- At this year’s Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum, Chairman Chas Bailes III recognized a handful of distinguished business leaders from across a range of industries.
- Several notable awardees were recognized: including L3Harris’s Scott Mikuen, former FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy, and AdventHealth’s Mike Griffin, for their exceptional volunteer contributions to the state.
- The event was heavily focused on how the Chamber can continue to advance the state’s competitiveness through volunteer actions and helping key community segments through advancements in education, health outcomes and other community involvement.
Florida business leaders recognized the contributions of some of their most distinguished colleagues this week at the 2023 Florida Chamber Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum. The event featured an array of industry leaders and professionals, including a handful that were honored for their outstanding contributions to the state over the last year. The event, which also saw the election of new board members and the setting of the Chamber’s priorities for the coming year, was led by Florida Chamber of Commerce Chairman Chas Bailes III, who himself was recognized for his leadership of the Chamber over the last two years.
In an address to business leaders from across the state, Bailes laid out the criteria for earning a Florida Chamber Chair Award.
“Advancing our mission to secure Florida’s future is only possible with a united business community that is passionate about ensuring the right things continue to happen,” Bailes said, noting that the award winners were chosen from among a slate of volunteer leaders who have gone above and beyond this past year to move the needle on our goals and help us accomplish big things for Florida.”
Among the honored was Nancy Keefer, president and CEO of the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, recognized for her pivotal role in advancing 3rd-grade reading outcomes.
Greg Hale, the VP and Chief Safety Officer at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was also acknowledged for his emphasis on heat stress safety, ensuring the well-being of countless visitors and workers across a broad expanse of Disney properties in the Sunshine State.
A large part of the event over the last two days focused on technology, and one of the awardees highlighted was Scott Mikuen, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for L3Harris Technologies, for his role in advancing cybersecurity and general security protocols. Mikuen’s comprehensive role at L3Harris involves overseeing legal, contracts, compliance, and risk management across all of L3Harris’s operations, where cybersecurity has become increasingly important.
Another prominent honoree was Eric Silagy, the retired Chairman, CEO and President of Florida Power & Light Company, who was lauded for his extensive service to the Florida Chamber Board of Directors. Having worked with NextEra Energy companies for over a decade, Silagy has been a force in the energy sector, helping transition the state’s largest electric utility through rapid technological advancements in solar generation while maintaining the company’s high ratings for reliability and sustainability.
“I’d like to recognize Eric Silagy, retired FPL President and CEO,” Bailes noted, “for his extraordinary leadership and service to the Florida Chamber Board of Directors over many years.”
Silagy’s contributions to the state span a broad range of touchpoints with a rich history of roles ranging from the state university system to his contributions as an active member of several key chambers and councils.
The Chamber also commended Kevin Thompson, the executive director of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, for his commitment to reducing childhood poverty by providing college pathways for Florida students. Similarly, Susan Towler, the chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation and executive director of the Florida Blue Foundation, was celebrated for her growth of the Chamber Foundation.
Johnnie James, president of Lykes Brothers, was recognized for his commitment to sustainability and his gracious hosting of the Florida leadership cabinet.
Mike Griffin’s significant contributions to community investments were acknowledged, as he and AdventHealth were celebrated for their efforts in assisting Florida’s most at-risk zip codes for health outcomes in Orlando and beyond. Griffin, a dedicated advocate for health equity and community wellness, has been instrumental in the expansion of AdventHealth’s advocacy strategy. With a diverse career spanning journalism to senior roles in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Griffin’s commitment to Florida’s community is unparalleled.
Lastly, the Chamber expressed its gratitude to Allen McGlynn of State Farm Insurance, Holly Wozniak of Gate Petroleum, and Romeo Vellutini of Waste Pro for their instrumental roles in enhancing Florida’s legal environment through major tort reform during the most recent legislative session – but also for their work in prior years to get the state to this point. Bailes noted during the award presentation that their collective efforts have been pivotal in pushing for a fairer legal system for all Floridians.