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Who is Enterprise Florida?

By Times Staff Report
Published August 27, 2006


Susan Story, chief executive of Gulf Power Co. and Enterprise Florida's top corporate board member, calls the board a "progressive, diverse group that wants to make a difference."

Its members are united by "a shared vision" to create high-wage jobs, she said. Yet only four of Enterprise Florida's 63-member board are black. Only 10 are women. Only nine are registered Democrats.

And virtually every vote they have cast as a board since January 1999 has been unanimous, a review of meeting minutes shows.

Brian McDonald, president of a specialty pharmaceutical company appointed to the board by former Senate President Jim King, said it was "really hard" at first for him to fit in with so many large-company executives.

"Everybody seemed to know each other from a different group," McDonald said, adding that he would like to see more small businesses represented on the board.

About half of the businesses represented on the board have benefited from incentives promoted by Enterprise Florida or have had business dealings with the agency or its affiliates. Yet every board member and company representative interviewed said board members do what is best for Florida, not for their own companies.

Here is a look at the 63 board members, how they got there and other highlights.

 

READING THIS LIST

The first few items under each name are:

Title, company, location

How he/she got on board

Company contributions and free services to Enterprise Florida/sponsorships and fees for trade missions and trade shows

Items with bullets (-) are highlights about the member or the member's company.

 

Ron Abbott

Executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$235,000 / $3,530

- Biggest U.S. defense contractor has gotten more than $12-million in incentives to create or save jobs. Qualified for 20-year income tax break for rocket project at Cape Canaveral. Could benefit from $35-million incentive package passed by Legislature this year to help NASA and its contractors develop next-generation spaceship.

- Florida employment has fallen from 17,000 in 2000 to 10,000 in 2005.

 

Hoyt "Barney" R. Barnett

Vice chair, Publix Super Markets, Lakeland

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$175,000 / $12,500

- Chain has benefited from $3.2-million in incentives. Would get incentives for building distribution center in Charlotte County, but neither Publix nor Enterprise Florida will say how much.

- Publix opposed amendment that raised state's minimum wage by $1 to $6.15 an hour.

 

Alan Becker

Founding shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff, Fort Lauderdale

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$70,000 in cash and $120,000 in free legal services

- Law firm has represented Enterprise Florida for free in Czech Republic under agreement that allows firm to charge fees to private clients seeking business in emerging eastern Europe market.

- Becker, a former Democratic lawmaker, calls Czech agreement a "good prestige thing" but doesn't bring in money for firm.

 

Powell Brown

Regional executive vice president, Brown & Brown, Daytona Beach

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$150,000

- Firm provided advice to Enterprise Florida in 2000 on liability insurance for nonprofit directors and officers. In 2001, a committee of the board authorized use of firm as insurance agents, saying the action was necessary because Toni Jennings (now lieutenant governor) served as a board member of both Enterprise Florida and Brown & Brown. Enterprise Florida says it paid no fees to firm.

- Powell Brown is son of Brown & Brown's chief executive, former Florida House Speaker J. Hyatt Brown.

 

Vernon G. Buchanan

Founder/chief executive, Buchanan Enterprises, Sarasota;

candidate for Congress, 2006

Appointed by Senate president

No contribution required, but gave $50,000

- Auto dealer active in national GOP and Chamber of Commerce circles has gotten $28,000 in campaign for Congress from nine current and former Enterprise Florida board members.

- Contested 1993 tax bill for $4.7-million and paid $1.26-million in IRS settlement.

 

Jeb Bush

Governor, Tallahassee; chairman, Enterprise Florida

Member by law

No contribution required

- Under Bush, Enterprise Florida has evolved from loosely knit group of Florida executives into a network that helps push his proposed tax cuts, free trade agenda and business friendly policies.

- Bush's year-old education foundation has gotten more than $130,000 in contributions from past and present Enterprise Florida board members, their relatives or their companies.

 

Dominic M. Calabro

President, chief executive, Florida TaxWatch, Tallahassee

Nonvoting member elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required

- Four current officers/executive committee members also serve on Enterprise Florida board.

- Tax-exempt group famous for highlighting wasteful state spending sometimes endorses tax breaks that benefit corporate sponsors.

 

J. Thomas Cardwell

Chairman, chief executive, Akerman Senterfitt, Orlando

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$200,000 / $16,600

- Law firm has gotten $730,000 in legal fees since 1997 for Enterprise Florida bond issues. Most of the fees are paid by bond customers.

