Bill Heavener
James W. "Bill" Heavener received UF's Distinguished Alumnus Award.

James “Bill” W. Heavener receives UF Distinguished Alumnus Award

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In honor of his successful business exploits and dedication and outstanding service to the Warrington College of Business Administration and the University of Florida, James “Bill” W. Heavener received the UF Distinguished Alumnus Award at Commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

“Words can’t describe the feeling one has looking out over all the graduates embarking on their life’s journey,” Mr. Heavener said. “The privilege and honor of being a part of this is unbelievable.”

Mr. Heavener (BSBA ’70) has fashioned thriving business ventures in numerous areas. He is Chief Executive Officer of The Heavener Company, where he holds and manages interests in education, media production, internet services, real estate franchising, publishing, banks and information technology.

“Bill Heavener is innovative, a leader and an individual who has a strong passion for the University of Florida,” said Dr. John Kraft, Dean of the Warrington College of Business Administration. “He is clearly deserving of this recognition.”

Mr. Heavener is a driving force in the field of media entertainment education. He is Co-Chairman and CEO of the Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla., routinely ranked as one of the premier schools in film, music and gaming. He is also Co-Chairman of The Los Angeles Film School, The Los Angeles Recording School and Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Mr. Heavener also serves as Managing Partner of Platinum Creative Media Production, as well as a Director of Alliance Multimedia Investors, Inc.

Mr. Heavener also manages companies in the real estate and technology sectors. He is the Managing Director of ERA Europe, a group of 1,300 European residential real estate offices located in 19 European Union countries, and Co-Chairman of ProMarketWeb, Ltd., a developer of Internet-based European residential MLS. Mr. Heavener serves as Co-Chairman and CEO of Silver City Partners of Florida and serves as the Co-CEO and Director of Pioneer Technology Group, LLC, a software development company specializing in solutions for government institutions.

Previously, Mr. Heavener was a co-founding principle in ERA Real Estate Southeast, ERA Mortgage, Inc. and ERA Insurance Inc., Provident Bank Corp. of Florida, The Enterprise Bank Network and several Enterprise Banks, in Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa and Palm Beach. He was a member of Governor Jeb Bush’s transition team for the Department of Transportation, a Governor’s Appointee to the Florida Housing Finance Authority and Director of Fannie Mae Southeast.

Mr. Heavener is also heavily involved in many civic and charitable organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors of the UF Foundation, UF Alumni Association, the Warrington College of Business Administration’s Business Advisory Council and Gator Boosters, Inc. He is also a member of the Harvard Club of Central Florida and New York and a graduate of the Harvard Business School OPM (Owner/President Management) Program.