Rollins MBA Names Christopher Gassner as 2011 Distinguished Leader of Merit

April 1, 2011 — The Rollins MBA announces that full-time MBA student, Christopher Gassner, has been awarded this year's SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit award. Gassner was presented with the honor during last night’s ceremony at the school and will be recognized again for his achievement during the Rollins MBA commencement ceremony on April 30, 2011. In addition to Gassner, Rollins MBA students Retu Jalhan and Megan Lanier were named SunTrust Leaders of Merit, and Beth Geis and Caroline Ngyuyen, finalists, at the ceremony.

The SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit award is the top honor given to the student in the Rollins’ MBA Center for Leadership Development who best exemplify the qualities of ethical, responsible and thoughtful leadership, and who have applied these characteristics and practices at the school and throughout the community. Supported by the generosity of SunTrust Bank, this recognition is considered to be among the most prestigious awards given by the Rollins MBA.

“The SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit award recognizes students who thrive on developing leadership skills in preparation for obtaining such positions upon graduation,” said Susan A. Bach, director of the Rollins MBA Center for Leadership Development. “Upon receiving the award and taking the next steps in their career, these students advance among their peers and are ready to make a positive impact in the workplace.”

The criteria for these awards consist of behavioral assessments, participation in leadership coaching, attendance at leadership programs, course completion in leadership and communication, and community service.  Students who meet these requirements compile a Leadership Portfolio which details leadership development and includes a development plan, written reflections of demonstrated leadership, references, a resume and objectives for future leadership based on what has been learned earning the Rollins MBA. The entrants are judged by a selection panel of local Orlando business leaders.

This year’s selection panel was: Marna Killian, VP, Margaritaville; Trey (Rex) McPherson, VP, RD Keene Trust; Theresa Williams, SVP relationship manager, Wachovia Wells Fargo; Richard Watkins, SVP, public wealth management, Sun Trust Bank; and Whitney McDonald, 2009’s SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit.