TROY - Troy University will honor four alumni with Alumni of the Year awards at halftime of the University's homecoming game on Nov. 12 against North Texas. Kickoff for the game has been moved to noon to accommodate television broadcast.
Don Gaetz of Niceville, Fla., Charles Jinright of Montgomery, Claudene Bowdoin Nichols of Daphne and Brett Wilson of New Canaan, Conn., will be honored with Alumni of the Year awards. In addition to the presentation at halftime, the honorees will be recognized at an invitation-only dinner on Nov. 11 and an invitation-only breakfast reception in Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall on Nov. 12.
The awards are presented annually by the University as a part of its Homecoming celebration. Nominations are solicited, and winners are selected by the Troy University Alumni Association's Board of Directors based on outstanding professional accomplishments, civic achievements and loyalty and service to Troy University.
"We are pleased to honor these four alumni for their contributions to their professions and their communities, as well as their continued support for Troy University," said Faith Ward, director of alumni affairs.
Gaetz, who earned his Master of Public Administration degree from TROY in 2000, is president-elect of the Florida State Senate. Elected to the Senate in 2006, Gaetz previously served as superintendent of the Okaloosa, Fla. County School District from 2000-2006 and is co-founder and vice chairman (retired) of VITAS Healthcare Corp., the nation's largest provider of end-of-life care.
Gaetz is a member of the Okaloosa County Economic Development Council's Executive Board, the Salvation Army Board of Directors, the Gulf Coast Council of Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors, the Niceville-Valparaiso-Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Okaloosa-Walton Workforce Development Board and Troy University's Emerald Coast Alumni Chapter. He was the founding chairman of the Florida State Hospice Organization, and president and chairman of the Board of the National Hospice Organization. He and his wife, Victoria Quertermous, reside in Niceville, Fla.
Jinright, a 1968 marketing graduate, is chairman of the Board of Securance Insurance Group and president of the Montgomery City Council. In 2009, he served as interim mayor of the City of Montgomery after then-Mayor Bobby Bright was elected to Congress.
Jinright is a member of the Troy University Montgomery Campus Advisory Council; the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce's Governmental Affairs Committee; the Business Council of Alabama's Governmental Affairs Committee; the Capital City Rotary Club; the Board of Directors of the Tukabatchee Council of the Boy Scouts of America; the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries; and, the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Area Food Bank. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery and Troy University's Montgomery Metro Alumni Chapter. He and his wife, Martha, make their home in Montgomery.
Nichols, a 1969 graduate with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education, is co-owner of Prudential Nichols Real Estate with offices in Daphne, Bay Minette, Fairhope and Loxley. She is a past recipient of the State Department of Human Resources Commissioner Award for Resource Development; Child Advocate of the Year as selected by The Junior League of Birmingham; the Rotary Club's Citizen of the Year; a National Award Winner by Prudential Financial; and, the Prudential Chairman's Gold Winners' Circle for those in the top 2 percent nationally in sales.
Nichols is a past president of the Baldwin County Association of Realtors; a life member of the Honorary Board of the South Baldwin County United Way; past chair of the Board of Directors for CARE House, Inc., Baldwin County's Advocacy Center; and Treasurer for the Board of Directors of The Lighthouse, Baldwin County's home for abused women and their children. She also is a lifetime member of the Troy University Alumni Association, a member of the Troy University Foundation Board, chairperson for major gifts on the University's Building Beyond Boundaries Steering Committee and an active member of TROY's Southeast Alabama Alumni Chapter. She and her husband, Sonny, reside in Daphne.
Wilson, a 1985 marketing graduate, is publisher of Parade Publications where he oversees sales and marketing strategies for the largest circulation magazine in the U.S. and all of the company's print and digital properties. Prior to joining Parade, Wilson was senior vice president of advertising sales for USA Today. He previously spent 21 years working for Time, Inc., most recently as publisher of Money Magazine. In that role, he was responsible for all aspects of the business side of the magazine. He also served as associate publisher/North America for Time Magazine, where he was responsible for all of Time's U.S. and Canada sales revenue. Before joining Time, Inc. in 1991, Wilson worked in advertising sales and marketing at Southern Living Magazine.
Wilson is a member of ODK, the national leadership honor society, and the Troy University Alumni Association. He and his wife, Patricia, reside in New Canaan, Conn.