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Mission

To provide a regular forum for today’s established and rising leaders to hear from prominent and distinguished speakers on the most important and relevant topics shaping our future and the world.

Values:

  • We believe in the power of leaders to promote positive change when informed by experts who expand their knowledge and understanding.
  • We believe that hearing speakers with different perspectives leads to stronger critical thinking, helping to address today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges.
  • We believe there is strength in diversity. We seek to develop leaders who will build a better world through positive relationships and informed discussion.

History

It all started in 1976 with an article in The New York Times.

The story was about the Economics Club of Detroit, a forum for distinguished speakers on issues of the day. Its membership was like a Who’s Who of American business, and its speakers were national and world leaders. Topics ranged from politics to foreign policy to business and the economy.

A great idea for Tallahassee, thought Stan Tait, who had just been appointed to a Florida Chamber of Commerce project known as the North Florida Task Force for Economic Understanding.

On June 8, 1976, Tait wrote a memo to the co-chairs of the task force — House Speaker Don Tucker and former Senate President Malory Horne — proposing the establishment of a “Florida Economics Club” as a good way to educate the public about economic matters.

On March 22, 1977, Speaker Tucker and the Florida Chamber of Commerce presented the proposal to a meeting of some 50 local business leaders. They enthusiastically endorsed the idea and asked Tait to serve as executive director to “handle the details” of organizing the new club.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Leadership

2022 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Chair
Barney T. Bishop III

President & Chief Executive Officer,
 Barney Bishop Consulting, LLC

President
Lorence "Lo" J. Bielby, Esq.

Principal Shareholder,
 Greenberg Traurig, LLC

Vice President
Marion S. Hoffmann

Vice President of Business Solutions, 
Indelible Business Solutions

Treasurer
Katrina Rolle, Esq.

President & Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation of North Florida

Secretary
John Bradley, MBA

Senior Investment Officer – Private Equity
Florida State Board of Administration

Immediate Past Chair
William "Bill" L. Moor, Jr., MBA

President, 
Capital City Trust Company

Non-Officer Directors

Raymond E. Bye, Jr.
Former Vice President of Research
Florida State University 

Christopher J. Campbell, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Campbell Group International

 

Christopher S. Emmanuel, Esq.
Deputy Director of Policy
Executive Office of Governor

 

Daria D. Ibach, JM, MBA
Vice President
Capital City Bank Group, Inc.

Jim Murdaugh, PhD
President, 
Tallahassee Community College


Cynthia “Cindy” F. O’Connell *
Foundation Director
Florida Prepaid College Foundation

Kenneth D. Pratt, Esq.
Senior Vice President of Government Affairs
Florida Bankers Association

Doug Wheeler
President
D. Wheeler Strategies, LLC. 

Ashbel “Ash” C. Williams, MBA *
Vice Chair, Asset Management
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

 

(An asterisk * denotes a former Board Chair)

 

Ex Officio Board Members

Hon. William “Bill” D. Gunter, Jr. *
Chief Executive Officer
Bill Gunter & Associates

Hon. Major Harding *
Retired
Supreme Court Chief Justice 

Glenn Robertson *
President
Glenn Robertson & Associates 

Hon. Marjorie R. Turnbull, MA *
Former Vice President for Institutional Advancement & Executive Director
Tallahassee Community College Foundation

 

(An asterisk * denotes a former Board Chair)

 

Previous Board Members 1977 – Present

Wendy Abberger
Phil Ashler
John Aurell
Scottie Baker
Stan Barnes
Sarah Bascom
David Batt
Walli Beall
Bruce Bechard
Charles Billings
Ken Boutwell
Cliff Burkhart
Raymond Bye, Jr.
Frances Campbell
Jim Cooke
Gene Davidson
Sue Dick
Kimberly Dixon
Everitt Drew
Larry Dunn
Linda Figg
Linda Frazier
Reggie Garcia
Major Harding
Joseph Hatchett
Joan Haworth
Tom Herndon
Cliff Hinkle
Bob Inzer
Van Jones
John Koelemij
John Kurowski
William C. Lamb, Jr.
Jim Larkin
Marilyn Larson
Steven Leoni
Henry Lewis, III
Paul Lewis

Marylou Madigan
John Marks, III
Bobby McKown
James Messer
Dave Mica
Carl Monson
Taylor Moore
M.T. Mustian
Stephen O’Connell, Sr.
John Olson
Mary Pankowski
Thom Park
Phil Pomeroy
Katie Proctor
Mary Lou Rajchel
Dennis Ridley
Bert Reidel
Glenn Robertson
Jon Shebel
Mike Sheridan
Hilmar Skagfield
Bill Smith
Larry Snowden
Ray Solomon
Carlos Stone
Bill Sutton
Stan Tait
Norman Thagard
Nat Turnbull
William Webb
Carroll Webb
Klein Wigginton
Martha Gene Wigginton
Ash Williams
Elizabeth Willis
Jay Yelton
Gil Ziffer

Stan Tait Memorial Award

Stan Tait Memorial Award

The initial planning committee behind the Florida Economics Club (as it was then called) included Bob Arnow, Bruce Bechard, Cliff Burkhart, Larry Dunn, Jack Mowell, Bill Rader, Bert Riedel, and Stan Tait.

Over the years, the Club would grow in size and stature. Stan Tait, who would eventually become the Club’s Executive Vice President, was instrumental in that growth. Under Stan’s leadership and steady hand at the helm, the Economic Club of Florida became recognized as one of the South’s most important forums for distinguished speakers on issues of the day.

The Stan Tait Memorial Award is a tribute to a remarkable man and friend who worked tirelessly to make the Club a success. The award recognizes current or former Club members in good standing who also display the character, dedication, integrity, and passion for service epitomized by Stan Tait. The award is an annual reminder that, contrary to conventional wisdom, nice guys DO finish first!

Past Award Recipients:

2013: John Mowell, Sr.
 (1934 – 2021)

2014: Hon. Wayne Mixson
(1922 – 2020)

2015: Lawrence Snowden
(1921 – 2017)

2016: Glenn Robertson

2017: Hon. Major Harding

2019: Carrol Dadisman
 (1934 – 2021)

2020: Hon. Marjorie Turnbull

2021: Hon. Bill Gunter

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