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John Thrasher
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Mar. 30, 201612:00 PM EST

City notes: FSU President John Thrasher being inducted into College of Business Hall of Fame

by: David Chapman

Florida State University President John Thrasher will be inducted into the College of Business 2016 Hall of Fame on Thursday.

Thrasher has served in many capacities during his career.

He is the former general counsel for the Florida Medical Association and served as counsel to Smith, Hulsey & Busey from 1996-2008 before joining a Tallahassee-based government relations firm.

On the political side, Thrasher’s career has likewise been lengthy. He was elected to the Clay County School Board in 1986, followed by eight years in the Florida House from 1992-2000. He was speaker his last three years.

He was elected to the Florida Senate in 2009 and re-elected before becoming FSU president in 2014.

“President Thrasher has done tremendous things for our state, our community and for Florida State University,” said Michael Hartline, the college’s interim dean, in a statement.

TaxSlayer Bowl moves to New Year's Eve

Gator Bowl Sports officials announced Tuesday the annual TaxSlayer Bowl will be played at 11 a.m. New Year’s Eve.

The game will be nationally televised on ESPN and serve as a lead-in to the College Football Playoff semifinal games that afternoon. The time is a departure from the TaxSlayer’s typical New Year’s Day time slot, or as was the case last year, Jan. 2.

This game’s participants won’t be determined until close to the end of the fall season but it will feature a team from the Southeastern Conference against one from the Big Ten or Atlantic Coast conferences or Notre Dame.

Last year’s game was between the University of Georgia and Penn State University, which ended in a 24-17 Georgia victory.

For more information, visit

Kevin Sbraga to be judge on Fox show

Chef Kevin Sbraga will be a guest judge on the seventh season of “Masterchef,” a competitive cooking show hosted by chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi.

The season debuts at 8 p.m. June 1, on Fox Network.

Wolfgang Puck, Aaron Sanchez, Edward Lee and Richard Blais are some of the other chefs who will serve as guest judges.

The show pits 40 of the best home cooks in the country against each other in a competition for the “Masterchef” title, a cookbook deal and $250,000 grand prize.

Sbraga won season seven of “Top Chef.”

Ferry transfer paperwork being signed Thursday

Although City Council approved the transfer last week, the city and Jacksonville Transportation Authority will officially sign off on handing over the St. Johns River ferry during a ceremony Thursday.

Council member John Crescimbeni, chair of the St. Johns River Ferry Commission, and JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford will sign the transfer aboard the vessel as it’s en route across the river about 1 p.m.

Under the agreement, the city will transfer ferry operations to the JTA.

The service serves as a link between Mayport and Heckscher Drive. It has been operating for decades.

Innovation, bourbon and barbecue highlight Hemming Park events

Friends of Hemming Park will host several community events in April.

The venue will be a focal point for the First Wednesday Spark Walk, hosted by One Spark and Downtown Vision Inc. from noon-10 p.m. April 6. It will feature creator exhibits, live music and local artists.

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Philip Pan will be part of the “Heartbeat of the Bold City” speaker series to discuss the gap between classical and contemporary. The event is 5-8 p.m. April 14.

And capping the month of events will be the inaugural “Bourbon & Barbeque Festival” from 5-9 p.m. April 23, featuring tasting tents, craft cocktails and barbecue food trucks.

JTA announces Back-2-Work academy schedule

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will kick off its Back-2-Work Business Development Academy on April 12, the first of five sessions.

The free program has classes from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at locations throughout the city, with each session presented by subject-matter expects.

The authority has partnered with the University of North Florida’s Small Business Development Center to assist in creating the curriculum designed for small and disadvantaged business owners that want to do business with governmental agencies.

It’s designed for such business with three or more years in business.

Topics and schedule are:

• April 12: Marketing and branding, The Legends Center, 5054 Soutel Drive.

• July 12: Government contracting, Florida Department of Transportation Training Center, 2198 Edison Ave.

• Oct. 11: Team building, Enterprise Center, 1225 W. Beaver St.

• Jan. 10: Financial management, 215 N. Market St.

For more information, contact Anita McGoogin at (904) 633-8533.

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