Governor appoints Max Alvarez to university’s Board of Trustees

Gov. Rick Scott has appointed Maximo “Max” Alvarez, founder and president of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors Inc., to the Florida State University Board of Trustees.

Alvarez, of Doral, has been appointed through Jan. 6, 2021. Alvarez serves as a member of the First Tee Board of Trustees, Miami Children’s Hospital, Centro Hispanico Catholic and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. A two-time alumnus of Florida State, he earned a Bachelor of Science in business management in 1969 and a Master of Science in education in 1970.

Alvarez succeeds Trustee Allan G. Bense of Panama City, who was appointed in 2011 and served as board chairman from June 2012 to June 2015.

In addition, Scott has reappointed trustees Emily Fleming “June” Duda of Oviedo, who has served on the board since its inception in 2001, and Joseph R. “Joe” Gruters of Sarasota, who was first appointed in 2011. Duda and Gruters also have been appointed through Jan. 6, 2021.

Duda is an active member of the FSU Booster Club board. She served on its executive committee for five years and, in 2000, was awarded the Godfrey Smith Award for Outstanding Service to the board. In addition, she was a previous member of both the Seminole County Soil and Conservation District Board of Trustees and the Florida Leadership Program for Agriculture and Natural Resources Board of Directors.

Gruters, a licensed certified public accountant, is the owner of Gruters CPA, a Sarasota-based accounting firm. In addition, he is the co-founder and CEO of Audit Confirm, a technology company serving accountants and financial institutions. He previously served as chairman of the Sarasota County Planning Commission and as a member of the Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors. Gruters earned a Bachelor of Science in finance, risk management and multiple business operations from Florida State in 1999 and a master’s degree from the University of South Florida.

“We thank the governor for his appointments to the FSU Board of Trustees and we welcome Max Alvarez,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “At the same time, we thank alumnus Allan Bense for his service to FSU.

“As a trustee and former chair of the board, Allan Bense has served Florida State University with dedication, wisdom and an abiding interest in making FSU as good as it can possibly be,” Thrasher said. “His leadership has been so valuable in helping the university advance, and I have been fortunate to have worked with him.”

Bense, who earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from Florida State, is president and CEO of Bense Enterprises Inc. He represented Florida’s 6th District from 1998 to 2006 in the Florida House of Representatives, where he was speaker from 2004 to 2006.