by Joe Wilhelm Jr.
First, she was part of the supply chain. Then she studied how it works. Now she helps mold the people who drive it.
Lynn Brown enjoyed her time as an undergraduate at the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida so much she decided not to leave.
She put her two Bachelor of Business Administration degrees to work at the institution she graduated from in 2003. Brown was a double major in transportation and logistics and in banking and finance.
After graduation, Brown worked in UNF Alumni Relations for about three years until she was hired as the associate director of the Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program of the Coggin College of Business.
“It gives me a chance to really make a difference, working so closely with the students,” said Brown.
UNF President John Delaney started an effort in 2004 to identify programs at the university that could be the best in their field. Those flagship programs would be given more funding to pursue that goal.
The School of Nursing program was the first flagship in 2005 and three more followed in 2006: Coastal Biology, International Business and Transportation and Logistics.
Brown has been able to watch the program grow, both as a student and a faculty member.
Before moving to Florida in 1994, she was part-owner of a Farmers Market in Toms River, N.J. The business experience gave her firsthand knowledge of how a supply chain worked to move product to the market.
“It just seemed like a natural progression when I looked into the program,” said Brown.
From her position in the program, she is responsible for interacting with the business community to help the program
“Our goal is to be a leader in supply chain management instruction,” said Brown. “And for that to happen we need to reach out to the business community and develop relationships that will help our students be better prepared to join the work force.”
With Jacksonville viewed as a logistics center because of its access to port, rail, air and major roadways, students are finding jobs locally, which makes her job of networking a little easier.
“The beautiful thing (about my job) is seeing the students become part of the business community,” said Brown. “You’d be surprised to see how many alumni are now coming back to recruit.”
Recruiting both students and business leaders is also on Brown’s plate. She plans tours of the school and organizes job fairs.
An upcoming job fair will feature 20 employers who will conduct one-on-one interviews, not just provide information at a booth and accept applications.
“It’s really interesting to see the business community rally around the students to help them succeed,” said Brown.
Some of that support has come in the form of tours of area businesses, including the Jacksonville Port Authority, BMW, Swisher and Winn-Dixie.
“Our goal is to provide our students with a higher level perspective of the supply chain to get them ahead of the rest of the field,” said Brown.