A. Paul Anderson
» The Association of Florida Community Developers selected attorney Bob Rhodes of the Foley & Lardner law firm as the first recipient of the Wade Hopping Award of Excellence, for leadership in responsible land use, sustainable growth and community development. Rhodes is senior counsel in Jacksonville. Hopping, who died in 2009, was a legendary land-use lobbyist in Tallahassee.
» Former lieutenant governor candidate Rod Smith, an Alachua lawyer who also served as the 8th Judicial Circuit’s chief prosecutor and as a state senator, was expected to take over the chairmanship of the Democratic Party of Florida last month, which could help lead to a gubernatorial campaign in 2014.
» Georgia-based Ameris Bank named longtime Jacksonville banker Andrew B. Cheney president and COO. He will maintain his office in Jacksonville, where he formerly served as president of Barnett Bank and in other banking positions. Ameris operates six branches in the Jacksonville area, including two it acquired in October when it purchased the failed First Bank of Jacksonville.