Most Influential in Business
Miami, 54, Chairman/CEO, Carnival Corp.
When you can count your net worth by the billions, you know you've got clout. Arison is the second-richest resident of the state, with a net worth approaching $6 billion. (Media/entertainment mogul and Palm Beach resident John Kluge takes top honors.) Arison's Carnival Corp. is the pace setter in the cruise business, and if the cruise business isn't fun enough, Arison also owns the Miami Heat. Philanthropy is also part of the picture: Carnival donated $1 million to victims of Hurricane Charley, and the Arison Foundation donates millions each year to charities.
Clearwater, 53, Chairman/CEO, Arnold Cos.
Arnold serves as head of the Colliers Arnold commercial real estate firm, which did more than $350 million in transactions last year. As chairman of the Council of 100's water management task force, Arnold steered a controversial plan to establish a statewide board to control water policy. Arnold also serves on the University of South Florida Board of Trustees.
Tampa, 75, CEO, Austin Cos.
A pioneer developer of the Westshore business district in Tampa, Austin is the finance chairman for the Republican Party of Florida. He's had a leadership role in every Republican presidential campaign in Florida since 1972. A member of the Florida Electoral College in the 2000 election, Austin has achieved "super ranger" status this election cycle, collecting at least $300,000 for the Republican National Committee and another $200,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign, according to Public Citizen. Austin serves as chairman of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority and is on the board advising Jeb Bush on military base realignments and closures.
Hoyt R. "Barney" Barnett
Lakeland, 61, Vice Chairman, Publix
Barnett has worked for Publix for 34 years. A devoted central Floridian, Barnett has served as chairman of the Tampa Bay Partnership and has extended his statewide reach through his membership on the boards of conservative think tank the James Madison Institute and Florida TaxWatch. While CEO Charles Jenkins still provides the grand vision for Publix, some see Barnett as more of a mover and shaker within the state.
Orlando, 57, President, Dick Batchelor Management Group
The business development consultant and former state representative -- from 1974-82 -- almost single-handedly pushed through one of the largest local school referendums in Orange County history. The 2002 half-penny sales tax increase is expected to raise $2.7 billion over 13 years. Batchelor has a slew of high-level contacts, a talent for winning over his opponents and a knack for building community consensus.
Richard A. "Dick" Beard III
Tampa, 60, President, R.A. Beard & Co.
Beard, a real estate investment consultant, played a major role in shaping downtown Tampa in the '80s as a founding partner of Paragon Group that went public in 1994 and developed projects like the Bank of America Plaza and the AmSouth building. A former finance chairman for the Republican Party of Florida from 1995 to 1998, he's currently negotiating a faculty union contract as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of South Florida.
Daytona Beach, 66, Chairman/CEO, Brown & Brown
Brown is a former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives who helped steer the state from under the dominance of rural legislators. The Brown family has been a bastion of support for many Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, and Brown is still influential in the state's political life as well, serving on many educational and non-profit boards. Since leaving the Legislature, he's grown the family business to become the sixth-largest insurance broker in the U.S. and eighth-largest in the world, with $551 million in revenue and operations in 29 states.
Miami Beach, 61, Chairman/CEO, PLC Investments
How did Miami-Dade land former New York schools Chancellor Rudy Crew as schools superintendent? It got help from Cejas, who pledged $240,000 to help Crew buy a house. The founder of managed-care company CareFlorida Health Systems, once the nation's largest Hispanic business, Cejas has long been a big political contributor. From 1983 to 2000, he made $411,000 in political contributions (98% to Democrats), according to the Center for Responsive Politics. President Clinton made him ambassador to Belgium from 1998 to 2001.
Orlando, 49, President/COO, SchenkelShultz Architecture
Chandler and his firm are having a big impact on school design around the state: His firm has worked on $2 billion worth of Florida school construction, spanning some 170 schools in 23 Florida counties. The firm has also had long-term work at the Orlando and Southwest Florida international airports.
Orlando, 59, President/CEO, Florida Health Care Coalition
Cherney, an internationally recognized expert on healthcare, spent more than 20 years in the corporate sector with three Fortune 500 companies. The nationally recognized coalition, which she founded, represents more than 1 million members from public and private employers all over Florida, including Disney, Darden Restaurants and Lockheed Martin, that seek to control the cost of healthcare and improve its quality. The group is also teaming with Employers Health Purchasing Corp. of Ohio to further increase its purchasing power. A plan being negotiated now, which should be open to employees by the beginning of 2005, will bring member companies' drug prices to a level "very, very close" to those paid by Canadians, she told Florida Trend.
Coral Gables, 68, Managing Director/CEO, Cobb Partners Ltd.
One of the true heavyweights in Florida, Cobb operates non-stop across a broad business and political spectrum. His career has included board membership and/or senior management roles with firms ranging from Pan Am and Penn Central to Arvida/Disney, along with board service to the Urban Land Institute and a host of business organizations. Cobb is a major political fund-raiser and wired politically; he served as ambassador to Iceland under President Reagan; his wife, Sue, is ambassador to Jamaica. When Atlanta began competing with Miami to become the headquarters of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, Gov. Jeb Bush and other leaders turned to Cobb to get the Miami campaign on track and focused.
Coral Gables, 58, Founder/Chairman, Codina Group
A commercial real estate developer whose industrial and office projects are worth more than $1 billion, Codina presided over the Americas Business Forum during the Free Trade Area of the Americas talks in Miami last November. Codina organized a quiet private meeting so top CEOs could talk trade away from the protesters downtown. "Otherwise they wouldn't want to come," he says. He currently serves on the boards of AMR Corp., the parent for American Airlines, BellSouth Corp. and General Motors. And he's Gov. Jeb Bush's former boss.
Miami, 54, Chairman, Miccosukee Tribe of Florida
Cypress has led the 550-member Miccosukee tribe for 12 years. The tribe's gambling wealth has let it extend its influence in a number of ways: The Miccosukees sponsored the first presidential debate this year, for one. The tribe has become the defender of the Everglades, taking on state and federal agencies and sometimes environmental groups in the process. The nearby Seminole Tribe of Florida has more people, casinos and larger business operations than the Miccosukees, but after a period of internal turmoil and the ouster of empire builder James Billie, there's no leader with Cypress' clout or stature.
Charles Croffard "Doc" Dockery
Lakeland, 71, Businessman
Dockery, who is married to Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, makes the influential list solely on the basis of having paid nearly $3 million for the ballot initiative that put a bullet train into the state's constitution. If the train survives an attempt to remove it from the constitution, it will influence the state's finances for years.
Panama City Beach, 68, CEO, Rail Management Corp.
Durden's Rail Management owns and operates 14 short-line railroads, a trucking company and rail equipment leasing company. Durden serves as the chairman of the Florida Transportation Commission. Area economic development leaders say Durden has been a huge influence in transportation improvement projects in the region, including getting area projects added to the Strategic Intermodal System future development plan. Florida's Great Northwest Chairman Bob Cordes says Durden has plenty of clout in Tallahassee: "He makes only friends."
Ocoee, 56, Executive Director, Florida's Turnpike Enterprise
Call Ely the un-bureaucrat, charged by Gov. Jeb Bush with bringing private-practice savvy to the government experiment that is Florida's Turnpike Enterprise. Last year, the turnpike collected $458 million in tolls. Ely, who helped dissuade Bush from selling Florida's toll road operation to the private sector, is making the public's interest his enterprise's bottom line, and his efforts are being noticed elsewhere in the U.S. and internationally.
Eugene "Gene" Franklin
Pensacola, 56, Founder
Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce
In just a half-dozen years, Franklin, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, has emerged as a leader in economic development in the African-American community and as a significant unifying force between black and white business groups in northwest Florida. His community activities are weighty, among them: Founder and past chairman of the Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce and the only Florida member of the National Black Chamber of Commerce's board of directors.
Bill Frederick Jr.
Orlando, 70, President, Frederick Enterprise Group
Orlando's downtown is thriving today in large part because of Frederick, the city's mayor from 1980-1992. Frederick envisioned a bustling downtown before it became cool to live there. His influence in the area continues: The family-owned Frederick Enterprise Group owns commercial real estate, citrus and ranch holdings. Frederick serves on numerous boards and is a member of the Florida Council of 100 and the Rollins College Board of Trustees.
