Howard C. Serkin received his B.S. in engineering from Georgia Tech. Upon graduation, he served a four year tour of active duty as a Lieutenant in the U. S. Navy assigned to nuclear submarines and deep submergence rescue and salvage projects. He also earned his M.S. in engineering and received his M.B.A. in finance from Harvard Business School. He has pursued post-graduate studies at Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Economics.
Mr. Serkin served in various senior management positions with The Charter Company in Jacksonville, Florida. Charter was a NYSE conglomerate with revenues in excess of $5 billion and operations in insurance, energy and communications. Prior to April 1984, he was Executive Vice President of Charter’s Insurance Division. In April 1984, Charter filed Chapter 11 and Charter’s Board asked him to leave the insurance operation which was to be sold and assume the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the parent company. In this capacity, he arranged over $400 million of new financings and assisted in the development of the plan of reorganization. Charter successfully emerged from bankruptcy in early 1987 and he began a one year assignment as the first Executive-in-Residence and Visiting Professor at the University of North Florida’s College of Business.
In August 1988, Mr. Serkin completed the acquisition and recapitalization of Environmental Recovery Group and served as its financial adviser and a major shareholder. Environmental Recovery Group was a privately owned environmental remediation and construction company serving the southeastern U. S. market. In 2007, it was sold to Moran Towing.
In July 1991, Koger Properties’ Board asked Mr. Serkin to assume the positions of Executive Vice President and Director. Koger Properties was a NYSE developer, owner and manager of over 13 million square feet of suburban office buildings and parks located throughout the southeast. In September 1991, Koger filed Chapter 11 and he directed the development of Koger’s plan of reorganization. Koger successfully emerged from bankruptcy in December 1993.
In January 1994, Mr. Serkin became a principal with Business Valuation, Inc. and Heritage Capital Group. Business Valuation provides financial consulting and valuation services to privately held business enterprises. Heritage Capital Group is a regional investment banking firm providing merger and acquisition advisory, consulting and intermediary services to privately held middle market companies. In December 1994, Pic N’ Save’s Board asked him to assume the part-time position of Director of Special Projects and to assist the company in evaluating its strategic alternatives. Pic N’ Save was a privately owned regional discount merchandiser with revenues in excess of $300 million. In February 1995, Pic N’ Save filed Chapter 11 and he assisted in the development of the plan of reorganization. Pic N’ Save emerged from bankruptcy in February 1996. Mr. Serkin resumed his full time duties as a principal and senior adviser to Business Valuation and Chairman of Heritage Capital Group in early 1996.
In addition to Mr. Serkin’s teaching experiences at the University of North Florida, he has lectured extensively on a number of financial topics including corporate turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions, business valuations, financial restructurings and bankruptcy. He has served as an Executive Professor at the University of North Florida’s College of Business and has lectured at Jacksonville University’s College of Business, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India, the University of the South Pacific in Fiji and the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Serkin serves on the Board of Directors of numerous corporate entities ranging from privately held operating companies to private equity investments to venture capital start-ups. He is a member of the Financial Executives Institute, the Association for Corporate Growth and an honorary member of Beta Gamma Sigma.
Mr. Serkin is committed to his community and has served in leadership positions on numerous civic boards and activities, including the UNF Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Science and History, Governor’s Economic Advisory Council, Leadership Jacksonville and Youth Leadership Jacksonville, Cultural Council, Brooks Health System, Downtown Vision, Baptist Medical Center–Beaches, Art With A Heart, JCCI, Community Foundation (Finance Committee), Jacksonville Marine Institute and Associated Marine Institute, Mimi and Lee Adams Environmental Advisory Board, Sheriff’s Advisory Council, First Coast Venture Capital Group, Enterprise North Florida, River Club, Community Coaches Program, United Way, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Mental Health Resource Center, Junior Achievement, UNF Business Advisory Council, UNF Financing Corporation, FCCJ Open Campus Advisory Board and Downtown Master Plan Committee. In 2002, Leadership Jacksonville honored Mr. Serkin with its Distinguished Community Trustee Award. In 2010, the University of North Florida recognized Mr. Serkin's longstanding support and awarded him the prestigious Presidential Medallion for Outstanding Service.