Distinguished Alumni

The Distinguished Alumnus Award was established in 2008 by the Parkland College Alumni Association to recognize exceptional alumni. Awarded during the spring commencement ceremonies, this award is given for academic, professional, personal and community contributions and achievements. 

Eligibility includes the ability to attend commencement ceremonies in May and a minimum of 31 credit hours at Parkland College.

2022 Distinguished Alumnus: Louis E. Sola 


Louis E. Sola is Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission, and has distinguished himself in both government service and private enterprise.

Commissioner Sola’s career in public service began at age 18 with the U.S. Army Reserve. While active duty, he served as a linguist and counterintelligence specialist until 1997. He was stationed in Germany and Latin America during the Cold War. Prior to his appointment as Federal Maritime Commissioner in 2019, he served on the Florida Board of Pilot Commissioners.

In private enterprise, Commissioner Sola worked as a consultant with Berkshire Capital and Arden & Price in Panama. As a licensed ship and megayacht broker, he was a sales executive with yachting firms Campers & Nicholsons and Northrop Grumman. Determined to achieve his entrepreneurial aspirations, he founded Evermarine, a Miami-based megayacht brokerage company, which he led as chief executive officer.

Commissioner Sola began his educational career with an associate’s degree in history from Parkland College in 1989. He received his bachelor’s degree in management from Nova Southeastern University in 1996, and his master’s degree in international finance from the University of Illinois in 1998.


Past Recipients

2019 - Brad Evans

2018 - Kelly Duitsman Loschen

2017 - Ashley Morgan 

2016 - Peter B. Alexander

2015 - Charles Smith

2014 - Jeffrey Hettler

2013 - Mark Pelafos

2012 - Stuart King

2011 - Darrin Peters

2010 - Krystal Fitzpatrick

2009 - Sandra Reifsteck 

2008 - Dennis Riggs


If you are interested in nominating an individual for this prestigious award, please contact our offices at foundation@parkland.edu or 217/351-2458