Miami, 68, CEO, Ivax Corp.
Frost, a dermatologist-turned-entrepreneur, made a megafortune with his drug company and has been generous with his millions, both in the philanthropic and educational fields and as a political contributor. He's one of a few Florida corporate chiefs to openly back John Kerry. Among notable contributions, made together with his wife, Patricia, have been an $11-million gift to help expand Florida International University's art museum and a $33-million gift to the University of Miami's School of Music.
Fort Lauderdale, 52, President/CEO, Gill Hotels
Managers of hotels come and go; owners are often distant and institutional. Gill is the exception. Her father, George W. "Bob" Gill, from whom she took over in 2003, is considered by many to be the father of the Broward tourism industry. The family owns two of the biggest beach hotel properties in the county. Gill began her career filing papers and worked her way up to run the company. In the process, she has held nearly every important industrywide tourism post. The hurricanes left her properties unscathed, but not business -- group planners up north grew reluctant to book for hurricane season. "We've got to try to counteract it somehow," Gill says.
St. Petersburg, 62, President/CEO, Progress Energy Florida
A retired rear admiral in the Navy's nuclear submarine program, Habermeyer has been effective at cleaning up a toxic corporate culture that had developed at Florida Power in the wake of cuts in service and staff in the 1990s, before the company merged with Carolina Power and Light. PEF, the state's second-largest investor-owned utility, has improved its service and safety record -- and Habermeyer, in the state for only four years, has expanded his influence beyond the boundaries of his job, serving as vice chairman of Enterprise Florida.
Winter Park, 60, Chairman, Florida Board of Education
Handy's brusque, no-nonsense approach sometimes ruffles feathers. But that approach also has made him a successful deal-maker. He's headed up numerous companies through the years, including convenience store chain Majik Market, an enterprise that thrust him into the big leagues of investing in the late 1980s. He serves on the board of Al Hoffman's WCI Communities, among others. Handy owns Winter Park Capital Co. and is CEO of Strategic Industries, a diversified service and manufacturing company. He's played an instrumental role in overhauling the state's educational system and in getting voters to approve term limits.
Fort Myers, 70, Founder/CEO, WCI Communities
In addition to being one of the premier developers in the state, Hoffman is the Bush family's main money man. He raised $1.7 million for the president's re-election campaign at a single tent party at his home last year. Hoffman has served as national finance chairman of the Republican National Committee for 2001 and 2003-04 and as finance chairman for Gov. Jeb Bush's 1998 and 2002 gubernatorial campaigns. Hoffman had a seat on the dais at George W.'s inauguration four years ago, and he's got the ear of the governor on issues ranging from water policy to state efforts to lure more retirees to Florida.
Fort Walton Beach, 54, CEO, Manufacturing Technology
Hsu heads a company that has more than 500 employees, revenue of more than $40 million and offices in eight other states. He has been a catalyst in launching an engineering program at the University of West Florida and Okaloosa-Walton College joint campus. Hsu was appointed last year to the President's Export Council. He is a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration National Advisory Council.
Leerie Jenkins Jr.
Orange Park, 56, CEO, Reynolds, Smith and Hills
Jenkins, who runs one of the nation's 100 largest design and engineering firms, has built on a strong local reputation he developed in Jacksonville, where he served as chairman of the Jacksonville Economic Development Council from 1999 to 2001. These days he shows up everywhere , from Leadership Florida events to Florida Council of 100 meetings. He's also on FAMU's board.
St. Petersburg, 62, Chairman/CEO, Raymond James Financial
A hard-nosed crusader for tort reform as a member of the Florida Council of 100, James, in his day job, presides over a financial behemoth that sells everything from brokerage services and investment banking to trust and retail banking services. He's also a force in the arts world: James' firm features a notable art collection on display at its headquarters, and he serves as president of the board of St. Petersburg's Salvador Dali Museum.
Jacksonville, 55, Chairman/President
Renaissance Design Build Group of Jacksonville
Jones is credited with putting inner-city Jacksonville back on the retail map by redeveloping the 618,000-sq.-ft. Gateway Mall. An ordained Baptist minister, Jones focuses his efforts on low-income communities and urban areas, but is broadly active. He also served as a member of the design teams for the Museum of Science and History and the Performing Arts Theater in downtown Jacksonville.
