2015 John T. Brownlee Leadership Award Recipient: Mark Colvenbach, The University of Tampa

Alicia Smyth, 2015-16 Vice President, Florida Association of Colleges & Employers

Mark ColvenbachThe John T. Brownlee Leadership Award was established in 1987 by the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers (FloridaACE) in recognition of John T. Brownlee’s contribution and tireless efforts on behalf of the organization. It is the highest honor that a member of FloridaACE can receive and the list of recipients is a “who’s-who” of outstanding career services and human resources professionals who have led the way to make FloridaACE the exemplary organization that it is today. The 2015 FloridaACE John T. Brownlee Leadership Award recipient, Mark Colvenbach, is no exception.

To receive the Brownlee Leadership Award, one must receive two letters of nomination. Mark received seven. He was nominated by three colleagues at The University of Tampa, where he currently serves as the Director of the Office of Career Services. He received a nomination from a mentor at Florida State University, where he received his master’s degree in Counseling and Human Systems. He also received three nominations from FloridaACE board members who had worked with him over the years in both FloridaACE and as part of the Colleges of Central Florida Career Consortium. This is an overwhelmingly accurate testament to Mark’s dedication to FloridaACE and to the career services profession as a whole.

Mark joined the FloridaACE board in 2008 as the first Professional Development Director and stepped up to become President in 2011. He played a critical part in moving our association forward by negotiating our initial contract with MemberClicks and providing leadership during the system implementation. After rolling off the board in 2013, Mark has continued to promote FloridaACE through his role as Director – Employer Relations & Targeted Knowledge Groups on the Southern Association of Colleges & Employers (SoACE) board and continues to serve on various FloridaACE committees.

Excerpts from a few of the nominations Mark received include:

Not only, has this person made FloridaACE grow and develop, but he also has used his excellent leadership skills to identify and mentor new members who will become future FloridaACE leaders. He is often the first person to offer a helping hand or ear to others, both personally and professionally. His ethics and commitment to this profession set a standard for us all, as does his love and commitment to his family. He is the type of person you want as a colleague, and are forever thankful to call “friend.”
– Myrna Hoover, Director, FSU Career Center

This award commemorates John Brownlee’s “enormous energy and enthusiasm to the organization”. It is easy to show that Mark exemplifies that exact description. If one were to review the last decade of FloridaACE conference programs, it would be difficult to find a year that does not include Mark’s leadership as a breakout speaker, panelist, conference chair, committee member, board member, or volunteer.
– Tim Harding, Associate Dean of Career Development & Engagement, The University of Tampa

Throughout Mark’s professional career he has been actively engaged with FloridaACE and has served in a variety of capacities including leadership, volunteer, committee, presenter, and panelist roles. In addition to these roles, Mark is a strong advocate for FloridaACE “behind the scenes” and encourages others to take an active role with FloridaACE and other professional associations including SoACE and NACE. Mark’s dedication to the profession is evident with his continued contributions to FloridaACE and other associations. He is currently up for election to the Board of Directors of SoACE, serves as a well-respected member of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Tampa Economic Development Committee. Mark embodies the true characteristics of what a dedicated member of professional and community associations are – collaborative, engaging, committed, motivating, innovative, supportive, and dedicated.
– Katie Meyer Griffith, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services & Strategic Initiatives, The University of Tampa

Mark was a panelist at the 2014 Conference where he repeated a personal motto, “Trust the process.” I took this to mean that young professionals should focus on doing the right things in the right way for the right reasons and success is likely to follow. Clearly Mark’s advice is worth heeding for those beginning in their professional service, for those entering career services at a later point in their career, and for those who find themselves at some distance from their beginning. The process that Mark described in abstract is only amplified when one watches him work with his staff, students, and colleagues.
– Rob Liddell, Director of Career Planning, Saint Leo University

Congratulations to Mark, with many thanks for his vast and continual contributions to FloridaACE. He embodies the spirit of John T. Brownlee and as each of his seven nominators clearly stated, is truly deserving of this honor.

The call for nominations for the 2016 John T. Brownlee Leadership Award is coming soon, so please consider submitting a nomination for a deserving FloridaACE member. To see a list of past award recipients and to learn about selection criteria, please visit the Brownlee Leadership Award page on the FloridaACE website.