Karl H. Watson, retired president and chief operating officer of Rinker Materials Corporation and consultant for CEMEX, will be the keynote speaker during Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 14th annual M.B.A. Awards presentation on Dec. 3.
The event, which will be held at 6 p.m. in Vera Lea Rinker Hall on the University’s main campus in West Palm Beach, will honor Palm Beach County District 7 Commissioner Priscilla Taylor, a 1999 graduate of PBA’s Rinker School of Business, as this year’s outstanding graduate of the University’s M.B.A. program.
|Karl H. Watson|
Watson retired in 2006 as the president and chief operating officer of Rinker Materials Corporation. 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.
Born in Pahokee Fla., Watson was educated at Georgia Military Academy and later Palm Beach State College and Stanford University. He serves on the board of trustees of Palm Beach Atlantic University and has served on the board of directors of such organizations as Palm Beach County Historical Society, Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Governor Charlie Crist Transition Team and Urban Youth Impact. Watson also has served as chairman of Florida Concrete & Products Association and chaired the advisory committee of the Rinker School of Building Construction at the University of Florida.
In 2007, PBA awarded Watson its American Free Enterprise medal. The award honors individuals whose hard work and achievement exemplify the best of the American free enterprise system.
Like Watson, Commissioner Taylor, this year’s MBA honoree, is also a native Floridian. Born and raised in Fort Pierce, she currently resides in West Palm Beach, where she first was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in November 2004 and re-elected twice as the District 84 representative. She brought to the House more than 25 years of business experience in the insurance industry.
Commissioner Taylor served as Democratic Whip for the 2004-2006 term and Speaker Pro Tem designee for the 2008-2010 terms. Prior to being elected to the Florida House, Commissioner Taylor was a twice-elected member of the Port of Palm Beach District Commission. During her tenure, she served as chairwoman in both 2001 and 2003.
She has received numerous business and civic awards recognizing her outstanding service to the community, and she has been involved in a number of public service organizations. Before earning her M.B.A., Commissioner Taylor received her undergraduate degree from Barry University.
She recently was named vice chair of the Board of County Commissioners.
The Dec. 3 event also will include the presentation of the Joe J. Eassa Jr. Scholarship to students currently in the M.B.A. program in PBA’s Rinker School of Business.
The scholarship was established in 1998 as a tribute to Dr. Eassa, founder of the graduate business studies program and the first director of the M.B.A. program. He presently serves as professor of graduate business studies at PBA.