Standouts known for their achievements in the military, higher education, philanthropy, healthcare, industry and civic involvement make up one of the strongest cohorts of Distinguished Alumni Jacksonville University has announced since the annual awards began in 1983.
Honored as “Distinguished Alumni of Excellence Class of 2016” members are Linda Berry Stein ’69, Mike Mittelman ’75 and Andy Moran ’78. This year’s “Scott Amos Recent Alumnus of Distinction” is Tom Peterson ’06.
Both awards are given to JU graduates demonstrating significant professional accomplishments, community and philanthropic efforts and continued support of JU, with the Scott Amos Recent Alumni of Distinction Award bestowed upon an exemplary Dolphin who has graduated in the past decade.
“It’s a great honor to recognize and celebrate these five extraordinary JU graduates,” said JU President Tim Cost. “These outstanding leaders are so generous with their time, spirit and energy toward their alma mater. They represent the finest in our University community.”
Below are some of the accomplishments of this year’s recipients, from their nominations:
Over several decades, Linda Stein has been a passionate community volunteer, leader and philanthropist. As chair of the Jacksonville Humane Society’s Capital Campaign, she successfully led the effort to raise funds to replace the shelter and education center that were destroyed by a fire in 2007. Due to the success of the campaign, a $1 million grant was secured from the Petco Foundation for Jacksonville’s model animal shelter.
Other organizations where she has made an impact include the Baptist Health Foundation through The Linda Berry Stein Going Home Endowed Fund and as a member of that board; as a member of the Women’s Board of Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital; co-chair of the United Way Women in Local Leadership; trustee of Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville; board member of the Jacksonville Zoological Society; and a board member of the Jacksonville Humane Society.
After graduating from JU in 1969 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree, Stein had an accomplished career with Delta Airlines. While attending JU, she was an active member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority and was named Miss JU.
Since she graduated, Stein has been a tremendous ambassador for JU in the community. She was an Alumni Board of Governors member, co-chaired the JU College of Fine Arts’ 50th Anniversary “CFA Soiree,” and is a Scholarship Student mentor. She has served on the JU Board of Trustees since 2004. She and her husband, David, have been great friends and supporters of JU. She has always placed the University’s students and their success and experience at the forefront of her interests.
The Steins’ generosity to the University includes donations to the ASPIRE campaign, the Linda and David Stein Scholars (Steiners), the redevelopment of the River House, the JU Fund, the JU Adopt A Classroom Program, the Annual Fund, and many other projects that benefit students and the university.
Rear Admiral Michael Mittelman, USN, is currently President and CEO of Salus University. Other titles he has held include Executive Assistant to the Surgeon General of the Navy; command surgeon U.S. Joint Forces Command and medical advisor to the Commander, Supreme Allied Command for Transformation (NATO); United States Pacific Command Surgeon, Honolulu, Hawaii; Commanding Officer of the U.S. Navy Hospital Okinawa Japan; Deputy Surgeon General of the Navy; and Deputy Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; just to name a few.
He is a Past President of the Armed Forces Optometric Society and recipient of its Orion Award. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2 awards), Legion of Merit Medal (5 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 awards), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (5 awards), and the Navy Expert Pistol ribbon.
His exemplary career included posts around the world and he became one of the most influential medical professionals to serve in the American military. Among many first, he was the first Navy aerospace optometrist, first optometrist to command a major naval hospital (Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan), first and only clinician to lead the Navy Medical Service Corps, and the first non-medical doctor to serve as the command surgeon for the U.S. Joint Forces
In addition to being a highly decorated naval officer, Rear Admiral Mittelman has been recognized by his medical peers. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO), Diplomate in the FAAO Section in Public Health and Environmental Vision, Member of the American Optometric Association and recipient of its 2012 Distinguished Service Award, and Recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Service Award of the American Optometric Association (AOA).