Orlando, 61, President/CEO, Enterprise Florida
Kelley, a veteran of the technology industry, is a well-respected player in economic development circles. After retiring as president of Sprint's southern operations, Kelley served as president and COO of Maitland-based Milcom Technologies, a defense-related technology incubator, and president and CEO of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Orlando, 45, Developer, Kuhn Management
For most of his career, Kuhn has had a passion for recycling -- rehabilitating close to 20 downtown Orlando buildings that now sport trendy tenants. Now, the developer who pitched his vision for Orlando's future with Mayor Buddy Dyer over coffee -- "The most expensive cup of coffee I've ever had," says Kuhn -- is building the $140-million mixed-use project called The Plaza, with offices, condominiums, movie theaters and retail space, with the help of $22.7 million in city incentives.
Jorge Mas Santos
Miami, 41, Chairman, MasTec
Though no match for his late father, Cuban American National Foundation founder Jorge Mas Canosa, in shaping U.S. Cuba policy, Mas Santos remains influential. He retains the chairmanship of CANF and also of construction company MasTec.
Miami, 47, CEO, Lennar Corp.
Miller -- and his influence -- went national in 2000, after Lennar bought U.S. Home, a move that he directed. Earlier this year, he raised eyebrows when Lennar and two Florida partners won a heated bidding war for Boston's prized Fan Pier, a 21-acre waterfront development, for $125 million. Miller controls 77% of LNR Property, which is going private in a $3.8-billion buyout.
Domingo R. Moreira
Miami, 58, President/CEO, Ladex
Moreira ranks No. 3, just below Paul Cejas, on the Center for Responsive Politics' list of big Cuban political contributors from 1980 to 2000. He donated $370,000 (42% to Republicans). His Ladex Corp. is a leading Central American producer of seafood under the Maya brand. He's director of the executive committee of the Cuban American National Foundation.
H. Gary Morse
The Villages, 67, President/CEO, The Villages of Lake Sumter
Morse, developer of Florida's fastest-selling retirement community with 45,000 residents spread over Lake, Sumter and Marion counties, uses touches of invented history to make senior residents recall their small-town youth. A GOP heavyweight, he's raised at least $200,000 for the Bush presidential re-election campaign this season. Morse flies candidates to The Villages on his private jet and treats them to town square political rallies and front-page coverage in his newspaper, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Bradenton, 55, President, Neal Communities
As chairman of the board of the Christian Coalition of Florida, Neal, a longtime developer and former lawmaker, is a point man for motivating the faithful. He's also chairman of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 12th Circuit. In July, the Wharton graduate hit a business milestone when his company completed its 6,000th home since 1970.
Lowell "Bud" Paxson
West Palm Beach, 69, Chairman, Paxson Communications
From his first media job as radio station go-fer in Rochester, N.Y., Paxson built a broadcast stable, founding the Home Shopping Network in 1982 (selling it in 1995) and then the Pax TV network in 1998. He still owns a quarter of his namesake company, which broadcasts family fare and paid programming over the 60 stations it owns and operates. It lost $146.3 million last year on $317 million in revenue.
R. Donahue Peebles
Coral Gables, 44, President, Peebles Atlantic Development Corp.
Peebles developed the first African-American-owned convention center hotel in the nation -- the $91.5-million Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort on South Beach. Now he's developing The Bath Club, a $157-million oceanfront luxury condo tower with a private social club. The sweet irony: The club denied membership to African-Americans and Jews for years. Peebles became the club's first African-American member and later bought the property. Politically, Peebles is nimble: He has supported Gov. Jeb Bush's campaigns and offered financial support for the Republican 2000 re-count efforts. He's also raised money for Alex Penelas' Miami-Dade mayoral races.
Miami, 55, Chairman, The Related Group of Florida
One of Florida's busiest condominium developers, Perez has 25 projects under way in south Florida and seven more in the pipeline. His company saw revenue of $1.25 billion in 2003. Perez hopes to revitalize Miami's urban core with his much-anticipated mixed-use One Miami project. A former member of the Democratic National Committee, Perez counts Bill Clinton as a personal friend.
