Campus & Community

Parker receives leadership award from the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce

George Gentile and Ava L. Paker, J.D.

Ava L. Parker, J.D. has received the Ed Tancer Community Leader of the Year Award from the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce. She was one of six distinguished nominees for the award.

It was presented on May 11 at the Pelican Club in Jupiter, Fla. by George Gentile, the founder and senior partner of 2GHO and the 2022 Ed Tancer Community Leader.

“President Parker has shown tremendous commitment to the community of Palm Beach North,” said CEO and President Noel Martinez. “She has inspired community-wide support, exemplified the highest standards of business and community leadership and has made an impact on our growth through her leadership at PBSC.”

She was nominated by City of Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Chelsea Reed and PBSC’s Kimberly Lea, dean of workforce education and development.

Under her leadership, Palm Beach State has been designated the future home of the world’s first tech golf sports and entertainment venue, which broke ground this week at the Palm Beach Gardens Campus. Co-founders of the initiative, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, were on hand to present a $1million gift to the Foundation for Palm Beach State College, which will benefit students and help fund technology career pathways and other academic initiatives.

Parker’s emphasis on preparing a technologically capable labor force makes PBSC the go-to institution for students on the path to STEM careers. PBSC is one of 70 community colleges across the nation selected to participate in the Artificial Intelligence Incubator Network, where colleges collaborate on creating an AI curriculum, teaching best practices, and lab development. The College is also a leader in workforce development and partnerships that drive economic mobility.

During Parkers tenure, PBSC opened a fifth campus, improved student success rates, increased enrollment growth, and developed an Equity Institute to provide a research-centered approach to accelerating college completion. In 2017, PBSC was designated top status of GOLD in the Florida College System ranking.

PBSC is ranked among the Top Online Colleges by Newsweek and Statista; is recognized as one of the Top 100 Colleges for Hispanic Students by Hispanic Outlook magazine; and has been chosen a “Top 10” Military Friendly® School for the fourth consecutive year by VIQTORY, a highly regarded military publisher.

PBSC was recently selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, providing the global company’s hourly employees with access to the College’s more than 130 degree and certificate programs.

For more information on the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, visit

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