Benchmarks of Success: A look at major career developments in the area


A look at major career developments in the area.

Five Jacksonville Symphony musicians granted tenure

Five Jacksonville Symphony musicians have been granted tenure, a difficult and impressive status to achieve in the performing arts. Concertmaster Adelya Nartadjieva, who joined the symphony in the 2022-23 season, is among them. Joining her are: Igor Khukhua, violin; Jessica Hung, violin; Ben Fryxell, associate principal cello; and Kevin Karabell, principal trumpet.

Jacksonville Symphony musicians receive tenure though a lengthy process that begins from the moment of their first audition. While some musicians audition for yearly roles, those who have their eyes set on a more permanent seat in Jacoby Symphony Hall must continually perform at their highest caliber and consistently demonstrate their artistry in order to receive the coveted title of “tenured.”

Mike Bruman named CEO of Navitas Credit Corp.

United Community Banks Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Navitas Credit Corp., an industry leader in equipment financing, have announced the promotion of Mike Bruman, to CEO effective March 1. Bruman succeeds Navitas founder and CEO Gary Shivers.

Bruman joined Navitas in 2010 as chief credit officer, leading the company’s multiple credit divisions. In 2022, he was promoted to senior vice president and chief operating officer. He was responsible for managing the senior leadership team, which is comprised of all the key functional areas of the organization. Over the past year, under his leadership, Navitas has continued to experience record growth.

Prior to joining Navitas, Bruman’s 30-year-plus career in equipment finance began as a manager of credit and funding operations with Sequa Credit Corp., a small ticket equipment leasing company. He then joined AT&T Capital as a credit manager for the Northeast Region. In 1995, he moved to Copelco Capital to support credit in their major accounts and new technology division. In 1999, he accepted a position with CIT’s Vendor and Finance Group as credit officer to assist in the launch of their newly formed division. During his tenure at CIT, he was instrumental in helping grow the business into a multi-billion-dollar platform.

Abbe Rice joins local real estate firm

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has added Abbe Rice to the Ponte Vedra/Nocatee office.

According to the company, Rice came from another local brokerage with excellent negotiation and communication skills. In addition to her experience as a Realtor, Rice has an extensive career on Wall Street as an equity trader.

For more information, she can be reached at 617-943-0945, and

The Ponte Vedra/Nocatee office is located at 333 Village Main St., Suite 670, Ponte Vedra Beach. It is managed by Holly Hayes, who can be reached at 904-802-0432, and

Benson Turner joins local real estate firm

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has added Benson Turner to the Ponte Vedra/Nocatee office.

Turner has an extensive background in construction, remodeling and project management, making him an invaluable resource to his clients.

For more information, he can be reached at 850-443-5615, and

The Ponte Vedra/Nocatee office, located at 333 Village Main St., Suite 670, Ponte Vedra Beach, is managed by Holly Hayes, who can be reached at 904-802-0432, and

Cummer Museum appoints Kelly Harvey to post

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has announced that Kelly C. Harvey will join the museum on April 24 as its new chief advancement officer. She comes to the museum from the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, where she has been the director of development and external affairs since 2015.

Harvey has more than 15 years of experience working in the museum and academic sectors. During her tenure at the Harn Museum, she led major fundraising efforts including transformational gifts, capital campaigns and endowment growth. Under her leadership in 2022, the museum exceeded its $100 million goal as part of the University of Florida’s Go Greater comprehensive capital campaign.

She has a proven track record of securing gifts and grants from foundations, corporations and government entities, including The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history from James Madison University as well as a Master of Arts in museology from the University of Florida.

For further information about the Cummer Museum, including hours, go to

Chris Thompson earns military financial advisor certification

Chris Thompson, CFP, CMFA, CRPC, a managing director and associate manager with Ameriprise Financial Services in Jacksonville, recently obtained the Certified Military Financial Advisor (CMFA) certification.

Ameriprise Financial partnered with Dalton Education to create the CMFA certification, which equips financial advisors with knowledge and expertise to help military members maximize resources and achieve their financial goals with confidence.

Thompson successfully completed the CMFA requirements that include more than 40 hours of training and learning development modules, which provide advisers a deep understanding of the unique life circumstances and the benefits available to veterans, active duty, Reserve, National Guard and their families.

Thompson graduated from Vanderbilt University on a four-year Navy ROTC scholarship with a degree in economics and math. He has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and is a Navy veteran.

Thompson can be reached at 904-380-2290 and

Sharon Thompson named Florida president for bank

United Community Bank has named veteran banker Sharon Thompson as president for the state of Florida. Thompson was formerly the East Atlanta president in Georgia. Thompson steps into the Florida president role after her predecessor, Gideon Haymaker, announced his retirement last month.

Thompson joined United in 2019 as the president of the Central Atlanta Region. Since she joined United, Thompson has led the team to become one of the bank’s highest-producing locations.

Thompson is a veteran of the financial services industry. Prior to joining United, she served as a business banking manager for Wells Fargo, leading a team of top-performing bankers, credit analysts and business development officers. Her background also includes time spent in commercial banking and sales with BB&T.

— Compiled by Shaun Ryan