Contact Us

Jacksonville University 2800 University Blvd North
Jacksonville, FL 32211

(904) 256-8000

DBA 2 Candidates

​​​​The following are Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) candidates with anticipation of completion in Spring 2018


Komi Adjonke

 KomiKomi Adjonke is originally from Togo, West Africa. He received a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance with minor in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Maryland University College, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting and Finance from the American InterContinental University.

Komi has over a decade of accounting and financial management experience. He is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors at Hope for the Refugee and Immigrant, Inc., an international 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization located in Maryland. He also serves as an accountant for Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Inc., a prominent research institution in Washington, DC.

Komi holds full-line Life and Health, and Property and Casualty insurance licenses in the States of Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, and Texas. He participates in the Federal Health Exchange, Maryland Health Exchange, and the District of Columbia Health Exchange as an Authorized Agent, Producer, or Broker. Komi is a tax professional, as well; he is an IRS Electronic Return Originator (ERO) with a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). In this capacity, Komi prepares and e-files individual and business tax returns for clients. As a licensed insurance agent, Komi also does consulting work in personal and business insurance, risk management, and financial and retirement planning.

Komi is pursuing his Doctor of Business Administration with a specialization in Finance at Jacksonville University to grow personally, academically, and professionally. After completing his Doctorate, Komi plans to work in academia as a finance professor and pursue consulting opportunities in industry and government.


Daniel Amonkou

AmonkouOriginally from Ivory Coast, Daniel came in the United States in 2000 to pursue his studies in higher education. Prior to joining the DBA program, he earned his bachelor of Sciences in Economics with a minor in Mathematics from Georgia State University in 2005. Daniel is also an alumnus from Jacksonville University with a Master in Business Administration from the Davis College of Business, class 2010. He is a resourceful and result-driven business professional with several years of experience in multiple areas including Hospitality Management, Real-Estate Finance, Customer Relation Management (CRM), Insurance, Retail Analytics and Healthcare Management. His research interests include corporate financing policy, Entrepreneurship, and GRC (Governance Risk and Compliance) Solutions - more specifically in the field of Business Intelligence Management with specific areas involving Business Analytics, Data modeling and Data visualization. At the completion of the DBA program, he aspires to obtain a leadership key role position at one of the prestigious international institutions such as the World Health Organization or the African Development Bank. Daniel is currently working as a Provider Auditor for Novitas Solutions (Blue Cross Blue Shield sister company), an administrative services processing company for government-sponsored health care programs on behalf of the federal government.


Robert Brigham

BrighamBob is the Senior Vice President, Hospital and Clinics for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic in Texas. He came to M.D. Anderson in Spring 2015, after a long and distinguished career with Mayo Clinic. He began his work with Mayo Clinic in 1978 after completing a Bachelors of Science Degree from St. John’s University in Minnesota. He received his MBA from the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University. In a thirty five year span, Bob held a number of positions at Mayo Clinic both in Minnesota and in Florida. He was a member of the Executive Operating Team of the Mayo Clinic in Florida and the enterprise Management Team of the Mayo Clinic. He has served on the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors and Board of Trustees. In addition to his leadership role at Mayo Clinic Florida, Bob also served as a member of the Florida Hospital Association Board of Trustees and as a member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Northeast Florida, the Board of the First Coast American Heart Association, the Dean’s Council for the Brook’s College of Health at University of North Florida, and the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University. Bob and his wife Karen have three children who all reside in Jacksonville.


Dale Cake

CakeDale is currently the CEO of Marketing & Research Strategists, a strategic marketing, research and analytics company in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In addition he is an Instructor of Marketing, Management and Business Statistics at Penn State and Shippensburg Universities.

Dale has spent 30 years in consumer marketing, product and brand management, research and communications with such brands as Hershey, Quaker State, 7-UP, Canada Dry, Eskimo Pie, Di Saronno Amaretto, Corbett Canyon wines, Turkey Hill Dairies, Sargento, Schwan frozen pizza and desserts, financial services and others.

He has an MBA and MS from the Fox School of Business, Temple University and a BS from the Pennsylvania State University in Quantitative Business Analysis.