Jacksonville, 63, Chairman, Zurich Insurance Services
A Republican rainmaker nonpareil, Petway is a Bush family insider. He is Florida co-chairman of President Bush's finance operation and the man behind the GOP's rise to prominence locally in Jacksonville. Petway was chairman of Gov. Jeb Bush's transition team after the governor's re-election.
Miami, 48, President/CEO, Century Partners Group
Pino, a Republican fund-raiser who has collected at least $200,000 for President George Bush's re-election campaign, heads Century HomeBuilders. One of Miami-Dade County's largest home builders, Century had sales of $219 million last year on 1,188 homes.
Orlando, 48, Principal, PCE Investment Bankers
Poole combines rock-solid capitalism with what he calls a "do-gooder" streak and is influential in both realms. His firm recently started an index that charts publicly traded, Florida-based companies. He has also founded a non-profit housing development that became a national model, chaired the Winter Park Health Foundation, ran a homeless shelter and was the first chairman of WAGES, the state's welfare-to-work effort.
Jim Pugh Jr.
Winter Park, 67, President, Epoch Properties
A longtime friend and fund-raiser for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Pugh now heads the city task force that is planning a performing arts center on 10 acres in downtown Orlando. Pugh's Epoch Properties has developed some 30,000 multifamily housing units. His civic resume includes a stint as chairman of Florida's pension fund advisory board.
St. Petersburg, 49, CEO, Tech Data
A low-key leader more inclined to foreign languages than computer languages, Raymund has built the small business his father founded into the world's second-largest wholesale computer distribution company. In 1999, Raymund was named to the Computer Reseller News Hall of Fame.
Coral Gables, 69, Chairman/CEO, Revell Investments International
A former state secretary of transportation and master of transportation-related issues, Revell seems to know everybody in the state and has become one of a few wise heads who function as a kind of kitchen cabinet to whoever is in power in Tallahassee. Revell enjoys a mix of public policy and private enterprise, serving on a number of corporate boards even as he continues to advise the state: Most recently, Gov. Jeb Bush named him chair of the Florida Energy 2020 Study Commission. One tale: Just a few years ago, Revell arranged a meeting between a DOT manager named Jim Ely who wanted (as did Revell) to convince Bush to split off the state's turnpike operations into an independent, entrepreneurial unit, rather than selling off the turnpike to a private operator. Before the meeting Revell supplied Bush with a list of "suggested questions" for Ely -- and supplied Ely with the suggested answers to ensure Ely's presentation would go well. "My interest is in getting something done," he says.
Orlando, 65, President, Rosen Hotels & Resorts
Rosen, an innovative hotelier with ideas on everything from management to healthcare, also has been recognized as one of the nation's 60 most charitable real estate contributors. In the past four years alone, he has donated almost $4 million to pay for college scholarships and pre-kindergarten programs for less fortunate families in the Tangelo Park neighborhood he adopted. He's distributed $1.5 million a year to full-time employees, including housekeepers. A new $20-million school of hospitality at the University of Central Florida bears his name, and Rosen also serves on the board of the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Boggy Creek Gang.
Jacksonville, 58, Chairman/CEO, St. Joe Co.
At the helm of Florida's largest corporate landowner since 1997, Rummell serves as the steward of more than 820,000 acres, and he will be the key player shaping the future development of northwest Florida. A former Disney executive, Rummell oversaw development of the town of Celebration, 20,000 hotel rooms and eventually theme park development. A "place-maker," he also guides Florida's university system as a member of the Board of Governors.
St. Petersburg, 74, Founder, Sembler Co.
Former chief fund-raiser for the Republican National Committee and a Bush family friend, Sembler is the U.S. Ambassador to Italy. His Sembler Co. is one of the country's leading shopping center developers. While the company, which has moved into Atlanta and Puerto Rico, is now run by Craig Sher and Sembler's sons, Greg and Brent, Sembler remains a fund-raising power. He and his wife, Betty, are staunch anti-drug activists.
Pensacola, 44, CEO, Gulf Power Co.
Story, a persuasive executive who's a dynamic and compelling speaker, has made a statewide impact with an instinct for service. She is vice chairman-elect of Enterprise Florida, was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to the Florida Base Realignment and Closure Advisory Council and serves as chair of the council's Intra-State Activities Committee. She also is a liaison for Pensacola and Shalimar Front Porch Initiatives.
