Four business leaders, Gail Coniglio, James and Anna Marie Erneston and D. Jon Thurman, will be honored with companion medals during Palm Beach Atlantic University's American Free Enterprise Day ceremony Nov. 9.
American Free Enterprise Day has been an event at Palm Beach Atlantic since 1984 and honors individuals whose hard work and achievement exemplify the best of the American free enterprise system.
A registered nurse by trade, Gail Coniglio and her husband of more than 30 years, Frank, own and operate E.R. Bradley's Saloon in West Palm Beach as well as Cucina dell' Arte and Nick & Johnnie's Patio Bar and Grill in Palm Beach. She currently is serving her second term as councilwoman for the Town of Palm Beach and is a mayoral candidate in the upcoming 2011 election.
A 29-year resident of Palm Beach, Coniglio has served 12 years on the Recreation Advisory Commission and served two years as an alternate on the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Coniglio also is a longtime member of the Town of Palm Beach United Way and serves on the executive committee.
Jim Erneston is a founder and the president of J & J Produce Inc., a year-round grower and distributor of fruit and vegetables along the East Coast. With his wife of 45 years, Anna Marie, by his side, Erneston grew J & J Produce into the institution it is today. Headquartered in Loxahatchee, Fla., J & J operates five warehouse locations throughout the Southeast and has the capacity to serve most of the United States. The company represents other growers in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, and works closely with farming partners in Honduras, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The Ernestons are supporters of Heath Evans Foundation, Glades Outreach, Urban Youth Impact and The King's Academy.
Jon Thurman is the CEO of Westbrook Service Corporation, a privately held mechanical services and construction firm that has served homeowners and businesses in Central Florida for 61 years. Thurman has served at the helm of Westbrook for 11 years and represents the third generation of executive leadership for the company, which offers heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, gas and construction services. Prior to joining Westbrook, Thurman worked in the multi-national corporate world for more than 13 years leading an AT&T national account sales team for Hitachi Data Systems, the mainframe computing arm of Hitachi, Ltd. He also previously worked in the privately-held investment holding company arena.
They will be honored at the same ceremony with real estate developer Edward M. Kobel, president and chief operating officer of DeBartolo Development, LLC. DeBartolo Development has underwritten a real estate pipeline of more than $1 billion with an investment platform that spans from Hawaii to Florida.