May 7, 2021

Celebrating 50 Years

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

Dexter Costin
Dexter Costin
Dexter Costin

» Dexter Costin, 37, is on an interesting trajectory. After earning a bachelor’s at Florida A&M University in 1995 in mechanical engineering on a ROTC scholarship, he spent five years in the Marine Corps, leaving as a captain in 2000 and picking up an MBA at Webster along the way. He discovered a love of business and finance and wound up as a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch in Winter Park, where he’s active in civic groups, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida, and his church, Orlando Baptist.

He’s so active at Orlando Baptist, in fact, that he spent part of the summer ministering with other church members at the Hope Academy in Nairobi, Kenya, and then in August left Merrill to become administrator of the 300-student church school Orlando Christian Prep.

“I couldn’t have predicted it,” he says, but he adds

that he’s always loved helping kids.

Governor’s Choice
Eric Henderson

Florida Trend asked Gov. Kenneth “Buddy” MacKay Jr. to write about a Floridian who’ll change the state in the coming years.

Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson [Photo: Mark Wemple]

» “My selection is Eric Henderson, M.D., a 32-year-old resident in orthopedic surgery at the University of South Florida. Eric is a product of Florida’s universities. He was raised in Tallahassee, a child of a faculty member at FSU. After an undergraduate degree in English literature with high honors from the University of Florida, he graduated form USF’s College of Medicine in 2004.

While still in training in his surgical residency, Eric has already shown great potential as an inventor. USF has applied for patents on two of his innovations, and he already has several more at the conceptual phase.

I singled out Eric for the unusual range of his interests and talents. His inventiveness is augmented by his interest in literature, camping, travel, the environment and gourmet cooking.

Like Florida Trend, I believe that today’s young Floridians will be decisive factors in changing the state over the next 50 years. I also believe that our most effective way to support them is to strengthen our universities.”

— Gov. Buddy MacKay Jr. (Dec. 12, 1998-Jan. 5, 1999)

Tags: Trendsetters

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