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor ’99, who recently was named vice chair of the Board of County Commissioners. She previously served in the Florida House and on the Port of Palm Beach District Commission. Upon entering public service, Taylor brought with her 25 years of business experience in the insurance industry.