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

2020 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Cindy OConnell Headshot

Chair
Cindy O’Connell

Director, Florida Prepaid College Foundation

Bill Moor Headshot

President
Bill Moor

President, Capital City Investments and Capital City Trust Company

John Bradley Headshot

Vice President
John Bradley

Senior Investment Officer, State Board of Administration of Florida

Barney Bishop Headshot

Secretary
Barney Bishop

President & CEO, Barney Bishop Consulting, LLC

lo-beibly-headshot-cropped

Treasurer
Lo Bielby

Shareholder Resident, Greenberg Traurig Tallahassee office

Ben Watkins Headshot

Immediate Past Chair
Ben Watkins

Director, Florida Division of Bond Finance

Dominic M. Calabro
President & CEO, Florida TaxWatch, Inc.

Charles Frazier
Managing Partner, University Partnerships at Gateway Investment Partners 

Bill Gunter
Chairman, Bill Gunter & Associates

Marion Hoffmann
Vice President, Strategic Development, Enterprise Florida, Inc.

Daria Ibach
Credit Officer, Capital City Bank

Jim Murdaugh
President, Tallahassee Community College

Katrina Rolle
President & CEO, Community Foundation of North Florida

Marjorie Turnbull
Consultant, Non-Profit Organizations 

Chair Emeriti

Carrol Dadisman
Publisher Emeritus, The Tallahassee Democrat

Wayne Mixson
Former Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Florida
Former State Representative

John B. Mowell
Chairman & CEO, Mowell Financial Group, Inc.

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

Memorial Fund

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:

2020: To be announced
2019: Carrol Dadisman
2017: Major Harding
2016: Glenn Robertson
2015: Lawrence Snowden
2014: Wayne Mixson
2013: John B. Mowell

News

Tourism Numbers Plummet in Second Quarter

On Aug. 5, Christopher Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, warned members of the Economic Club of Florida ...

Honoring Governor Wayne Mixson
(June 16, 1922 – July 8, 2020)

Wayne Mixson was a founding member of the club and served on the Board for at least 20 years ...