Blake Robinson, Anna Bernstein, Jared Weingard

Three Warrington students receive Outstanding Leader awards

Three University of Florida Warrington College of Business students, Blake Robinson (BSBA ‘23), Anna Bernstein (BSBA ‘23) and Jared Weingard (BSBA ‘23), are the recipients of the Outstanding Leader Award from the UF Alumni Association and UF Honors Program for their exemplary leadership during their time as students. 

The Outstanding Leader Award is given to select graduating candidates each semester, and recipients are featured in the commencement program. 

Anna Bernstein

Anna Bernstein

“I believe that a leader is someone who strives to create and foster an environment where those around them thrive and become great leaders themselves,” said Bernstein. 

“Leaders positively impact those they work with and constantly push others to achieve their goals. They understand that they are not perfect and will not always have the solutions to problems, yet they continue to strive for success in spite of this. Great leaders learn just as much from their co-workers as their co-workers learn from them.”

As part of the award application, candidates must submit an essay describing why they should be chosen as an Outstanding Leader at UF. In her essay, Bernstein addressed challenges that she faced as a leader. 

“The biggest challenge was during my time on the Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management (THEM) Society Executive Board. I initially ran for and was elected to Vice President of the society in March of 2021. Unfortunately, our President had to step down that April and through the line of succession, I became President. Since transitions had already occurred and school was ending, I was not given much training on the role and had to jump right in.”

Bernstein was able to use her experience in leadership roles from other organizations to overcome the challenge of being thrust into this new role. 

“My participation in the Heavener Leadership Challenge, one of the business school’s leading Career and Leadership (CLP) programs, exposed me to the different leadership styles and taught me how important it is to lead with compassion and encourage your team to be the best they can be.”

During her time at UF, Bernstein served in a number of organizations, including the J. Wayne Reitz Union Board of Managers, Homecoming & Gator Growl, The Agency, College of Journalism and Communications Ambassadors and Warrington Diplomats. She also served as an anchor for First at Five on WUFT and was an on-air personality for GHQ.

After graduation, Bernstein will continue her education at UF, pursuing a master’s in marketing and a master’s in mass communication. 

Blake Robinson

Blake Robinson

“From the moment I walked onto UF’s campus my goal was to serve the Gator Nation and be a leader that my mentors, friends and family would be proud of,” said Robinson. “To win this award is a confirmation that I have successfully been able to serve the University and, in some way, change UF for the better.”

“Leadership is the way you live your life every day. It is not the positions you hold, the money you make, or necessarily the people you know, but the effort, dedication and service you give during your days on Earth.”

In his essay, Robinson addressed how leaders serve their communities. 

“Our legacy is not left solely by the works we do, but how we make others feel.” 

Robinson increased pedestrian safety by helping lead the initiative to bring speed bumps to UF. He also helped establish a farmers’ market for local community residents to use and increased awareness for the Field and Fork pantry, and as Senior Class President, Robinson led the giving initiative for students on Giving Day and championed funds to help the Counseling and Wellness Center. 

During his time at UF, Robinson served in a number of organizations. In Florida Blue Key, he served as Assistant Treasurer, Treasurer, and Tapping Chair. In Student Government he served as Budget Committee Vice Chair, Majority Party Leader, Senior Class President and Senate President Pro-Tempore. Robinson was also a Reitz Scholar and recently inducted into the UF Hall of Fame. 

“Warrington College of Business has equipped me with the necessary tools to excel during college and after graduation,” said Robinson. “In every organization or role I was in, whether that was student government, Blue Key, my internship at J.P Morgan, or my fraternity, I was able to apply many of the concepts, values and experiences I learned at Warrington to my leadership positions.”

After graduation, Robinson will head to Miami where he has accepted a role as an analyst for JPMorgan in their commercial bank. 

Jared Weingard

Jared Weingard

“Winning this award means so much to me,” said Weingard. “Being acknowledged by the UFAA for giving back and being a leader at a university which has given so much to me is a great honor.”

When asked what leadership means to him, Weingard noted, “Leadership to me means being able to inspire, motivate, and set a clear vision towards a common goal. Being able to acknowledge achievements, set a direction, and work as a unit is the key to a successful leader.”

In his essay, Weingard spoke of the importance for leaders to be caring in their roles, as he learned in his role as Gator Growl Executive Producer. 

“With a team of well over 300 people, understanding how to lead with care and passion was crucial to the success of the show. Full team bonding events, fun and exciting meetings, and constant communication were vital to the ultimate success of Gator Growl, where we were thrilled to sell out the O’Connell Center with over 7,000 students, alumni, staff and community members attending.”

Leading by example was key for Weingard.

“Being able to lead a team of over 300 people, showing them what involvement is like at our university and how much we celebrate and honor our traditions, as well as learning how to be a part of a big team and to work together towards one common goal is something that I will always guide me,” he said. 

During his time at UF, Weingard served in a number of organizations and clubs including Homecoming and Gator Growl, Theta Chi Fraternity, Florida Blue Key, Student Government Productions and the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. 

“Warrington, more than anything, has provided me with a solid business background to work in corporate and transactional law, as well as the ability to work collaboratively in groups,” Weingard explained. “The classes that I have taken have prepared me to confidently grow in the business world and have introduced me to classmates who have become truly amazing friends”

After graduation, Weingard will attend the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he will focus on corporate and transactional law in the sports/entertainment field.