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Trendsetters: Today and Beyond

High-impact leaders who are making a difference in Florida and beyond -- but whose biggest contributions may be yet to come. The governors also make their picks.

Mike Vogel | 9/1/2008

Governor’s Choice
Hayley Jade Fink

Florida Trend asked Gov. Bob Graham to write about a Floridian who’ll change the state in the coming years.

Hayley Jade Fink
Hayley Jade Fink

» “I made a mistake during my first meeting with Hayley Jade Fink. I asked her how she typically used her free time. She responded that at various times she had taught underprivileged students in Hong Kong; attended the Harvard Asia project in Hong Kong and Tokyo; and led and prepared materials for a conference on United States legislative procedure in Bangkok, Thailand. If that were not enough, closer to home, she had volunteered as a script writer for Harvard’s radio station and interned at a small-claims court, where she helped claimants and trained other volunteers. I was impressed and exhausted.

With that recitation, Hayley had satisfied one of the qualities of leadership: Curiosity. She had already established a pattern, to learn by doing in a global environment. Energy linked to focus and tenacity is another characteristic for leadership. Hayley has demonstrated this throughout her life. Born in St. Petersburg, she was a 2004 graduate of St. Petersburg High School’s International Baccalaureate program and a 2008 cum laude graduate of Harvard. Her focus has been on the interconnection of science and civics. Hayley’s degree in earth and planetary science was complemented with activities such as a summer internship on environmental policy, resource recovery and geology divisions in Athens and field classes in marine geology on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

I grew to know Hayley’s unique capabilities and temperament when she worked for me as a liaison, assisting in the preparation and promotion of a class in participatory citizenship I was leading at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2005. Her work was outstanding, which convinced me that she had a bright future ahead.

Hayley is spending this summer after graduation as an intern in Judge Lorraine Kelly’s circuit court and after a year away from the classroom will commence her legal education at Yale in 2009. I anticipate she will bring her then 25 years of preparation for public and civic service back to Florida. All of her fellow Floridians will be the better for it.”

— Gov. Bob Graham (1979-1987)

Chris Hart IV
Chris Hart IV
Chris Hart IV

» As a state representative, Chris Hart IV sponsored the legislation that created Workforce Florida and the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Now 40, he’s CEO of Workforce Florida, the public-private group that oversees Florida’s workforce system. Hart, a former senior vice president of external affairs and investor relations for Enterprise Florida, also is credited with spearheading the state’s centers of excellence program, in which educational institutions get state money to build on specialties important to the economy.

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