College of Business Alumnus Brent Burns is 2016 Hall of Fame Inductee

Alumni from eight of FAU’s colleges were honored for their career accomplishments, and Brent Burns, B.B.A. ’81, was introduced as the 2016 inductee into the FAUAA Hall of Fame.

Pictured from left to right, 2016 Florida Atlantic University Alumni Hall of Fame inductee Brent Burns, executive vice president and chief operating officer of JM Family Enterprises, Inc., and FAU President John Kelly.

The Florida Atlantic University Alumni Association (FAUAA) last night hosted its Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni ceremony and reception. More than 200 guests attended the event, which brought together alumni to celebrate the accomplishments of their most outstanding peers. Alumni from eight of FAU’s colleges were honored for their career accomplishments, and College of Business alumnus Brent Burns, B.B.A. ’81, was introduced as the 2016 inductee into the FAUAA Hall of Fame. Since 1985, the Hall of Fame has served as a platform for recognizing alumni excellence.

Burns is executive vice president and chief operating officer of JM Family Enterprises, Inc., a $14.5 billion diversified automotive company based in Deerfield Beach. JM Family is ranked No. 21 on Forbes’ list of “America’s Largest Private Companies.” It is also ranked No. 66 by FORTUNE® as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®, its 18th consecutive year on the list.

As COO, Burns oversees JM Family’s three operating business units – Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, World Omni Financial Corp. and JM&A Group – and leads the organization’s overall strategic planning and diversification efforts.

Burns joined JM Family in 2000 with nearly 20 years of leadership experience in automotive operations and finance.

Burns said he grew up in an entrepreneurial family and loved business from a young age. FAU helped prepare him for the business world, Burns said, which put him on a successful journey.

“It's a very humbling experience for me to accept this recognition,” said Burns, a 1981 graduate of the FAU College of Business. “I congratulate and admire the accomplishments of all the honorees who are here this evening.”

FAU President John Kelly said it's a great time to come back to FAU — the No. 1-ranked top performing university by the Florida Board of Governors.

“You are always family, and welcome home,” Kelly said to all of the alumni honorees.  

Representing eight of FAU’s colleges are the following distinguished alumni:

Gary Enzor, B.A.S. ’84, M.B.A. ’90, College of Engineering and Computer Science – Gary Enzor is chairman and chief executive officer of Quality Distribution, based in Tampa, and a director of USA Truck (USAK) in Fort Smith, Ark. Quality Distribution traded on the Nasdaq (QLTY) from 2003 to 2015, before going private via an acquisition by APAX Partners in August 2015. Quality operates the largest chemical bulk transportation fleet in North America with approximately $1 billion in revenue.

Randy Goin Jr., B.A.R.C. ’00, M.A. ’02, College for Design and Social Inquiry – As chief of staff for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, Randy Goin works with government, business and university leaders to advance the mission of the university system and its 14 institutions. He also leads the public affairs unit, which includes communications, governmental relations and media relations.

Melissa Hart, M.F.A. ’90, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters – A veteran of several Broadway musicals, Melissa Hart’s Broadway credits include “Candide,” “Scarlet  Pimpernel,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Apple Tree,” “Georgy” for which she received a TONY nomination, and “Cabaret” in which she played Sally Bowles on Broadway and in the first national company. She portrayed Fran Kubelik opposite Tony Roberts in the national tour of “Promises, Promises.”

Andrew S. Horowitz, B.S. ’15, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science – Andrew Horowitz is a medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He received a bachelor ’s degree in biological sciences at FAU in 2015, graduating with magna cum laude honors. As a medical student, Horowitz runs the volunteer ophthalmology service along with practicing ophthalmologists at a free healthcare clinic in Malden, Mass. He aspires to become involved in global health work and clinical re- search while in medical school as he trains to become a competent and compassionate physician.

Peter F. Striano III, B.A. ’94, College of Business – Peter F. Striano lll joined Northwestern Mutual in 1992 as the agency’s first college agent. He signed his full-time contract after a successful college career in 1993. He has held the titles of college agent, special agent, college unit director, field director, managing director, and he was appointed to managing partner in January 2008.

Carol Tuttas, Ph.D., R.N.; M.S.N. ’02, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing – Carol Tuttas’ 24-year nursing career includes clinical experience in acute intermediate cardiac care, acute and long-term nursing management roles, and an administrative role with a national health care staffing firm where she was responsible for Joint Commission certification compliance. In 2013, Tuttas joined CGFNS International, Inc. (CGFNS), located in Philadelphia, where she serves as the chief programs officer at CGFNS, overseeing operations for all programs and services.

Valerie Smith Wanza, Ph.D. ’09, College of Education – Valerie Smith Wanza is chief school performance and accountability officer for Broward County Public Schools. Since 2010, she has served as an adjunct professor at FAU in the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology. While most of her teaching assignments are in the master’s level program, she serves on doctoral dissertation committees as well. Additionally, she owns and operates Principal Voices, LLC, which provides a host of educational consulting services to community and faith-based organizations.

Erica Young, Ph.D.; B.A. ’05, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College – As a staff scientist with Courtney Miller at Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Erica Young has been key to the discovery that methamphetamine-associated memories are vulnerable to disruption by targeting actin cytoskeleton dynamics in the amygdala. This discovery has generated a lot of interest as a potential therapy for substance abuse not only from the scientific community, but also in the popular press.

For more information about the FAUAA, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-888-FAU-ALUM or, or visit