Florida Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, received a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from PBA in 2009. First elected to the Florida Senate in 2010, Benacquisto represents Southwest Florida in the 30th district. She was named the majority leader for the Republican caucus in the Florida Senate in the fall of 2012, after serving as the deputy majority leader during the previous session.
Additionally she was appointed to be the vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, helping manage how taxpayer dollars are spent. She sits on a number of other significant committees in the Florida Senate including Education, Banking and Insurance, Rules, and Ethics and Elections.
Since her election to the Florida Legislature, Benacquisto has sponsored legislation including the Andrew Widman Act to protect law enforcement officers and keep Florida’s streets safe; the Silver Alert Program to protect the state’s seniors; and the Qualified Targeted Industries bill to help incentivize global trade and logistical businesses in the state. In the 2013 session she championed the “Cancer Treatment Fairness Act” to help cancer patients across the state receive access to life-saving medications.
Her accomplishments in public policy have been honored by organizations in Florida and across the nation. Recent honors include being named the Boys and Girls Club of Lee County Children’s Advocate of the Year, PACE Center for Girls’ Senator of the Year, Southwest Florida Library Champion, as well as being awarded an “A” rating from business groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida and Associated Builders and Contractors. In 2012 the Republican State Leadership Committee announced her appointment as an advisory board member to the “Right Women, Right Now” campaign to recruit, support and elect new women candidates to state-level offices across the country.
Benacquisto has been a Florida resident for more than 35 years. She is married with two children, son, Austin, and daughter, Gabriella.
Former golf professional William Hobbs was well into his ministry of serving the inner-city youth of West Palm Beach by the time he earned a degree in human resources management from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 1991.
He later formed Urban Youth Impact, a reputable, faith-based nonprofit organization focused on loving, equipping and empowering inner-city youth and their parents to fulfill their God-given purpose.
A native of Lockport, N.Y., Hobbs and his wife of more than 25 years, Kerry, along with their 9-year-old daughter Rachel, reside in West Palm Beach. Hobbs served 14 years as a PGA golf professional, eventually becoming head professional at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens from 1984 to 1987.
In 1988, Hobbs went into full-time ministry with Palm Beach County Youth for Christ as the Youth Guidance Director. Hobbs, an ordained minister, and his wife formed Urban Youth Impact in 1997. He is the organization’s president and founder. He is also the author of “My Longest Drive, One Man’s Passion for the Urban Poor."
Ivette Miranda is a senior-level executive at Tenet Health Systems, one of the largest investor-owned health care delivery systems in the nation. She leads multiple teams and high-impact projects, and is enrolled in the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) training program. As Tenet’s associate administrator, she is responsible for the company’s plant operations, radiology, laboratories, food and environmental services, security and patient advocacy. She also is serving as the interim chief human resource officer. Miranda has used her strong leadership and business skills to make a number of significant contributions companywide to advance the business and patient care, including implementing Teletracking, an electronic system, which streamlined patient throughput by 85 percent. She also created and implemented Tenet’s Patient Advocate Program and “Going Green” initiative.
Prior to joining Tenet, Miranda served as the director of staff management for Avega/MedAssets in West Palm Beach, Fla. She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from PBA and an M.B.A. from The University of Phoenix. She and her husband, Daniel, and children, Michael, Alex and Christian live in
West Palm Beach, Fla.
Victoria Chouris, a two-time graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University who now is vice president and chief operating officer of the South Florida Fair and Palm Beach County Expositions Inc., received the MacArthur School of Leadership Outstanding Alumni Award at PBA’s Homecoming celebration.
Chouris, of West Palm Beach, has been an employee of the South Florida Fair for 29 years. Her first four years of employment were in a temporary position assisting in the finance office during the fair. In 1985, she accepted a full-time position as the executive secretary for Buck Christian, the fair manager. Through the years, her job responsibilities grew to include such duties as managing the fair’s advance ticket and sponsorship program to overseeing the sales and marketing department.
She now serves as vice president and C.O.O. of the South Florida Fair, and her responsibilities include managing the production of the annual fair with direct supervision of staff responsible for organizing concessions and exhibits, advance ticket sales, marketing and advertising and sponsorship sales. She also is responsible for management of the 9-acre historic Yesteryear Village.
Her community involvements include serving on the boards of the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she serves as treasurer, and the Palm Beach State College Foundation, where she serves as immediate past chair. She is a graduate of the Leadership Palm Beach County Class of 2010 and serves on the Leadership Board of Directors.
Chouris earned a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from PBA in 1997, and in 2001 she received an MBA from the University.
In 1974, Charlie Adams co-founded South Palm Construction, Inc., a full-service construction company based in West Palm Beach that boasts a repeat client base of more than 70 percent. As president, Adams leads the entire pre-construction phase and provides input on detailed cost control, value engineering and estimate analysis. Adams is active in the community and serves as a member of the City of West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Board. He also is a member of the Rotary Club of West Palm Beach and the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches. He earned a Bachelor of Science in human resources management from the MacArthur School of Leadership.
For 17 years Christine Christofek was a field reporter for WPTV in West Palm Beach. Today, as director of public affairs for the Solid Waste Authority, she is host of the SWA environmental segment on WPTV called “Florida’s Future”. Christofek has earned two Emmy Awards for her work, nearly a dozen Addy Awards, a Telly Award and numerous other television awards. Christofek graduated with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management through the evening degree program at PBA in 1998. She recently earned her certificate in advanced public negotiations from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass. She resides in Martin County with her husband, William Weiss.
Michael Reiter is the president of Michael Reiter and Associates, a Palm Beach based security, crisis management and investigative firm providing global security and risk management services. After three decades of law enforcement experience, Reiter retired from government after serving his last eight years as the Chief of the Palm Beach Department. He was the founder of the Palm Beach Citizens and Teen Police Academies, Volunteers in Police Service and led the department to its highest levels of community support and lowest crime rates.
He served on the Executive Board of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, was founder and moderator of the Palm Beach County Law Enforcement Summit and was president and chief executive officer of Palm Beach Crime Watch. Reiter earned a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Palm Beach Atlantic University, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He has published articles and lectured on the topics of leadership, crisis management, travel security, and art and jewelry crime.
Sheriff Ric L. Bradshaw is a career law enforcement professional responsible for leading the largest law enforcement agency in Palm Beach County. Sheriff Bradshaw has a successful track record of thirty-eight(38) years in law enforcement. He rose through the ranks of the West Palm Beach Police Department from road patrol officer to detective sergeant to lieutenant to captain to major, then assistant chief and finally in 1996 to chief of police. On January 4, 2005, he was sworn in as Sheriff of Palm Beach County, overseeing a force of 4,000 employees and approximately 5,500 Citizens on Patrol. Sheriff Bradshaw has extensive knowledge and training in all aspects of law enforcement with special emphasis on Domestic Security, Field Operations and community based policing. Sheriff Bradshaw's educational experience includes Bachelor of Science Degree-with honors in Human Resources Management from Palm Beach Atlantic College in 1994 and a Masters of Science in Administration with honors-with a specialization in Emergency Management.
|Recipient:||Mary Jo Gregory '94, HRM/96 HRD|
*The MacArthur School Award is not an annual award.