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UNF president named one of the Jacksonville Business Journals’ 2023 Ultimate CEOs

Shortly after he wrapped up his first year as president of the University of North Florida, Moez Limayem was named one of 25 recipients of the Jacksonville Business Journal’s 2023 Ultimate CEO award on Wednesday. 

The award is a celebration of some of the men and women whose stewardship of their organizations, community involvement and overall leadership have helped shape the First Coast and its economy, according to the Business Journal’s announcement

“It is an honor to lead this outstanding University,” Limayem said in a UNF press release on Friday. “This recognition reflects the great work of our entire team at UNF, including our dedicated Board of Trustees and our talented faculty and staff. Every day we are inspired by our amazing students, who are doing incredible work and already making their mark on our community.” 

Limayem took the helm as UNF’s seventh president in August 2022. UNF is the only public university in Jacksonville. The Business Journal selects recipients of the award with input from local business leaders. 

Limayem smiling, wearing a blue suit
University of North Florida President Moez Limayem talks to Spinnaker reporters on Friday, Sep. 2, 2022. (Justin Nedrow)

Looking back

Two months ago, the Board of Trustees approved his 5-year strategic plan, which set lofty goals for the university: to grow UNF’s enrollment to 25,000 by 2028; to rank among the Top 100 Public Universities in the U.S. News & World Report. It will soon go before the Florida Board of Governors for final approval.

Since the debut of the university’s strategic plan, the Princeton Review named UNF among the “Best of the South” universities in early August, and Money magazine named UNF “one of America’s Best Colleges” in July. 

Making a splash when he was announced as one of the final candidates to lead UNF, Limayem previously served as the Lynn Pippenger Dean of the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business. In that role, he was named one of the Power 100: Tampa Bay’s Most Influential Business Leaders of 2022 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. 

The award

The Jacksonville Business Journal has honored various local leaders with the Ultimate CEO award for over a decade. All honorees have been in their role for at least a year and demonstrated “organizational leadership, community engagement and other attributes that are helping create the Jacksonville of the future,” wrote Timothy Gibbons, the editor-in-chief of the Jacksonville Business Journal. 

Selected by the Business Journal with the input of local business leaders, these honorees stand as an example of leadership in the Jacksonville area, according to the Business Journal.

Here are all 25 local business leaders who were also honored by the Jacksonville Business Journal. 

  • Andy Allen of Corner Lot Development
  • Kimberly Allen of 904WARD
  • Michael Brannigan of Suddath
  • Jennifer Brown of KIPP Jacksonville Public Schools
  • Tom Crowley of Crowley
  • Caitlin Doherty of MOCA Jacksonville
  • Kyle Etzkorn of Borland Groover
  • Arun Gulani of Gulani Vision Institute
  • Jack Hanania of Hanania Automotive Group
  • Corey Hasting of Engel & Volkers First Coast
  • Don Hune of Lift Power
  • Cristine Kirk of Malone AirCharter
  • Nick Largura of Superior Construction
  • Moez Limayem of the University of North Florida
  • Robert Lynn of Future Home Loans
  • Paul Martinez of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida
  • Peter Menziuso of Johnson & Johnson Vision
  • Sonya Morales-Marchisillo of Pinnacle Communications Group LLC
  • R. Lawrence Moss of Nemours Children’s Health
  • Quang Pham of Cadrenal Therapeutics
  • Ju’Coby Pittman of Clara White Mission
  • Jennifer Ryan of Volunteers in Medicine Jacksonville Inc.
  • Ted Schremp of IQ Fiber
  • George Stavros of Pacesetter Technology
  • Jay Stowe of JEA

All the honorees will be celebrated with a special section of the Jacksonville Business Journal and an event in October. The Business Journal will spotlight what each honoree has accomplished, what they have learned along the way and what they see on the horizon, according to the Business Journal.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Carter Mudgett
Carter Mudgett, Reporter
Carter Mudgett is a University of North Florida student majoring in multimedia journalism. He was Spinnaker's editor-in-chief from August 2021 to December 2023. Carter led Spinnaker to be awarded a 2023 Online Pacemaker Award, and most recently placed second in the Society of Professional Journalists's Sunshine State Awards for "Best Coverage of LGBT Issues" in the college category. Backed by a passion for creative storytelling and accurate reporting, Carter typically covers education, gender and race issues.
Justin Nedrow
Justin Nedrow, Photographer
Justin Nedrow is a Jacksonville-based photographer who started volunteering for Spinnaker in 2020 and recently graduated in spring 2023 with a degree in sports management from the University of North Florida. Taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, Justin has helped Spinnaker reporters cover everything from sports games, protests, ordinary campus life and more. Photography is a passion project for Justin, one he started to meet new people and express himself without words.

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