For their leadership and commitment to community, three Rollins alumni have been recognized by the Orlando Business Journal in its annual 40 Under 40 Awards.
From left: Courtney Reynolds ’03, Eddie Fernandez ’03 ’04MBA, and Dr. Anjali Vyas ’04
Orlando Business Journal has released its annual list of 40 Under 40 Award winners, and three Tars have made the cut. Each year, the publication recognizes standout individuals whose successes are defined by their business acumen, philanthropic efforts, and community leadership. Rollins’ 2020 honorees include a cutting-edge physician leading her team through the pandemic, a fierce warrior in the world of public transit, and an accomplished attorney committed to public safety and skilled in complex cross-border issues.
Award winners were nominated by their peers. To be eligible, nominees must be under 40, occupy a leadership position, engage in some form of giving back, and work in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Volusia, or Brevard counties. Here’s a look at how the Rollins grads recognized this year are living out the mission of the College as global citizens and responsible leaders who are making an indelible impact through their work and service.
Dr. Anjali Vyas ’04, an internal medicine doctor who serves as president of Orlando Health Physician Associates, faced the biggest challenge of her career this past March when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world. Vyas and her team—which includes 172 physicians and 40 advanced practitioners—put together a virtual and on-site primary care visit system in 14 days.
As the pandemic has continued to present unprecedented hardships, Vyas worked to provide tools and information to the greater community about how to safely resume activities and reached out to local schools to see how Orlando Health could assist with their educational, day-care, and sports-related activities.
“I have reached my ultimate career goal, which is to work for an organization with high integrity and as a leader in serving the primary care needs of our community,” says Vyas, who majored in biology at Rollins and credits her professors for going above and beyond to support her growth and learning.
Prior to Orlando Health, Vyas served as the chief medical officer at Family Physicians Group, associate medical director at VITAS Healthcare, and CEO of FPG Healthcare, Central Florida’s first accountable care organization, where she helped cut nearly $4 million in health-care costs.
A native Spanish speaker whose heritage hails from Cuba and Spain, Eddie Fernandez ’03 ’04MBA has already had a prolific career in both corporate law and public office, having worked for many years at the statewide firm of Shutts & Bowen and serving as Orange County Clerk of Courts before recently launching his boutique commercial transactional law firm. Fernandez represents both public and private companies and entrepreneurs in all facets of business, artfully skilled in how to structure deals, arrange financing, negotiate agreements, and manage risk. The legal eagle graduated in the top 1 percent of his class at Rollins, where he majored in economics and went on to earn his MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business.
“Rollins was the best educational experience of my life,” says Fernandez, who earned his law degree from the University of Florida. “I received a broad educational foundation on which I was able to build when doing my master’s and doctoral degrees and into my career. Rollins’ small classes, teaching-focused professors, robust scholarship programs, and overall great education and culture were all life-altering for me.”
In addition to his work as vice chairman of the Orange County Planning & Zoning Commission and as a member of The Florida Bar, Fernandez frequently serves as an on-air political analyst for local media outlets, is active in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, and serves on the boards of the Florida Opportunity Fund and the Citrus Civitan Club of Orlando.
Courtney Reynolds ’03’s passion for public transit and mobility is directly tied to her commitment to social justice. Throughout her career, she has worked to enhance communities and balance development and infrastructure needs with environmental stewardship, bringing to the forefront the intricate ways transportation is linked to economic status and access to opportunity. She played a key role in developing the Florida Department of Transportation’s Regional Commuter Assistance Program, helping launch both the reThink Your Commute and Commute Connector initiatives, which have revolutionized the way commuters navigate the nine counties in Central Florida.
“The foundation I received at Rollins has greatly contributed to my professional success,” says Reynolds, who majored in theatre and credits her liberal arts education for preparing her anything. “People may be surprised to learn how similar running a business is to running a theatre production—comfort with public speaking and the ability to tell a story are key differentiators in the public and private sectors. These skills, which I built at Rollins, have really made all the difference for me professionally and personally.”
A changemaker both in and out of the office, Reynolds has volunteered with the Women Playwrights Initiative and served on Lighthouse Central Florida’s Young Executives Committee. She currently serves as president of the board of directors of the Florida Bicycle Association, a nonprofit aimed at encouraging more people to bicycle through education and advocacy.
Photo by Scott Cook
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