Shawna Coram

CoramShawna has been employed by Florida State College at Jacksonville as a Professor of Business and Accounting since 2007. She received her B.A. from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. While there, she triple majored in Accounting, Business Administration (concentration in Marketing) and Spanish. In 2003, she earned her MBA from the University of Iowa and a few years ago also received a graduate certificate in Accounting from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA. She has held a variety of positions in Marketing, Management, Accounting, Banking and Finance. She spent many years working as a manager for Home Depot/Expo Design Center and just prior to beginning her teaching career, worked as an Assistant Vice President for JP Morgan Chase. In addition, she has taught both full and part-time at community colleges in Iowa and Illinois.


Malissa Davis

DavisMalissa received her Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Mississippi State University. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Malissa decided to move to North Carolina to pursue her MBA at East Carolina University and interned for the Small Business Development Center.

After completing her MBA, Malissa was selected for the Management Development Program at a large financial institution. She later took an analyst position at a Fortune 500 company, where she focused on competitive intelligence, financial analysis, and strategic planning. Malissa later obtained a Masters of Science in Finance degree from Florida International University.  

Malissa is a Certified Public Accountant. In the last 13 years, she has held a variety of accounting and finance positions including Accounting Manager, Financial Reporting Analyst, and Finance Manager. She plans to start her own CPA practice in the near future.

Malissa currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with her husband and three children. When Malissa is not studying, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.


Lucy Diala

DialaLucy joined the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida in January 2016 where she is focused on helping small business owners realize their dreams. With her training in business administration, Lucy enjoys providing assistance in the areas of financial management, strategic market planning, business planning and feasibility studies as well as growth acceleration.

In 2010 Lucy ran an e-commerce website as an entrepreneur. In that capacity, she maintained the website, sourced merchandise, conducted marketing strategies and campaigns and provided the business' financial management. Lucy's professional background includes serving as a project manager on several private sector commercial real estate planning design projects across the State of Florida.

Lucy graduated from Florida A&M University with Master's degree in Business Administration.  Prior to that, her educational background included masters and bachelor's degrees in Landscape Architecture and Architecture respectively. She is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Business Administration at Jacksonville University.


Leigh Hartman

HartmanLeigh is currently an Instructor of Management at Queens University of Charlotte and serves as the Undergraduate Program Director for the McColl School of Business.  Leigh retired as a senior executive from Bank of America specializing in business transformation in areas such as major enhancements to the company's supply chain management function, implementation of a global financials ERP system, and significant investments in the company's retail and global treasury business systems.  Leigh was previously a managing consultant with Arthur D. Little working with clients such as the US Department of Defense, an Audi / Volkswagen Joint Venture in Brazil, the Venezuelan national phone company, and Maersk Line.  

Leigh resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband, a retired US Navy officer, and twelve-year-old son.  


Rebecca Melesky

MeleskyDuring the summer of her sophomore year in college, Becca attended Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, and, of the 67 women who sought out the prestige title of United States Marine, only 27 made it – she was one of them.   She officially accepted her commission in January of 2009, making her a second lieutenant, or "butter bar" as that rank is commonly referred to due to the gold bars that are worn on the lapels of the uniform.  After some additional training in Virginia and Maryland, she ended up stationed in southern California working as the Public Affairs Officer for a logistics unit.  Four years and two deployments to Afghanistan later, Becca got off active duty and started her civilian career and life with her husband, Mike, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Becca's need to serve did not dissipate when she hung up her uniform.  She ended up using her skills to assist wounded veterans through nonprofit work.  She is currently the Director of Development for the veteran support organization, K9s For Warriors, who provides service dogs to veterans diagnosed with post traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or military sexual trauma (MST).  She also could not fully let go of the Marine Corps.  Becca is still active in the reserves where she has the privilege of working on special missions such as a humanitarian assistance mission in the Philippians which she completed in 2013.  She currently serves with Headquarters Marine Corps Public Affairs in Washington, DC.

Becca is also a life-long learner.  She has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business; a master's degree in Public Relations from Kent State University; and she is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Business Administration from Jacksonville University.


