The 25 Most Powerful People In Palm Beach County

The 25 Most Powerful People In Palm Beach County

by Bernard McCormick Sep 2018 Also on Digital Edition

How do you define a powerful person? Some might say it is somebody who gets their phone calls promptly returned. Putting together a list such as this is tricky business. Just being wealthy does not necessarily relate to power. Nor does running a major company, if that is all the chief executive does. And in some cases, local heads of major employers are more like regional managers; important decisions are made elsewhere. A noted philanthropist may choose not to use the influence attached to his or her generosity. An elected official is only as powerful as the next election.

Obviously, there is an arbitrary element to selecting Palm Beach County’s most powerful people. The geography of the county doesn’t help. Unlike Dade or Broward counties, financial and social activity does not revolve around a major city. Palm Beach is a long and broad stretch of real estate with several distinct communities. The Palm Beaches are the oldest communities and the governmental heart of the county, of course, but the Boca Raton/Delray Beach area is just a heartbeat away, with its own business centers and institutions led by different people. And the Jupiter area, so fast growing, has an evolving personality of its own.

This reality was reinforced as we queried dozens of qualified sources on a confidential basis. We found some influential Boca sources were barely familiar with persons of similar status in Jupiter, a long 40-plus miles away, and vice versa. Even a county official may be unfamiliar to someone living at the opposite end of the county. Accordingly, in addition to this alphabetical list of 25 names who made our final cut, we note the many people who were mentioned by several sources at the end.

It was suggested early in our research that we focus on people whose influence is of the present and trending toward the future, rather than the past. For this reason, a number of mostly retired people who no longer are in positions of influence, or choose not to exercise it, are not among our top 25. A good example is coach Howard Schnellenberger, who 10 years ago would be among the first on everyone’s list, and still was among those first mentioned whose contributions to the county are both significant and enduring.

Dave Aronberg

This man’s job pretty much guarantees him a place on any power list, but the state attorney and Miami native who attended Harvard College and Harvard Law was a serious contender long before his current role. He has served on two occasions as Florida assistant attorney general, was in the Florida Senate (youngest member) from 2002 to 2010 and lost in the primary for attorney general in 2010. But two years later he became Palm Beach state attorney with 58 percent of the vote, and was re-elected without opposition in 2016. Unlike some state attorneys, who don’t go after local politicians because they have to face them at numerous functions, Aronberg has been willing to go after public corruption. He is an exceptionally personable man who has accomplished much and, at only 47, has a lot of time to do more.



Verdenia Baker

The woman in charge of more than 6,300 employees and an annual budget of about $4.4 billion did not come to her responsible position overnight. The Palm Beach County administrator earned a bachelor’s and master’s from Florida State, then began her Palm Beach County career in 1987 as a budget analyst. She worked her way up to deputy county administrator and served for 15 years before getting the top job in 2015. Her role has her hands in almost everything that goes on in a big county, but fiduciary responsibility remains at the top of the agenda—reviewing department budgets before seeking approval by the county commission. She is prominent in numerous national and local organizations, like Executive Women of the Palm Beaches and Women of Tomorrow Mentor Program, and is past-president of the executive board of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

Ric Bradshaw

The alphabet puts the Palm Beach County sheriff near the top of our list, but a number of sources say he would rank that high in importance under any circumstance. Some 48 percent of the county budget goes to his department, which has 4,200 employees and whose responsibilities include the unusual role of cooperating with the Secret Service to assure the safety on frequent visits by the president of the United States. This man has been elected to four terms, and his popularity traces to a lifetime in the county, most of it in law enforcement. He attended Lake Worth High School and got his bachelor’s degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a master’s from Lynn University. After serving in the Marine Corps, he has spent 48 years in police work. He was a road patrol officer, detective sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, assistant chief and, in 1996, chief of the West Palm Beach Police. He was elected sheriff in 2004. He is obviously as good a politician as he is a lawman, and he is active in numerous police organizations.

Daniel Cane

If this man is not as widely known as some others on the list, it’s only because he is relatively young. The Lake Worth native was already a promising entrepreneur before he graduated from Cornell University in 1997. He was the co-founder of the e-learning company Blackboard Inc. It was sold for $1.6 billion in 2011. By then he had left that company to found Kadoo, a web service company that was sold to 3Sixty Enterprises. The man was just warming up. In 2010 he co-founded Modernizing Medicine, a software company serving a number of medical specialties. He is the CEO. The company has raised more than $330 million and has over 700 employees. Cane returned to his Palm Beach County roots with headquarters in FAU’s Research Park.

