|Karl Watson Sr. (left), Priscilla Taylor and Palm Beach Atlantic University President William M.B. Fleming Jr. greet one another prior to the M.B.A. Awards at PBA on Monday.|
Karl Watson Sr. can feel a sense of accomplishment every time he visits places like Walt Disney World and the launch pads at Cape Canaveral.
They are a few of the many places throughout Florida that his former company, Rinker Materials Corporation, had a hand in constructing. “You can go by later and see what you built or what part you played in it,” he said at Palm Beach Atlantic University on Monday.
Watson retired in 2006 as the president and chief operating officer of Rinker Materials. He presently serves as a consultant for CEMEX, a global building-solutions company that produces, distributes and markets cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates and related building materials to customers and communities in more than 50 countries.
Watson, a native of Pahokee, was the keynote speaker during the 14th annual M.B.A. Awards presentation in PBA’s Vera Lea Rinker Hall, a building named in honor of his former employer’s first wife.
He offered words of advice to the M.B.A. students in attendance. First, in the interview process, employers usually try to assess whether the candidate has the ability to get along with people, he said.
Second, “attitude and effort” go a long way, he said. Lastly, “get into something you really love,” he said. “Love the product.”
Watson also spoke about his longtime boss, Rinker Materials founder Marshall E. “Doc” Rinker. “He was a guy ahead of his time,” Watson said, describing Rinker both as a stern taskmaster and a benevolent individual. “He was a very generous guy. He loved this school.”
This year’s M.B.A. honoree, Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor ’99, also spoke about her appreciation for PBA.
|M.B.A. Award honoree Priscilla Taylor (second from left) congratulates Eassa Scholarship recipients Austin McNally (from left), Gentry Benjamin and Sean Wright.|
“I feel so proud when I say I’m from Palm Beach Atlantic University,” Taylor said upon accepting Palm Beach Atlantic’s Outstanding M.B.A. Graduate Award.
Taylor also offered advice to current students. “When you go to school and even as an adult, you can never learn enough,” she said.
Taylor recently was named vice chair of the Board of County Commissioners. Before that, she served in the Florida House and on the Port of Palm Beach District Commission.
Also during the awards presentation, three graduate students in Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Rinker School of Business received the Joe J. Eassa Scholarship.
M.B.A. students Gentry Benjamin of Greenacres, Austin McNally of West Palm Beach and Sean Wright of Loxahatchee were named as the 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 the University.