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Parker receives South Florida Ultimate CEO award

Photo provided by the South Florida Business Journal. From left: Michael Chicas, sales director, Comcast Business, PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D., Mel Melendez, editor-in-chief, South Florida Business Journal, and Kelley Brown, EVP, market executive and Commercial Banking Area executive Broward and Palm Beach Counties at Regions Bank.

Palm Beach State President Ava L. Parker, J.D., has received the 2022 South Florida Ultimate CEO award from the South Florida Business Journal for her visionary business leadership.

The award was presented by Comcast Business during a ceremony Nov. 17 at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. As a recipient, Parker was featured with other honorees on the cover of the business journal’s Nov. 18 edition.

Parker was among 15 honorees, who were recognized for their amazing contributions to their company, the community and the overall economic fabric of South Florida.

Parker was spotlighted individually on Aug. 31 as part of the journal’s weekly “Ultimate CEO Insights” in print and online, leading up to the awards ceremony. The magazine also selected her as a 2022 Power Leader in Education for its Sept. 30 issue.

“Thank you for this award and congratulations to all the Ultimate CEO honorees,” Parker said during the ceremony. “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of Palm Beach State College. The ultimate CEOs are our students at Palm Beach State College. They are the future.”

Parker also shared the advice given to her by one of her mentors, who said, “Always challenge yourself to do more.”

“That is how I start each day, with the thought – What more can I do to help each of our students achieve their goals?” she said.

Parker, who has served as president of Palm Beach State since 2015 and is the first female president in the history of the institution, also said that PBSC is proud to be among the great 28 public colleges preparing the future workforce and moving students and their families up the economic ladder.

Under Parker’s leadership, the College, which will be celebrating its 90th anniversary next year, opened a fifth campus, improved student success rates, increased enrollment growth, developed a Cross-Cultural Equity Institute, was designated top status of GOLD in the Florida College System ranking in 2017, and increased support for the College from both public and private sources.

The College has also been named five times among the top 150 community colleges in the nation eligible to complete for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. It also has been chosen a “Top 10” Military Friendly® School for the fourth consecutive year by VIQTORY, a highly regarded military publisher; is ranked among the Top Online Colleges by Newsweek and Statista; and is recognized as one of the Top 100 Colleges for Hispanic Students by Hispanic Outlook magazine.

“This program truly honors the ‘best of the best’ in business leadership, while also spotlighting how their charitable efforts improve our region,” SFBJ President and Publisher Melanie Dickinson said. “So, we couldn’t be happier about honoring these extraordinary men and women who help shape our region and advance our local economy.”

The CEOs honored in South Florida’s Ultimate CEO Awards are personally selected by key South Florida Business Journal team members, led by editor-in-chief Mel Melendez.

Now in its seventh year, the South Florida Ultimate CEO Awards honors the breadth of leadership across South Florida’s key sectors, including real estate, banking, health care, technology and education.

For more information on the awards including past winners, click here.

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