Alex Dreyfoos Jr.

In his mid-80s, this man might be on our emeritus list, except he remains much too influential to be put there. Dreyfoos, with a bachelor’s from MIT and master’s from Harvard, has been a photographer, as was his father, and made a fortune as a pioneer in photo electronics. He won an Academy Award for his innovative work. He owned WPEC – Channel 12 in West Palm Beach from 1973 to 1996. He also developed and owned Sailfish Marina Resort in Palm Beach Shores. He had long been involved in the cultural scene, and after selling his businesses, he became one of South Florida’s leading and most respected philanthropists. He was the driving force behind the Kravis Center in 1992, was its chairman until 2007 and is its largest donor at more than $8 million. He gave $1 million to what is now the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, and a like amount to kick off Scripps Florida at Florida Atlantic’s Jupiter campus. Yet he saved his largest gift—$15 million—for his alma mater, MIT, for the Stata Center. Its two buildings are named for Dreyfoos and Bill Gates. The list of organizations who have honored him is in the dozens. Says a prominent civic leader: “Although he is elderly and less active, he is still arguably the most accomplished and important man in the modern history of Palm Beach County.”

George Elmore

This man is high on everyone’s list, having built a reputation for philanthropy during the last seven decades. The Gulf Stream resident founded Hardrives Inc. in 1953. He chose Delray Beach as his base so as to not compete with his older brother Robert’s company, which had the same name, who had already moved down from western Pennsylvania to fast-growing Fort Lauderdale. Elmore bought out his late brother in 1985, by which time they had the leading paving company in South Florida, doing work in both the private and public sector. Both men, often described as shy despite their business success, had established reputations for generous, usually unassuming and sometimes anonymous support for numerous community organizations.

Pepe Fanjul Jr.

Pepe Fanjul Jr.

Mention the word sugar in South Florida and the name Fanjul will not be far behind. Pepe Fanjul Jr. is an active member of the family that has been in the sugar business for 168 years. It lost an empire built by their father in Cuba when Castro took over. Pepe Fanjul Sr. came to the U.S. with enough money to rebuild the business by raising sugar cane in reclaimed farmland, which used to be the upper Everglades. Pepe Fanjul Jr. is executive vice president of Florida Crystals Corporation, with 190,000 acres in Palm Beach County; and he is president of FCI Residential Corporation, which develops, constructs and manages luxury multi-family apartment communities throughout South Florida with 4,500 current units. Pepe Fanjul Jr. has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Miami.

Dr. Donald Fennoy

The county’s young, (41-year-old) new superintendent of schools is a self-described “military brat” who grew up moving all over the country and spending time in England. But his Florida experience goes back to the late 1990s when he received his bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University and his master’s and doctorate from the University of Central Florida. He also taught in public schools in Orlando. The first African-American to head the nation’s 10th largest school board, his selection was influenced by the respected outgoing superintendent Robert Avossa. Avossa, announcing his resignation in February, recommended the district hire from within. Fennoy was previously COO since May 2016. He worked for Avossa for 15 years before the latter moved from Atlanta, where Fennoy had been senior area superintendent for Fulton County, Georgia schools. Fennoy is known for keeping a low profile, but that will be hard to do while running a district with 195,000 students, a $3 billion budget and 23,000 employees.

Lois Frankel

Lois Frankel

This Democratic congresswoman is a rarity among Florida public officials who are not governors or U.S. senators. She enjoys a national profile as a textbook progressive, especially among women. A New York City native, she arrived in Florida in 1974 after an education at Boston University and Georgetown University Law Center. Her long political career dates from 1987, as a 14-year state legislator, and first female minority whip in the Florida House of Representatives, followed by two terms as mayor of West Palm Beach. She is in her third term in Congress, representing Florida’s 21st District. She has such recognition and has been elected by comfortable margins, that it is difficult to find anyone to run against her.

Dennis Grady

There are a bunch of chambers of commerce in Palm Beach County, and one would not normally expect a chamber guy to be ranked among the power elite. But this man is no ordinary chamber president. For one thing, he’s been on the job for 33 years and knows everybody who moves and shakes in the county. “If you define influence as somebody who you will do what he asks you to do, that’s Dennis Grady,” says a longtime associate. A graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, he brought considerable political skill to his position. He served as city council president and three terms as mayor of North Canton, Ohio, a town adjacent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His numerous community activities include the board of Good Samaritan Medical Center, past chair of the Convention & Visitors Bureau and past president of SunFest.

