Prominent Florida business leader to work with UF students as first Knight Fellow

Published: September 30 2013

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The founder and chairman of the largest privately held construction company in Florida will share his expertise and experiences with University of Florida students for the next month as the first Knight Fellow in-Residence.

Preston Haskell founded Haskell Co., an integrated design, engineering and construction firm headquartered in Jacksonville, in 1965. Haskell is now a top design-build firm in the United States with offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Mexico City. The company employs more than 690 people and boasts $590 million in revenues.

Funded as part of a three-year $3 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the fellowship program will enable UF’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service to bring public and private sector leaders to campus to work with faculty and students.

While in residence at UF, Haskell will teach a leadership development course for the College of Engineering and will guest-lecture for the College of Design, Construction and Planning. Among other duties, Haskell will work with the university’s Career Resource Center — mentoring students on their career paths, providing feedback on academic coursework, and offering consultation on transitioning graduates to the job market.

Haskell was selected for his innovative achievements in the private sector and other important contributions to his community and to the State of Florida.

“Innovation and creativity have been a daily part of my career. I have a healthy disregard for established practices,” Haskell said. “We have tried to be innovative with our organizational design and I think this has helped to ensure our success.”

Other Fellows will include Hyatt Brown, CEO of Brown & Brown Insurance, spring 2014; Lisa Malone, director of public affairs at NASA, fall 2014; and Martha Barnett, former president of the American Bar Association and partner with Holland & Knight, spring 2015.

For more information on the Knight Fellows in-Residence program, visit


Shelby Taylor, 352-273-1086

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories