May 18, 2024

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Rising to the occasion

David Denor | 11/25/2020

We are about to turn the page on 2020, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that 2021 cannot come fast enough.

If all indications are correct, the new year will be one of rebuilding, growth and a return to normalcy.

From personal experience, I am encouraged by how our youth especially have responded to the pandemic. And it gives me hope as we look to the next generation of young business leaders who will drive our state forward.

This past August, my wife, Jessica, and I officially became emptynesters. Our oldest son and his fiance are young executives living in Asheville, N.C., where they both work at the Biltmore Estate. Our other three children all attend Florida Gulf Coast University. I have been utterly impressed with how they and their friends have all adjusted to the changes brought on by COVID-19. They understood the challenges and faced them head-on.

As difficult as the pandemic is, it has also been a learning experience for all of us, and hopefully our response will serve as a template for future generations on how to handle challenges like this.

Each December, Florida Trend highlights a Floridian of the Year.

Sometimes it’s an individual. Other times it’s a group of people. We even gave a country the honor in 2012 (Brazil). Here are a few others who have been named Floridian of the Year in the past:

Colin Brown, then CEO of JM Family Enterprises (currently chairman), 2015

Frank DiBello, CEO of Space Florida, 2016

Kiran Patel, philanthropist, cardiologist and businessman, 2017

Brightline, the passenger rail service, 2018

The Florida Teacher, Florida’s 177,000 teachers, 2019

So many individuals, groups and organizations left their mark on our state this year, but I couldn’t be prouder of the editorial department’s 2020 Floridian of the Year, the state’s non-profit sector.

In a year that has challenged us all in so many ways, I think it is only appropriate to recognize the people who deliver goods and services to those in need day in and day out. So generous in normal times, nonprofits were pushed to their limits to serve those in their communities around the state this year.

I extend a heart-felt thank you and congratulations to all those who serve in Florida’s non-profit community. We all owe you a debt of gratitude.

As 2020 comes to an end, all of us at Florida Trend would like to wish you, your family and business associates a safe and happy holiday season. All the best as you head into the new year!

— David Denor, Publisher


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