Jeff Greene

Despite being a billionaire and the biggest real estate owner in West Palm Beach, this is not the reason Greene made our list. Instead, it’s because of the recent announcement that he is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, and he’s immediately beginning to spend heavily on advertising and showing well in the polls. He has run before (for U.S. Senate in 2010) and lost, but he has some appealing qualities for Democratic voters. He is a self-made man who came to Florida after his father lost his business in Massachusetts. He worked his way through school, including a job as a busboy at The Breakers. He earned his bachelor’s from Johns Hopkins and a master’s from Harvard Business School. He started his very successful real estate career while still in school.

Ken Kahn

This man could have been another Philadelphia lawyer—in the best sense of the word. But when the Cornell University and Harvard Law School grad could not find the information he needed in his work, he quit his job to become the founder of LRP Publications in 1977. It has grown to become the country’s largest provider of information in the fields of K-12 education, federal employment and human resources. With its headquarters and 400 employees in Palm Beach Gardens, the company also has offices in suburban Philadelphia and Tallahassee. He has long been active in business organizations locally, and a strong supporter of The Benjamin School. He made news recently when he hired the county’s very respected school superintendent, Robert Avossa, as LRP’s senior vice president.

John Kelly. Photo by Austen Amacker.

John Kelly

Notice this roster of power has a number of people with degrees from Harvard, Michigan, MIT, Georgetown and other prestigious schools. If the president of Florida Atlantic University has his way, the relatively young (57-year-old) school will someday have that distinction. In his four years at FAU, Kelly has done much to advance that goal. Already big in numbers with more than 30,000 students, the school’s reputation was once mediocre. It was ranked by the Florida Board of Governors second-to-last among the state’s 11 participating public universities when Kelly arrived; two years later in 2016 it was ranked first. Such success was not his first. During 28 years at his alma mater, Clemson (his higher degrees in horticulture are from Ohio State), the South Carolina school advanced from 78th to 20th in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of public universities. He gets rave reviews from virtually everyone sourced for this article, and some believe he is too good to last, anticipating he may be sought by a bigger name school.

William Koch

Two of his brothers, Charles and David, may get much publicity for owning the second largest private company in the U.S., but lower profile Bill Koch is widely respected in Palm Beach County for 30 years of business success and philanthropy. He split with his brothers years ago in Koch Industries, and in 1984 formed his own highly successful company. A product of MIT (bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees), he is the founder of Oxbow Carbon, with headquarters in Palm Beach. It has more than 1,000 employees in 35 countries. It produces oil-based products used in a number of key industries. He played basketball at MIT but switched to sailboat racing with great distinction—winning the America’s Cup race in 1992. Locally his most prominent philanthropy is founding Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches, where 43 percent of the students receive financial aid. He has also supported Palm Beach public schools and the Palm Beach Police Foundation and provided scholarships to children of police officers. He recently received the Sun-Sentinel’s Excalibur Award. On a national level, he has contributed to the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a group opposing a wind power project, and has supported Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential bid. He is married to Bridget Rooney of the well-known Palm Beach and Pittsburgh Steelers family. He is an avid collector of wine, art and nautical and western memorabilia.

Paul Leone

Paul Leone

He was a young CPA in 1985 when the Kenan family (descendants of Henry Flagler) brought him to Palm Beach to help out with their landmark, The Breakers. And it needed help. Its magnificent public spaces had been neglected, and it was losing its luster as one of the greatest hotels in the country. The University of Kentucky grad was working for the prestigious Coopers & Lybrand firm when he was approached with the opportunity to become controller of the hotel. He rose to vice president and CFO, and in 1994 became president of The Breakers and director of Flagler System Inc. During the last two decades he has restored The Breakers’ reputation as one of the country’s best hotels. Since 1996 it has earned a Five-Diamond rating. His organization is big—more than 2,200 employees—and so is his reputation for community involvement. He has a rare combination of drive, discipline and tact. An excellent communicator, he appears to be admired by those who work for him, as well as those who regard The Breakers as a community treasure. His philosophy for maintaining the reputation of a world-class hotel is simple: “You can never stop,” he says. “When you stop, you start going backwards. I love to come to work every day.”

Christine Lynn. Photo by Austen Amacker.

Christine Lynn

How does a registered surgical nurse from Norway and a veteran of her country’s military wind up with her name on an American university? Well, a good start is to be on the right cruise. Christine Lynn was working on a Norwegian cruise ship as the vessel’s head nurse when she met Eugene Lynn. He had built a successful insurance company in Kansas City and moved its headquarters to his winter home of Boca Raton in the 1960s. The university at the time had changed its name from Marymount to the College of Boca Raton. Eugene Lynn supported the school generously, and in 1991 it changed its name in recognition of his contribution. The couple married in 1980, and when Gene Lynn died in 1999, Christine Lynn took over both his insurance business and his legacy of philanthropy. The Lynn University board of trustees chair has proven herself as an astute businesswoman (she is chair of Lynn Insurance Group), and she has enlarged the family’s philanthropy to include Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

Melissa McKinlay

Like several others on our list, the Palm Beach County mayor has years of experience in public service in the county. She moved to Florida at age 6, attended public schools and earned her bachelor’s degree at Florida State with dual majors in political science and sociology. Prior to her election to the county commission in 2014, she spent about 20 years advocating for women and children, and working on three levels of government. That experience includes working for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the U.S. and Florida Houses of Representatives, the Florida Department of Community Affairs and the Sarasota County Budget Department. Recently, she was appointed chairwoman of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Policy Committee for the National Association of Counties, the first ever from Palm Beach County and the first woman to fill the role. She seems to be everywhere, serving on more than a dozen boards and committees, ranging from business development to environmental protection.

Barbara and Jack Nicklaus. Photo courtesy of Jim Mandeville/Nicklaus Companies.

Jack and Barbara Nicklaus

Many prominent athletes, active and retired, call Palm Beach County home, but that’s all it is for most of them. Not so for Jack Nicklaus. One of the greatest golfers of all time moved to the county in 1965 and has headquartered his business and prominent philanthropic efforts in North Palm Beach. The “Golden Bear” has had numerous business interests, including Nicklaus Design, through which Nicklaus himself has conceived more than 300 courses worldwide. He and his wife, Barbara, have been involved in charity work for parts of six decades. They founded The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation in 2004, which to date has raised close to $90 million. In 2015, Miami’s Children’s Hospital was renamed Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in recognition of their support. And in 2017, there was the naming of Nicklaus Children’s Health System, which includes 14 outpatient centers throughout South Florida. Jack Nicklaus has also been associated with the resurgence of the Honda Classic after he redesigned the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa. The Bear Trap, a three-hole stretch of Nos. 15, 16 and 17, has become among the most famous on the tour.

Harvey Oyer III

This name may not be as familiar as others on our list, but this man is known to almost everybody else in the power group. The name would have been known 100 years ago. One of the leading land use attorneys in the county is a descendant of one of the oldest non-Native American families in the area. Oyer is the great-great-grandson of Capt. Hannibal Dillingham Pierce who settled in South Florida in 1872. His great-grandmother was the first white child born between Jupiter and Miami. Not surprisingly, among a number of boards, he served for seven years as chairman of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and has been a leader in preserving historical buildings. He regularly lectures and writes on Florida history. The University of Florida product (undergrad and law school) broadened his background by studying economics at the Australian National University and graduated with a degree in philosophy in archeology from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. He was also a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. This renaissance man is a distinguished writer. He has written a series of award-winning children’s books, which have sold 100,000 copies and are used in Florida schools. Unlike many on our power list, at age 50, his future lies ahead.

Ava Parker

The president of Palm Beach State College, the largest higher education institution in the county and Florida’s first public community college (founded in 1933), did not begin her career in education. She earned her bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Florida. Parker was a partner in the Jacksonville law firm Lawrence and Parker, and her background includes a time as assistant public defender in Miami-Dade County. However, her education background is extensive. She spent more than a decade on the Florida Board of Governors of the State University System, was a trustee of the University of Central Florida, and was general counsel for Edward Waters College. Before arriving at Palm Beach State, she was executive vice president and COO at Florida Polytechnic University. She is married to Joe Gibbons, former Hallandale Beach commissioner and former member of the Florida legislature.

Rooney Family

Not including this group as a family would upset many people, especially those from Pittsburgh, where the family patriarch, Art Rooney, owned the Steelers football team—still part of the family portfolio. Local family members in various capacities have had an enormous influence. Tom Rooney is a retiring U.S. Congressman whose recent work has been Everglades preservation. His brother, Pat Rooney Jr., is also retired from the Florida legislature. The family owns the Palm Beach Kennel Club and  has also owned restaurants in West Palm and on the Treasure Coast, a throwback to its original saloon business at the turn of the 20th century in Pittsburgh. It has also been involved in the horse business. Bridget Rooney is married to William Koch, and even for a clan that is conspicuously solvent, that’s not a bad in-law to have on the family resume.

Stephen Ross

This Palm Beach resident (also with a New York home) would likely make our list if all he did was be majority owner of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium. But big-time sports isn’t even at the top of his long resume. That would be Related Companies, of which Ross is chairman and founder. The company has more than 3,500 employees and has completed major projects all over the world. Its assets have been reported as over $50 billion. Locally, it developed CityPlace, which took a decaying neighborhood in the heart of West Palm Beach and turned it into a mixed-use jewel. Although his family is from Detroit, Ross also has Florida roots. He attended Miami Beach High and the University of Florida before transferring to the University of Michigan. He added a law degree before starting out as a tax attorney and used his expertise to enter real estate, focusing on the Northeast and Florida. He had a family inspiration, and a patron in his early days, in his uncle, businessman and philanthropist Max Fisher. He followed his uncle’s civic and philanthropic example, being especially generous to the University of Michigan, to which he has donated about $378 million. He is married to the former Kara Gaffney, who started her own specialty jewelry design firm in 2003—the year they were married. She has also served on the board of directors of her alma mater, Georgetown University.

Richard Schmidt

“I don’t know why I’m on this list,” says this man with some modesty. Then after a pause he says, “except for giving away money.” That’s a big except, especially around FAU, which owes much of its explosive recent growth, and concurrent rise in prestige, to the generosity of the Schmidt Family Foundation. The campus programs memorialize millions in gifts to the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt Biomedical Science Center and the Peace Studies Program.  Dick Schmidt decided to stay in Florida after visiting his parents and learning that there was a university in town. He got his master’s from FAU. The foundation’s support began with the late Charles E. Schmidt, who made a fortune in the farm equipment business. He invested in banks and built a bank holding company, which eventually became part of Bank of America. The latter included the First Bank & Trust Company of Boca Raton (for which Dick Schmidt is chairman). Dick Schmidt, who first built a large accounting firm, now runs the family foundation, supporting dozens of organizations (including Lynn University) and heads Schmidt Companies, an investment company that includes Stuart Jet Center and Reliable Jet Maintenance in Boca Raton. He’s a pilot and sailor. More recently, he became an author, an avocation in which he takes pride. His fiction draws partly upon his own experiences. His third book, “Career,” a financial thriller, is due out this year.

Eric Silagy

Florida Power & Light has two chief executives who most sources say belong on this list. However, we will choose only one in recognizing one of the state’s largest employers with about 9,000 employees, headquartered in Juno Beach. The parent company, NextEra Energy, is headed by James Robo, who can be considered co-holder of this position. We feature Eric Silagy because his bio suggests more community involvement. He was an undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin and earned his doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center before a career with several energy companies, and serving as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana. He has been with NextEra Energy for more than 10 years. He became president in 2011 and CEO in 2014 of its largest subsidiary, FPL. He is on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Florida Chamber of Commerce. He also holds key positions on several energy organizations, is on the board of Enterprise Florida Inc. and the executive board of the Florida Council of 100. Closer to home, he is vice-chair of the Benjamin School board of trustees and a board member of the Honda Classic.

Kelly Smallridge

Kelly Smallridge

You would not usually expect to find the president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County unanimously saluted as one of  the most powerful people in a county, but this woman is no ordinary civil servant. For almost 30 years her dynamic style and boundless energy have attracted an extraordinary number of high powered firms to the county. She was born in West Palm Beach, attended the University of Florida and lives in Wellington. She has been featured on national TV and out-of-state newspapers for facilitating two of the largest bioscience organizations to the state­—The Scripps Research Institute from San Diego and the Max Planck Society from Germany. Companies, which have added jobs under her watch, include United Technologies, ADT, Pratt & Whitney, G4s, FedEx and Sikorsky Helicopters. In addition, she serves on numerous boards, both local, national and even international.

 

Selecting the first 10 to 15 people on our power list was relatively easy. The rest were much more challenging, and a number of people on the following list were equally as qualified as those who were chosen. Others were suggested simply because of celebrity. In alphabetical order, the following persons were nominated.

