The First Coast Business Hall of Fame, whose roster includes such iconic local names as Alexander Brest, Preston Haskell, Tom Petway, Peter Rummell, Jay Stein and Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, is welcoming a new member: Tim Cost.
Jacksonville University’s President will join the elite list at an induction Nov. 18 at the Florida Council on Economic Education’s 17th annual First Coast Business Hall of Fame luncheon, an event that honors the region’s most outstanding business and civic leaders while raising money to support economic and financial literacy education for area students.
This year’s honorees become part of a distinguished group of individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1999. They are nominated by local business peers and are only named after a rigorous final selection process by previous awardees and community leaders.
Additional past local figures inducted include Chester Aikens, Edward Burr, Gary Chartrand, Harry Frisch, William W. Gay Sr., Pat Geraghty, Hugh Greene, David Hicks, Robert Hill, Ambassador John D. Rood, Frederick Schultz, Linda Sherrer, Robert Shircliff and Michael Ward, to name a few.
“The honor is reserved for leaders who’ve made significant impacts through their business and civic achievements and by serving as lifelong examples of integrity and high ideals,” according to the FCEE. “Members of the Hall of Fame are inspirations to young people who will follow in their footsteps.”
Cost is a 1981 JU alumnus student-athlete who graduated magna cum laude, and later earned his M.B.A. in Finance and Economics from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester. Prior to his election as JU’s president in 2013, he was Executive Vice President for food and beverage world leader PepsiCo, with revenues of $60 billion and 300,000 employees. He has 32 years of senior executive experience at many of the world’s top companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kodak, ARAMARK, Wyeth/Pfizer, Centocor/Johnson and Johnson and Pharmacia.
At PepsiCo, he was responsible for “strengthening and protecting PepsiCo’s corporate reputation and strategically aligning its communications, public policy, foundation, investor relations, global health and regulatory agendas,” according to PepsiCo Chairman Indra Nooyi, who is regularly ranked by Fortune Magazine at the very top of its annual “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.” While at Wyeth, Cost was a senior executive team member who led the negotiations and execution to create two of the largest multi-billion dollar mergers in history with pharmaceutical company Pfizer. At ARAMARK, he was a senior executive team member overseeing a $10 billion management-led buyout, taking the company private in 2007.
Since arriving at JU, Cost has re-energized the University to focus on its undergraduate core and highly ranked professional programs to ensure superior student outcomes. To attract and retain the best, most talented students and strengthen JU’s competitive edge, Cost has brought in top talent, upgraded facilities and programs and positioned the University as a high-impact player in the region.
Among his many accomplishments, he has
- Helmed the $120 million ASPIRE comprehensive campaign, the biggest ever at JU;
- Helped secure a $12 million public investment – the largest state funding in the University’s 81-year history – to help launch the EPIC (Entrepreneurism, Policy, Innovation, and Commerce) inter-disciplinary initiative to create educational programming for highly qualified graduates in the highest-demand fields of STEM, health sciences, business analytics and information technology;
- Engineered the purchase of 40 riverfront acres immediately south of JU’s Arlington campus, its largest acquisition in more than half a century;
- Shepherded the addition of the campus’ new 274-room, state-of-the-art North residence hall;
- Attracted a multi-million dollar cooperative investment from health care leader Brooks Rehabilitation to help establish the newly named Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences;
- Recruited nine outstanding new members to the JU Board of Trustees;
- Attracted 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney as the University’s Spring 2015 Commencement speaker;
- Helped lead a broad-based effort that resulted in JU being named a finalist to host a 2016 Presidential Debate; and
- Put together an effort that led to JU and Jacksonville hosting the Florida Cup international soccer matches of top World Cup superstars.
In his many civic contributions, Cost is helping spearhead the Renew Arlington redevelopment initiative with the city to improve the area surrounding JU; is Lead Chair of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Strategic Initiative that will convene four citizen-led task forces to examine JSO and key areas of business at the agency; and is Chair of the education advisory board for the region’s community-based STEM2 Hub initiative meant to beef up education and training in the STEM2 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Medicine) fields. He serves on the boards of Web.com (NASDAQ: WWWW), JAX Chamber, the Jacksonville Civic Council, Brooks Rehabilitation, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the inaugural NCAA Division 1 Presidential Forum, among others.
In existence for more than 30 years, the FCEE prepares Florida youths for personal and financial success through educational programs in economics, the free enterprise system and personal financial literacy. It has trained thousands of Florida teachers to teach students from kindergarten through 12th grade to be financially savvy and understand the underlying economic principles of personal financial management. More information is available at www.fcee.org.
The 17th Annual First Coast Business Hall of Fame “Lighting the Way” induction ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront begins at 11 a.m. Nov. 18 with a reception, followed by a noon lunch and induction. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.fcee.org/awards-events/fcbhof/.