Ken McGurn, past chair of FW, honored by UF

Ken McGurn, past chair of the FloridaWorks’ board, and Linda McGurn were honored with the University of Florida’s 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The University of Florida’s Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor a graduate can achieve. The award signifies a graduate’s contributions in his or her chosen field or outstanding service to the university. The distinction is reserved only for those who have achieved true excellence.

Ken and Linda own McGurn Investment Company and have been instrumental in the redevelopment of downtown Gainesville. They have received over 60 local, state and national awards for their projects, including a HUD National Certificate of Merit. Their projects include dozens of new and renovated buildings including the Opera House which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Sun Center which houses the Downtown Tech Center. There, Ken and Linda provide office space, mentoring and financing for startup companies which have help create dozens of high tech jobs and a thriving tech community in downtown Gainesville.

They are heavily involved in sustainable development and have invested in over 500,000 watts of solar voltaic electrical generating capacity. They have been recognized for their environmental work including being the Alachua County Conservation Stewards of the Year, receiving a Sustainable Florida Award presented by Governor Jeb Bush and recognition by the national Alliance to Save Energy.

They have established two major endowments at the University of Florida including one in support of the Warrington College of Business Administration to be used at the Dean’s discretion. Both serve on the Dean’s Advisory Board and the UF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Board.

To learn more about the impact that Ken and Linda McGurn has in the Gainesville community, click here

Ms. McGurn is a past chair of the UF Foundation Board of Directors and past chair of the Foundation Audit Committee. She is co-chair of UF Women which works to engage women in leadership and philanthropy at UF. She was also a member of the Steering Committee for UF’s Fisher School of Accounting. She earned a BSBA in accounting and a JD from the University of Florida.

Dr. McGurn is past chair of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the UF Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. He has a PhD in Real Estate, Finance and Economics, a BSBA in Management and a Masters in Real Estate and Urban Land Planning, all from the University of Florida.

Both have served on numerous local and state volunteer boards. Both at various times have been honored by the Chamber of Commerce for their volunteer work, Linda most recently for her work as co-chair of Innovation Gainesville which is dedicated to expanding the high tech industry in Gainesville. She has been involved in Planned Parenthood since attending UF – serving on the board and as chair for several years. She was recently named a Santa Fe College Woman of Distinction. Governor Lawton Childs recognized her as One of Florida’s Finest for her many efforts to better the community and the state. She is a member of Leadership Florida Class XVII. She serves on the board of Florida Capital Bank. She is an attorney and CPA.

Dr. McGurn has chaired many organizations including, the national award winning Alachua-Bradford County Work Force Board, Downtown Redevelopment Agency, County Housing Finance Authority, State Home Builders PAC, Apartment Association and Gold Standard Multimedia, Inc. as well as chairing committees in the Plan to End Homelessness, the Early Learning Coalition and arts organizations. He is a state licensed General Contractor, Community Association Manager and real estate Broker.

Dr. McGurn is an Army Viet Nam veteran who served on active duty for 7 years as a paratrooper, jungle expert and spy. He was probably the youngest Captain in the military at age 22. He met Linda on a blind date in 1971 in North Carolina and convinced her to come to Florida to be his wife and a Gator!