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 Awards.
Congratulations to our talented Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering alumni who made the 2021 list for leading one of the world’s Fastest Growing Gator Companies! To view the full comprehensive list, please visit https://www.eng.ufl.edu/newengineer/news/gator-100-recognizes-17-engineering-alumni-in-2021.
NO. 10 – CARBONXT, INC.
2014 B.S. Environmental Engineering, 2018 Ph.D. Environmental Engineering
Dr. Regina Rodriguez is the president of Carbonxt, Inc., a growing and active participant in the global effort to reduce environmental pollutants through the development of activated carbons to filter air and water. Dr. Rodriguez currently sits as the Chairperson of the Activated Carbon Standards Committee for the American Water Works Association. She designs and implements new business operations and technology across various sectors while overseeing operations of the company. She has authored numerous technical papers and has been granted multiple emissions related patents. Dr. Rodriguez is a member of The Committee of 200, a prestigious organization of the world’s most successful women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders.
2002 B.S. Environmental Engineering, 2004 M.E. Environmental Engineering
Jack Drwiega, the Capital Projects Manager at Carbonxt, Inc., has over sixteen years of experience in water purification system technologies and mechanical design and construction. He specializes in capital and engineering project execution, combining his team management experience in facility operations to support scale-up expansion of advanced sorbents and technologies at Carbonxt.
NO. 29 – J2 SOLUTIONS, INC.
2000 B. S. Civil Engineering
Jess Fronckowiak founder and president of J2 Solutions, Inc., has transitioned it from a one-man start-up in 2002 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, Fronckowiak splits his time between commercial business development and strategic planning.
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.
NO. 31 — JK2 SCENIC
2001 B. S. Civil Engineering
Julie Holmes is president of JK2 Scenic, a spin-off of JK2 Construction, a woman-owned specialty construction firm a full service theming contractor providing unique projects in the retail, theme park, entertainment, hospitality, and restaurant industries. Under Holmes’ leadership, the company has seen amazing growth and has been honored numerous times, receiving multiple Associated Builders and Contractors Eagle Awards and making the Orlando Business Journal’s Fast 50 list.
NO. 33 – GULF COAST UNDERGROUND, LLC
2005 B.S. Civil Engineering, 2006 M.E. Civil Engineering
Spencer Tuell is a partner in and president of Gulf Coast Underground, LLC, located in Theodore (Mobile), Alabama. Gulf Coast Underground aims to be recognized as the premier sewer infrastructure inspection and rehabilitation contractor in the Southeast. The company provides quality trenchless sewer rehabilitation using innovative methods and performance-driven teams to deliver upgraded infrastructure that clients can trust. In addition to growing his company, Tuell supports the children of Alabama through is position as a board member of Fuse Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the spark for innovation, funding and implementation of projects benefiting children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Fuse Project invests in initiatives promoting children’s health, fitness, education and social responsibility.
NO. 45 – TELLUS
1989 B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1993 M.E. Environmental Engineering, 1993 MBA Finance/Economics
Chris Pernicano has more than 20 years of experience in the finance technology space across all aspects of small and medium company operations. He is the chief technology officer (CTO) at Tellus, a leading provider of mobile care delivery, Electronic Visit Verification (eVV) and claims processing technology designed especially for the home health and long-term care markets. In 1996, Pernicano co-founded his first startup; and by 2000, he had co-founded his second, a SaaS-based technology startup that would eventually become the second largest of its kind in the country. He transitioned to Tellus in 2017. In 2021, Pernicano was appointed by Governor DeSantis to the North Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners.
NO. 78 – PLANATE MANAGEMENT GROUP
1989 M.E. Civil Engineering
Christian Decker is the president and founder of Planate Management Group, with over 30 years of military and civilian installation management experience both in uniform and as a senior government civilian and contractor. Since he founded the company in 2007, Mr. Decker has led a diverse team of technical experts who are experienced in working in some of the most complex and difficult environments worldwide, providing planning, design, construction and professional services solutions for Planate’s clients. Mr. Decker is a founding member and has been a board member since inception of Navy Safe Harbor Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting the recovery of wounded, ill, and injured Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and their families by assisting them with resources not currently provided by the U.S. government or other community resources.