FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business


The Heat Is On

While many of you are planning your summer vacations, we here at Florida Trend are entering our busy season.

Starting later this month, we will begin research for the sixth annual Florida CEO Trends survey. If you're one of the senior executives we contact to participate in the survey, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts and opinions on business, technology and other issues. Your input will be invaluable in presenting Florida's only statewide executive-level business survey. Results and analysis of the data will be published in a special report inside your December issue of Florida Trend.

Also in July, we'll be wrapping up production on Florida Trend's NEXT, our annual teen magazine distributed to high schools each fall, and helping host the annual Teen Trendsetters? Reading Mentor Summit in Orlando. The Teen Trendsetters program was started four years ago as a way to recruit and train Florida teens to mentor third-graders.

This summer, more than 100 new Teen Trendsetters will be trained as mentors, effectively establishing the program in more than half of the 67 counties across Florida. The program is managed by the Volunteer Florida Foundation, which developed a specialized mentor curriculum that ensures teens know what to do when tutoring third-grade students. The Florida Association of Partners in Education is instrumental in helping the teens organize and conduct programs in their hometowns.

The dynamic students who volunteer as Teen Trendsetters have been very effective in recruiting other teens to mentor, with hundreds of high school students now actively engaged. Florida's fourth-graders posted the highest reading gains in the nation during the last school year, due in part to the great work they are doing with Trendsetters in their third-grade year.

Meanwhile, our staff is busy producing the 2006 edition of Business Florida, the state's official business recruitment and retention publication. Business Florida -- a Trend partnership with Enterprise Florida, the Florida Economic Development Council and Workforce Florida -- showcases Florida's exceptional business climate. The magazine, which goes to press in September, will also highlight many of Florida's business success stories.

This month's Florida Trend includes our second annual Florida Legal Elite report. With 48 pages of attorney profiles, practice areas and alphabetical listings, this is definitely a "keeper" issue that you will find useful when you are seeking or recommending top lawyers.

Different from our TopRank list of law firms, which is ranked by number of attorneys in each firm's Florida offices, the Legal Elite honorees were selected by their peers. It is the only statewide poll that we know of that invites every member of The Florida Bar to vote.

This year's prestigious group of honorees comprises the top 1.7% of lawyers practicing in Florida. And they're not just the "big guys" either. The 958 Legal Elite lawyers work for 393 firms in 47 Florida cities. More than 66% are with firms of 20 or fewer attorneys. Interestingly, this year, we received 60% more ballots than last year, and more than half of this year's Legal Elite are repeat winners.

New this year, we asked the Legal Elite honorees to name the attorney they consider the best managing partner. The top seven are listed here.

So whether you're reading this issue at the beach or in your office, you can be assured that we are working hard to keep you informed on the latest trends and issues in Florida business.Lynda Keever can be reached by e-mail at LKeever@floridatrend.com.