Rear Admiral Mittelman attended the 2005 National Capital Charter Reception, and has been a generous donor throughout the years. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jacksonville University in 1975, a Doctor of Optometry from the Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1980 and a Master of Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990. He graduated from the Naval War College non-resident program in 1991.
Andy Moran ’78
Andy Moran is President and CEO of FAM Holdings Inc., a diversified private holding company with interests in financial services, commercial real estate and private equity investments. He is also a founding member of The Newport Group, a national provider of retirement plan services for Fortune 1000 companies. Moran is directly responsible for client development, ongoing relationship management and retention of his direct accounts.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for SkyeTec Inc., a Jacksonville-based environmental services company, and a past member of the Board of Trustees of Jacksonville University, serving on the Investment and Athletics Committees. He is also a past member of JU Alumni Board of Governors.
In addition, Moran is a member of American Association Life Underwriters, an insurance industry group that focuses on legislative affairs at the state and federal level), and is President of the Lakes & Live Oaks Homeowners Association.
Moran graduated from JU in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in business management, having actively participated in campus organizations including Phi Delta Theta fraternity, the Intra Fraternity Council, Rugby Club and Outdoorsman’s Club.
He and his wife, Margot, have made generous donations to, among other initiatives and programs, the JU Fund, JU Scholarship Fund, Indra Nooyi International Business Scholarship Fund, Presidential Fund, History Department, Adopt-A-Classroom, Honors Program, and Softball. The Morans are JU ambassadors, influencing students’ decisions to attend JU and families’ investment in the University’s future.
Capt. Tom Peterson, Chief of Staff and Sales Management Operations for Black Knight Financial Services, is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserves, retiring as a Captain in 2010. He has served as either a Commanding or Executive Officer of several units and has received numerous medals and awards for his service. His military leadership roles included Weapons Logistics Officer with the Special Operations Command at McDill Air Force Base; Executive Officer of the Naval Air Warfare Center in Orlando; Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Terminal in Norfolk; Deputy Chief for Logistics for the Naval Air Systems Command; and Executive Officer of Operations Logistics Readiness reporting directly into the Navy Chief of Supply Corps.
He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal. He is also a Supply Corp recipient of the American Logistics Association Award.
Capt. Peterson has been with Black Knight and its predecessor companies for more than 18 years. As Chief of Staff, he works closely with the company’s CEO and provides executive-level support for a multitude of strategic initiatives. He is also responsible for sales management operations, which includes strategic planning and account management and reporting. Over the past two years, Capt. Peterson has been integral to the company’s acquisition by Fidelity National Financial; its initial public offering eighteen months later, which had an initial stock price of $24.50, and growing the company to a price of more than $35 per share.
Capt. Peterson earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Iowa State University and an Executive MBA from Jacksonville University. For the past 10 years, he has been a staple on the JU campus, serving in numerous capacities. He has worked closely with university presidents, deans of the Davis College of Business and athletic directors. He serves on the Executive Advisory Board and is currently the Strategic Development Sub-Committee chair. Capt. Peterson started a JU intern program 10 years ago at his company that still flourishes today. He has personally interviewed and hired more than 125 JU students, student-athletes and alumni as interns at Black Knight. In 2016 alone, he hired 12 JU students as summer interns and had another six employed throughout the rest of the year.
Capt. Peterson has been an integral part of JU’s Executive MBA program, ensuring employees from Black Knight are represented in the program. For the last decade he has recruited, interviewed and sent at least two employees to every class, a $100,000-per-year commitment to the DCOB program that he continues to oversee. He is also working with Dr. Robert Boylan, Chair of Finance & Accounting, and Dr. Pam Crawford, Chair of Mathematics, to provide them access to Black Knight’s massive public records database so they may use it for research, projects and publishing.
Capt. Peterson is known for his civic and public service. Among many volunteer positions, he has served as a youth baseball coach in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, Cub Master for Cub Scout Pack 277, member of the finance committee for the St. John Paul II Catholic Mission Church in Nocatee, and a volunteer with The Northeast Florida Regional STEM2Hub and St. Johns County STEM programs.