2020 Gator100 Awardees

Alumni from the University of Florida have created and guided some of the most innovative and profitable businesses in the nation and the world. Each year, the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center recognizes these amazing entrepreneurs with the Gator100 at a ceremony held on the main UF campus in Gainesville.

Congratulations to our talented Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering alumni who made the 2020 list for leading one of the world’s Fastest Growing Gator Companies! To view the full listing, visit https://www.eng.ufl.edu/newengineer/news/gator100-celebrates-the-worlds-fastest-growing-gator-companies-and-honors-uf-engineering-alumnus-scott-pressly-with-the-pinnacle-award.


  • Rex B. Kirby, Jr.
  • 1980 B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Rex Kirby, a 35+-year veteran of the construction industry, is the founder and president of Verdex Construction, LLC, located in Palm Beach, Florida. The company is involved in pre-construction concepts, construction management, design/build, general contracting, tenant improvements and special projects. Kirby is a licensed professional engineer and certified general contractor in the state of Florida. Verdex has received numerous awards from industry organizations, and Kirby is currently president of the board of HomeSafe, a South Florida organization focused on helping abused and abandoned children.


  • Kimberly C. Horlander
  • 1989 B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Kimberly Horlander is a founding principal and president of Protean Design Group, Inc., a multi-disciplined civil engineering consulting firm with expertise in transportation, traffic, and lighting. While Horlander’s main expertise is in the structural design of highway bridges, retaining walls and miscellaneous structures, she is also experienced in the areas of traffic and storm water engineering. As a member of both ASCE and FES, Horlander has served in leadership roles on numerous committees during her career, including Engineers Week (Chairman) and Engineering Management Forum (President).
  • Scott Horlander
  • 1988 B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Scott Horlander, vice-president/chief business officer and principal of Protean Design Group, Inc., has a broad range of experience, spanning more than 22 years, including roadway design, traffic engineering and traffic studies, highway lighting and drainage design. As a member of ASCE, FES and ASHE, he has served in various leadership and involvement roles.
  • David Reed
  • 1989 B.S. Civil Engineering
  • As vice-president/chief operations officer for Protean Design Group, as well as a principal in the company, David Reed offers clients more than 20 years of highway engineering experience, ranging from minor intersection improvements to complex interchange design. In addition to his extensive technical experience, Reed has been an active member of various technical societies including ASCE and FES.


  • Jess Fronckowiak
  • 2000 B. S. Civil Engineering
  • Jess Fronckowiak founded J2 Solutions, Inc., in 2002 and has transitioned it from a one-man start-up to a full-service, self-performing, design-build, construction management firm, servicing the entire state of Florida. His company has won numerous awards, including Business of the Year, Contractor of the Year and induction into the prestigious “BIG-50 Remodeling Contractors” from Remodeling Magazine. Today, as president of J2 Solutions, Inc., Fronckowiak splits his time between commercial business development and strategic planning.
  • David Fouche
  • 2001 B. S. Civil Engineering, 2002 M.E. Civil Engineering
  • David Fouche is co-owner and executive vice president of J2 Solutions, Inc., with the vision of growing the firm into a premier commercial contracting company. Fouche’s experience and knowledge in Health Care operations allowed him to earn the distinction of Certified Health Care Constructor (CHC) by the American Hospital Association. His current duties include leading the operations of the company, as well as all Health Care projects within acute care hospitals all over the state of Florida.