September 23, 2014

COVER STORY

Most Influential Non-Profits

PHILANTHROPISTS

Hodding Carter III
Miami, 69, President/CEO, Knight Foundation
Carter brings a bit of glamour to the organization by way of his national media background. He is the former press spokesman for the Department of State under President Jimmy Carter and the winner of four Emmy awards as chief correspondent at PBS. Knight is no slow-moving or stodgy foundation that takes months to decide on a grant award. Within days after Hurricane Frances hit in September, the foundation gave $500,000 for victims' relief.

Jack Fetterman

Pensacola, 72, President/CEO, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation
Fetterman has championed flight education with a flair for the dramatic. The museum is at Pensacola Naval Air Station, home of the Blue Angels precision flying team, where the retired vice admiral is lobbying to have a larger hangar built so the public can get closer to the pilots and their jets. He has already raised more than $25 million to expand the museum -- including funding for a Flight Academy where students from middle and high schools may spend a week studying such subjects as propulsion and gravity with the help of dozens of interactive devices.

Sherry P. Magill

Jacksonville, 52, President, Jessie Ball du Pont Fund
Magill guides the organization that administers the trust of Jacksonville financier Ed Ball's late sister. Named executive director in 1993 and president in 2000, she's expanded the fund's reach nationally while adhering to its founder's guidelines. From a handful of early beneficiaries, the fund now provides financial help to 325 organizations -- educational, religious and non-profits -- including groups ranging from the Girl Scouts in New York City to Berea College in Kentucky. In the course of making the trust a progressive philanthropic powerhouse, Magill also has emerged as a forceful spokesperson and advocate for the philanthropic community in Florida.

David Odahowski

Winter Park, 48, President/CEO, Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation
Odahowski is an attorney who came to the group in 1990 after running another charity in Minnesota. A frequent public speaker on philanthropic issues, Odahowski has led a steady expansion in the foundation's recipient diversity and numbers. Focusing exclusively on central Florida, the foundation funds programs in education, health, human services and cultural activities. The number of recipients has exceeded 1,600 since the foundation was formed in 1973, and the amount given has topped $76 million.

Will Ray

Palm Beach County, 58, VP of External Affairs, Scripps Foundation
After 22 years as president of the Palm Beach Cultural Council, Ray knew the southeast Florida fund-raising scene inside and out and had a Rolodex to envy. Ray thought he would be perfect for the lead fund-raising job when Scripps announced it was coming to Florida. In less than a year on the job, Ray has garnered a continuing series of million-dollar donations and established a pipeline between south Florida and Scripps' home base in San Diego. Scripps values performance: It has put Ray in charge of all of its fund raising, including that for its California operations.

CONSERVATIONISTS


Greg Chelius

Tallahassee, 54, Florida Director, Trust for Public Land
The trust has emerged as a leading force in land conservation efforts in Florida, buying sensitive properties and then reselling them to local or state governments. In addition to completing some 225 individual projects with a total market value of more than $300 million in the state, the trust now packages big, sophisticated land-acquisition campaigns for local governments. When Cypress Gardens closed its doors after 67 years, Chelius came up with the creative deal to save it from development. The Trust for Public Land purchased the gardens. Chelius -- with hoop-skirted Southern Belles and spandex-clad water-skiers in tow -- persuaded the governor and Cabinet to purchase a permanent conservation easement over the entire gardens and then lined up buyers for the theme park and botanical gardens.

Eric Draper

Tallahassee, 51, Director of Policy, Audubon of Florida
Draper successfully rallied his grass-roots base of 6,500 green advocates to persuade lawmakers to shelve the Florida Council of 100's controversial water policy plan that would have created a state water board to oversee water policy. A former top policy adviser for the National Audubon Society in Washington, D.C., Draper has worked as a dogged advocate for Everglades restoration and lands preservation. He successfully lobbied for authorization of $1 billion in Everglades Restoration Bonds. While at The Nature Conservancy, he campaigned for annual approval of Florida's $3-billion Preservation 2000 program.

Tags: Around Florida

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