Clayton Rasberry

RasberryClayton is the President and CEO of Laualima Government Solutions LLC, a for-profit company owned by the Alakaina Foundation, a Native Hawaiian Nonprofit Organization. As a recognized SBA Minority Owned Company, it is responsible for providing service solutions to Government Customers, Organization and Agencies. He additionally serves in an appointed role as the Chief Operations Officer responsible for corporate business, financial, compliance and service operations for all five of the Foundation’s for profit companies. He has over 25 years of professional experience providing a wide range of services and solutions that include: Program Management Services, Network Design and Systems Engineering, Bio Medical Defense and Infectious Disease Research Support, Missile Range Operations Management, Radar, Optics, Telemetry, Launch/Ordnance Aerial Targets, Fire, EMT, Security and Base Operations, Telecommunications Facilities Management, and Medical Information Technology Solutions. As a Senior Operations and Management Executive, he has previously held various management positions to include Exec VP, COO, Vice Pres-Ops, and Division Director and Area Manager. He has been successful in leading and developing multiple startup companies and new service organizations. His experience includes the establishment of key corporate management systems to include: Strategic Planning, Finance, Budget Management, Accounting, Payroll, Human Resources, Employee Benefits, Insurance, Marketing, Business Development, Contracting and IT Infrastructure.

Clayton is a graduate of Mississippi State University, receiving a Bachelors and Masters degree in Business Administration and Employee Development. He is a military veteran who served as an Army Officer in the Medical Service Corps. He has been married to his wife Lauren for 26 years and has two children. Clayton values the opportunity to be in the Jacksonville University program, successfully earning a Doctorate of Business Administration degree, and fulfilling a lifelong professional and personal goal. He is dedicated to providing a significant contribution to his organization, improving its success, while continuing to develop as a more accomplished leader, manager, educator and business professional.


Kim Rutkowski

RutkowskiKim Rutkowski currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for the One Love Foundation. Prior to her role as Chairman, Kim was the founding Chairman of the National Advisory Council. She has been a driving force behind the strategic planning and growth of the organization.

Kim graduated with a BA and MBA from Temple University and her professional career includes more than twenty years working with Fortune 500 companies. She was also the founding Board Chair for City Year Jacksonville, an education-based national non-profit and continues to be a champion for education in her community.  

Kim is a student in the Doctoral Program at Jacksonville University where she teaches International Business as an Resource Professor in the Davis School of Business.


Cheri Sides

SidesChéri Sides is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Business Department Chair at Lane College in Jackson, TN. She provides thought leadership for faith-based institutions, statistical analysis and strategic guidance for political campaigns. Additionally, she provides commentary on economic issues and current events. Prior to academia, Chéri worked for 10 years at domestic and international corporations and 7 years with non-profit startups. Chéri's interests lie in international economics, macroeconomic growth and applied economics projects.




Tanya Smith

SmithTanya’s 24 year career has included working as a Marketing Specialist for Vianova Resins, an accountant for Advance Bonded Warehouse, and Billey E. Waley, CPA, PA. In 2004, she started her own CPA practice, Tanya Ward-Gupton CPA, LLC. She has also taught accounting courses at Coastal Carolina University and Horry Georgetown Community College for the last four years. Tanya and her husband, Greg, live in Little River, South Carolina.





Christopher Solano

SolanoChris joined Sysco Pittsburgh as the Vice President of Finance/CFO March 2014 (to current). Prior to Sysco his career experience includes various leadership positions in finance including CFO for NBMBA, CFO/Controller for the Johnson Publishing Company, and Controller for Procter & Gamble. He is a graduate of The University of California, Irvine, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Finance. He also received his MBA with a Major in Finance and Strategic Management from The University of North Carolina. He is married to his wonderful wife Ada, and has a step-daughter Taiya, who is the center of his universe.



Vinson Usher

UsherVinson is the President of the construction company, CMI. He earned his MBA from Jacksonville University.  After completing his four years ROTC, Mr. Usher joined the Navy and served as a Cryptologic Technician Maintenance (CTM or Mat-Man, as they are most commonly referred). 

After an honorable discharge, he chose to utilize his training and clearance to become Military Market Manager for RJR/Nabisco and thus began his worldwide tour of the Asian market while residing in Guam.  Vinson was responsible for the import of all cigarettes, cookies and snacks for the military abroad. After his five-year career as a Manager oversees, he returned to the states and went on to play professional and semi-pro football in Colorado before eventually ending that course of action and beginning work in the telecommunications industry.  There he directed the research and development team dealing with Broadband high speed internet and cell phones.  

Vinson is a regular contributor to the Wounded Warrior project, serves on the committee with student veterans of America (SVA) and an enthusiastic Cowboys fan.  Vinson currently resides in Saint Augustine’s beautiful St. Johns Golf and Country Club with his wife, Joi, and their dog, Murphy.