April 25, 2015

Rod Petrey - Floridian of the Year

Under Rod Petrey, the Collins Center for Public Policy has never been a traditional think tank. In 2010, Petrey took the center to new heights while leaving its mark on two of the year's thorniest issues.

Mike Vogel | 1/1/2011

Meanwhile in 2010, the center pursued other projects, including a development program for Lake Okeechobee's poor communities, even-handed evaluations of proposed amendments to the state constitution, and a redevelopment project in Overtown in Miami-Dade.

Ahead, Collins has begun working with an national mortgage player to mediate cases before they fall into foreclosure. It's received a $1-million donation for a project on Florida's future. Petrey also expects the center to do more on education and delve into immigration.

The center also has built a new financial infrastructure. Under Parker Thomson, the Miami attorney who heads the Collins board, the board is being restructured as a fundraising operation, bringing in a diverse group of young leaders. The effort has already paid dividends. Until two years ago, the center was operating on $3 million to $4 million a year. It now has a $10-million annual budget. "We know the foreclosure income isn't going to continue forever," Petrey says.

Also on the to-do list is finding a successor for Petrey, now 69, although he expects to stay in charge a few more years. "We're now poised for even better things in the future," Petrey says. "Building on (LeRoy) Collins' legacy is something I very much want to do before I move into the sunset."

Business
Mark Wilson
Wilbur Ross Jr.
Lola Gonzalez
John Textor
Robert Clements
Thomas Gaffney
Hugh Green
R.J. Scaringe
Foreclosure Fighters
Julian MacQueen

Politics
Mel Martinez & The Dominoes

Military
Florida's Fallen Soldiers

Education
Frank Brogan
Maryellen Elia

Science/Innovation
Win Phillips & David Day
Ian MacDonald & William Hogarth

Environment
Extreme Temperatures

CRITTERS
Mystery Monkey

Sports
Tampa Bay Rays' Top Brass
Pat Riley

Volunteer/Non-Profit
Barth Green

Arts/Entertainment
New World Symphony
Pitbull
Pamela Tuscany

Dubious Achievers
Scott Rothstein
David Brooks

Jim Greer
Wayne McLeod
Lewis Freeman
Pawl Hawks
Lee Farkas

Tags: Trendsetters

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Chipola Feather Fest Preview
Chipola Feather Fest Preview

Between April 24-26 the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail festival will take place in the Chipola area of the Florida Panhandle. See what the birders are looking for.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

About the Everglades, we should...

  • Increase efforts toward restoration, esp. in light of rising sea level
  • Status quo - keep trying to fix it, as we have been
  • Get realistic. We will never restore it with millions living in South Florida.

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe