Successful Alumni Stories

Each week, we will feature alumni who are successful in their careers and in life, and who embody the positive impact of The Gator Nation®.

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Manuel A. Fernandez

» BS ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, '67

 

From developing one of the earliest laptop computers to creating the first programmable memory device, Manuel "Manny" Fernandez has long been at the forefront of technology. The industry pioneer and technology executive has led multiple technology-driven companies and currently serves as the managing director of SI Ventures, a firm he co-founded in 1996. Prior to that, Fernandez was an executive at several information technology companies, including the leading information research and advisory firm Gartner.

Fernandez serves on the boards of directors for Tibco Software Inc., Brunswick Corp., Time Inc., Leggett & Platt Inc. and RealVue Simulation Technologies Inc. He previously served as the executive chairman of Sysco’s board of directors, as a member of former President George W. Bush’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and on the boards of Stanley Black & Decker Corp. and Flowers Foods Inc.

As a distinguished alumnus and philanthropist, he has impacted the University of Florida through his generous support and service. When UF’s board of trustees formed in 2001, Fernandez was appointed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush and became chairman in 2003, a role he served in for four years. During his appointment, Fernandez helped implement a differential tuition program, chaired the presidential search committee that recommended the hiring of Bernie Machen and remained a strong advocate for the now Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program. In honor of his many contributions, Fernandez was awarded UF’s Association of Hispanic Alumni Gran Caiman Award, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation’s Distinguished Alumnus Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the UF Presidential Medallion.


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