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2019 Annual Meeting Award Winners

These deserving individuals were honored at the 2019 Annual Meeting at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort June 20-23

Leadership Florida® Presents Darnell Smith with the 2019 Distinguished Member Award

 Tallahassee, Fla. — Darnell Smith has been chosen as the 2019 recipient of the Leadership Florida Distinguished Member Award. The purpose of the Leadership Florida Distinguished Member Award is to recognize a Leadership Florida member whose continued leadership activities, outside of his or her professional responsibilities, have exemplified the highest standards of Leadership Florida and whose activities achieved results or set an example of statewide influence.

 Smith was honored at Leadership Florida’s 2019 Annual Meeting held at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando on June 21.

 

Darnell Smith, winner of the 2019 Distinguished Member Award

As the 2017 Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce chair, Smith championed efforts from the business and LGBT community to pass a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) that respects religious liberties and ensures that the City of Jacksonville community would be discriminated against.

The bill passed in early 2017; it legally prevented workplace discrimination against LGBT residents and offered exemptions for small businesses and religious institutions.

“Darnell's ability to listen, compromise and collaborate were the keys to passing the HRO two years ago,” said award nominator Susan Towler, Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Florida Blue. “He lends his knowledge and expertise to government, business and community initiatives - if there is an initiative happening in Northeast Florida, Darnell is involved in it.”

Currently Florida Blue's market president for North Florida, Smith is responsible for business market growth and customer/community engagement for 36 North Florida counties. He was the 2017 chair of the Jacksonville Chamber board of directors, serves on multiple boards of directors and has been recognized by numerous groups in Jacksonville for his community service.

Leadership Florida is proud to recognize Darnell Smith with the Distinguished Member Award.

 

 

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Leadership Florida® Presents Chris Hand and Lori Kifer Johnson with the "but for Leadership Florida” Award 

Tallahassee, Fla. — Chris Hand and Lori Kifer Johnson are the 2019 recipients of the “but for Leadership Florida” Award.

The "but for Leadership Florida” Award was created in 2017 in recognition of former Leadership Florida President and CEO Wendy Walker's 28 years of devotion to creating "but for Leadership Florida" experiences for members. Its purpose is to recognize Leadership Florida members who have used specific knowledge gained and/or relationships built through his or her Leadership Florida experience to improve the lives of fellow Floridians. In addition to the honor itself, Leadership Florida will make a donation of $2,500 to the recipient's organization of choice, subject to the approval of the Awards Committee.

Hand and Kifer Johnson were honored at Leadership Florida’s 2019 Annual Meeting held at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando on June 23.

 

Chris Hand and Lori Kifer Johnson, winners of the 2019 “but for Leadership Florida” Award.

Hand and Kifer Johnson launched a campaign in 2018 to clear the names of the “Groveland Four,” by raising awareness, educating influencers, and forcing change. Their efforts helped bring closure to a 70-year-misjustice: in 1949 Samuel Shepherd, Walter Irvin, Charles Greenlee and Ernest Thomas were hunted, beaten, and brutalized as they were charged on scant evidence in a racially-charged prosecution in Groveland, Florida.

Chris and Lori researched and coordinated with those whose work had already paved the way for change, such as Devil In The Grove author Gilbert King, who launched a 2017 petition to demand justice. They initiated a full advocacy plan and leveraged their Leadership Florida Class 37 classmates and their networks to educate the Florida State Board of Executive Clemency, seeking posthumous pardons.

The case gained momentum early January, 2018, and despite late signs of another delay, Governor Ron DeSantis led the unanimous vote to pardon all four men on January 11.

“Chris and Lori have been quick to shift credit for this monumental accomplishment to the countless others who played key roles,” said nominator Matthew Pinzur. “Nonetheless, it is easy to see the catalytic impact Chris and Lori have had in the name of justice.”

Leadership Florida is proud to recognize Chris Hand and Lori Kifer Johnson, winners of the 2019 “but for Leadership Florida” Award.

Leadership Florida® Presents Anna Maria Oyster Bar with the 2019 Florida Impact Award

Tallahassee, Fla. — The Anna Maria Oyster Bar, and proprietors John and Amanda Horne, have been chosen as the 2019 recipients of the Leadership Florida Impact Award. The Florida Impact Award recognizes a business or nonprofit organization that has created a specific project or body of work whose impact is currently transforming the future of its region or beyond and has the potential to transform Florida as a whole.

The Anna Maria Oyster Bar was honored at Leadership Florida’s 2019 Annual Meeting held at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando on June 22.

 

Anna Maria Oyster Bar proprieters, John and Amanda Horne, winners of the 2019 Florida Impact Award.

 In 2017, after learning that more than 50% of 3rd graders in the Manatee County public school system were not reading on grade level, John and Amanda Horne launched Dive into Reading, a summer reading program aimed to improve children’s reading levels by combating “Summer Slide,” when children stop learning when they are not actively engaged in the classroom. The Hornes saw an opportunity to leverage guests of the restaurant to mentor rising 3rd graders from local Title 1 schools by feeding them breakfast, teaching table manners, and having mentors read to and be read to by the children.

In 2018, the program expanded to all four AMOB locations plus two other area restaurants.

“John and Amanda do not participate from the sidelines - they are both passionate about education, and if they see a way they can make a difference, they jump in and get to work.” said award nominator Ashley Brown, President & CEO of Women's Resource Center.

Leadership Florida is proud to recognize Anna Maria Oyster Bar, and John and Amanda Horne, as the winners of the 2019 Florida Impact Award.

Leadership Florida® Presents Clyde Butcher with the LeRoy Collins Lifetime Achievement Award

 Tallahassee, Fla. — Clyde Butcher has been chosen as the 2019 recipient of Leadership Florida’s LeRoy Collins Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond by using his or her leadership abilities over a lifetime to improve the quality of life for Florida’s citizens and its future generations. The award was renamed in 1991 in honor of the late Governor LeRoy Collins.

Butcher was honored at Leadership Florida’s 2019 Annual Meeting held at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando June 21.

 

Clyde Butcher, winner of the 2019 LeRoy Collins Lifetime Achievement Award

 

“Clyde Butcher’s works depicting Florida landscapes have become iconic,” said the award nominator Christine Johnson, President of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and member of Leadership Florida’s Calusa Region. “He has been called the ‘Ansel Adams of our day,’ and his photographs of Florida introduced the world to Florida’s natural beauty.”

In the tradition of the nineteenth-century Hudson River School painters, Butcher composed his works at pristine and untarnished locations across the United States. His love of boating brought him to Florida in the 1980s where he nurtured the environmental conservation movement for Florida's Everglades, springs, and beaches.

“His spectacular black and white photos created a seismic shift in the way Floridians and the world perceived swamps, wetlands and undeveloped land, successfully demonstrated that a medium like photography can—and does—make a convincing platform for art and environmental conservation and advocacy,” said Johnson.

Leadership Florida is proud to recognize Clyde Butcher with the 2019 LeRoy Collins Lifetime Achievement Award.