Orlando, 56, President, Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce
Chamber president since 1984, Stuart has changed the way central Florida conducts economic development with an unwavering emphasis on regionalism. In 1998, he led the chamber into politics, creating the state's largest regional political action committee, BusinessForce, to represent the region's diverse business community. The chamber also created a seven-county "Leadership Central Florida" that works to expand the community-building activities of local "leadership" groups.
Tampa, 56, Founder/CEO, Outback Steakhouse
The success of the Outback empire has given Sullivan the time and money to extend his involvement and influence all over the business and political landscape. He's on the board that oversees the new Scripps Research Institute project. He's active in state Republican political circles, serves as chairman of the Florida Council of 100, supports the nation's Boys and Girls Clubs and was one of the larger original shareholders in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays until earlier this year.
Orlando, 52, Senior Vice President, Darden Restaurants
When it comes to community involvement, Walsh has a full plate: The former chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce is deeply involved in community and statewide causes and backs up his personal heft with a company that boasts $4.8 billion in sales and employment of 141,000. He is on numerous boards and councils, including the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees.
Orlando, 50, President, Walt Disney World Resort
Weiss started at Disney World in 1972, rising through Disney's resorts and finance divisions. Walt Disney World Resort is the largest single-site employer in the nation. While opening Animal Kingdom and launching the Disney Cruise Line, Weiss has maintained Disney's reputation for civic involvement in Orlando -- and has played hardball politics, insisting that the state's planned bullet train stop at Disney rather than International Drive.
Orlando, 54, President/CEO, Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell
Yesawich is known internationally for his National Travel Monitor series on travel habits and preferences. His firm is one of the country's leading marketing, advertising and public relations agencies for the leisure industry.
Zachariah P. Zachariah
Sea Ranch Lakes, 55, Physician
The Broward cardiologist, philanthropist and India native is a major fund-raiser for President Bush, raising a total of at least $300,000 in 2000 and 2004. He co-chairs finance for Bush's Florida campaign. He was big in Bush the Elder's campaign, said to have raised more than any other individual, and Bob Dole's too. He's had numerous state appointments and sits on the university system's Board of Governors and chairs the Florida Council on Economic Education.
Andres Duany & Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
Miami, 55 & 53, Founders, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.
The husband-and-wife team is known for founding the Congress for the New Urbanism, which the New York Times called "the most important collective architectural movement in the United States in the past 50 years." The concept: Create communities where people can work, live and play in an urban setting, with new buildings complementing existing structures. The team designed the town of Seaside in the Panhandle. Today, the studio is behind a surge of 50 master plans for downtown redevelopment in four Florida counties -- and is a leader in the movement against sprawl. Plater-Zyberk also is dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture.
Bill McBride and Alex Sink
Thonotosassa, 59 & 56
McBride: Partner, Barnett, Bolt, Kirkwood, Long & McBride
Sink, the former head of Bank of America's Florida operations, is staying busy with board and philanthropic work. McBride, the former Holland and Knight general partner and gubernatorial candidate, is now a partner in a small law firm in Tampa. Both still carry a lot of weight. And many people are convinced Sink will seek public office sometime soon.
Thomas and Virginia Miller
Fort Lauderdale, both 61, CEO/Secretary, Miller Construction
If you're a non-profit in Fort Lauderdale, it pays to know the Millers. They're the couple many business executives turn to when trying to decide who gets funding. Both Tom and Ginny have been longtime contributors to many causes, including United Way of Broward and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County.
Clarence Otis Jr. & Jacqueline Bradley
Orlando, 48 & 46
Otis: In-Coming CEO, Darden Restaurants
Bradley: Senior VP, Client Advisory Group, SunTrust Banks
Otis will take over as CEO of $5-billion Darden Restaurants next month, making him only the seventh African-American to lead a Fortune 500 company. He serves on numerous boards and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, a non-profit support network for African-American executives. His wife, Jacqueline Bradley, serves on the Florida Arts Council and is vice chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. She's been listed as one of the top 100 collectors of African-American art in the nation by Art & Antiques magazine.