Steve Abrams - Palm Beach County commissioner

Jeff Atwater - CFO of Florida Atlantic University

Anthony K.G. Barbar - CEO of Barbar & Associates; FAU trustee; recent Sun-Sentinel Excalibur winner

Marc Bell  - Boca Raton financier; entrepreneur; producer

Mark Bellissimo - Wellington-based founder and managing partner of equestrian entities, including the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

Angelo Bianco - Managing partner of Crocker Partners in Boca Raton

Randy Blakely - Executive director of FAU Brain Institute in Jupiter

Mike Bracci - President of Northern Trust in North Palm Beach; board chairman of Kravis Center

Fabiola Brumley - Palm Beach County president and Southeast regional executive at Bank of America

Jimmy Buffett - Entertainer; author; actor;  businessman

Tim Burke - Publisher of The Palm Beach Post

Barbara Cambia - Executive director of Hannifan Center at Lynn University

Frank Cerabino - Longtime Palm Beach Post columnist

Gail Coniglio - Mayor of the Town of Palm Beach; restaurant owner

Thomas Crocker - Founder of Crocker Partners; prominent Boca Raton developer

Ted Deutch - Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd district

Kelley Dunn - WPTV broadcaster

Ernie Els - Professional golfer; philanthropist

Chris Evert – Tennis legend; broadcaster; philanthropist

Jerry Fedele - Boca Raton Regional Hospital president and CEO

Frances Fisher - Palm Beach philanthropist and community activist

Andre Fladell - Delray Beach political activist

William Fleming Jr. - President of Palm Beach Atlantic University

Dr. Ira Gelb - Cardiologist; professor and senior academic advisor at FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine

Dionna Hall - CEO of RAPB+GFLR

Dennis Hillier - Greenberg Traurig attorney

Rick Howard - President and CEO of Sklar Furnishings; vice chair of Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County

Bradley Hurlburt - President and CEO of Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties

Jeremy Jacobs - Wellington-based philanthropist; owner of Boston Bruins NHL team

Michael Jordan - Basketball legend

Eric Kelly - President of Quantum Foundation in West Palm Beach

Michele Kessler - Co-founder and director of the Kessler Family Foundation; philanthropist

Lane Kiffin - FAU football coach

Mami Kisner - Palm Beach Atlantic University trustee; African-American activist

Jim Knight - Owner of Knight Group

Tom Lynch - Former Delray Beach mayor

Rocco Mangel - Owner of Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar

Nicholas Mastroianni II - Founder, CEO and chairman of U.S. Immigration Fund; president of Allied Capital (developer of Harbourside Place)

Steve Mathison - Palm Beach Gardens real estate lawyer

Robert McDonough - President of United Technologies Climate, Controls and Security

Troy McLellan - President and CEO of Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce

Bill Meyer - Chairman of Meyer Jabara Hotels; extensive real estate holdings in the county; philanthropist

Gail Milhous - Boca Raton philanthropist Todd Mullins - Senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Church

Jeri Muoio - Mayor of West Palm Beach

Patrick Park - Palm Beach philanthropist

William Perry - CEO of Gunster law firm

Shelly Petrolia - Mayor of Delray Beach

Lois Pope - Philanthropist

Tom Quick - Palm Beach real estate investor

Burt Rapoport - Owner of Rapoport’s Restaurant Group

Dick Robinson - Broadcaster and founder of Legends 100.3

James Robo - CEO of NextEra

Bruce Rosetto - Principal shareholder at Greenberg Traurig

Dr. Kevin Ross - President of Lynn University

Chris Ruddy - CEO of Newsmax Media

Byron Russell - Chairman and CEO of Cheney Brothers Inc.

Howard Schnellenberger - Legendary football coach

Jimmy Scroggins - Lead pastor at Family Church

Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein - Co-founders of Hollywood Media Corp. and other media companies, including the Sci-Fi Channel; philanthropists

Merle Singer - Rabbi emeritus at templebeth el

Scott Singer - Mayor of Boca Raton

Gerry Smith - CEO of Office Depot headquartered in Boca Raton

Tim Snow - President of George Snow Scholarship Fund

Robert Stiller - Founder of Keurig Green Mountain; philanthropist

Jeffrey Stoops - President and CEO of SBA Communications; philanthropist

John Tolbert - President of Boca Raton Resort & Club

Leo Vecellio Jr. - CEO of Vecellio Group, a fourth-generation company

Cliff Viner - Former owner of the Florida Panthers; businessman; philanthropist

Michael Williams - WPTV anchor reporter

Venus and Serena Williams - Professional tennis players

Tiger Woods - Professional golfer


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