- Firm represented two banks on Enterprise Florida board that contested $10-million in state corporate income taxes.

 

Alan Ciamporcero

President, Verizon Southeast Region, Tampa

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$100,000

- Phone giant's wireless affiliate has been paid more than $92,000 since 2002 for cell phone service agreements with Enterprise Florida.

- Verizon paid nothing in state income tax in 2003 and $1,567,720 in 2004 because of tax credits and deductions. Its estimated 2005 tax bill is more than $28,748,459.

 

Sue McCourt Cobb

Secretary of state

Member by law

No contribution required

- Former U.S. ambassador, now in charge of state elections, volunteered legal skills during Bush-Gore recount of 2000. Husband, a developer who was an ambassador under former President George Bush, has led nonprofit free-trade group that does business with Enterprise Florida.

- Daughter-in-law is general counsel and executive vice president of Codina Group, Gov. Bush's former real estate firm. Son is vice president of Codina Development Corp., subsidiary of Codina Group.

 

Christopher T. Corr

Senior vice president, St. Joe Co., Jacksonville

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$350,000 / $22,000

- Onetime paper giant-turned-developer benefits from Enterprise Florida strategies, such as new and expanded tax breaks for companies that locate in rural areas on or near St. Joe property. Firm has announced layoffs of about 150 people.

- Corr, a Florida House member in the 1990s, has led board committee that sets Enterprise Florida's lobbying agenda.

 

Marshall Criser III

Florida president, BellSouth Telecommunications, Miami

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$400,000 / $41,320

- Telecom got 20-year corporate tax break, other incentives potentially worth $1.9-million.

- Criser's father is former University of Florida president.

 

Charlie Crist

Attorney general; also served on board as state education commissioner, 2001-2003; candidate for governor, 2006

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required

- In governor's race, state's top consumer lawyer has gotten $16,800 from past and present Enterprise Florida board members, their families and companies.

- Voted with board in 2004 to oppose increase in Florida's minimum wage. Solicitor general under Crist wrote a U.S. Supreme Court brief backing states' use of incentives to woo specific companies.

 

Nancy Detert

State representative, R-Venice; president, Osprey Mortgage Co., Venice; candidate for Congress, 2006

Nonvoting member by law

No contribution required

- Lawmaker and onetime critic of Enterprise Florida went on $2,162 state-paid trade mission to Spain with governor. Got a $500 congressional campaign contribution from Darrell Kelley while he served as organization's top executive.

- Sponsored an Enterprise Florida bill that extended tax incentives.

 

Dan Devers

President, chief executive, Berry Corp., Davenport

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$50,000

- Onetime citrus giant has sold land to state and proposed developments on property that includes wetlands.

- In 1999, U.S. magistrate ruled that about 3,000 fruit pickers for company affiliates were entitled to damages of "unpaid wages" of $690,000 plus interest for three-year period in early 1990s.

 

Timothy D. Edmond

President, CNL Realty and Development, Orlando

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$100,000

- Development firm's affiliates got tax refund potentially worth $3.1-million for 418 jobs at downtown Orlando office tower.

- Enterprise Florida staff negotiated tax refund while its top executive, Darrell Kelley, solicited a contribution from CNL. Kelley says he stopped as soon as he learned of the company's incentive request.

 

Michael Egan

Vice president and counsel, Rinker Materials, West Palm Beach

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$150,000

- U.S. affiliate of Australian concrete maker has gotten state and local permits and has expanded Florida operations.

- When Miami-Dade County started to crack down on company for allegedly damaging nearby homes during blasting, Legislature took away the county's authority.

 

Tom Gallagher

Florida's chief financial officer; also served on board as state education commissioner, 1999-2000; candidate for governor, 2006

Member by law

No contribution required

- State's top financial officer has gotten $17,500 in race for governor from past and present Enterprise Florida board members, their families and their companies.

- His predecessor, Bob Milligan, strongly criticized Enterprise Florida's spending in a 2001 audit. Two years later, a Gallagher follow-up audit said Enterprise Florida had corrected the problems.

 

Joan K. Goodrich

Chairman, Florida Economic Development Council, Tallahassee; executive vice president, Broward Alliance, Fort Lauderdale

Nonvoting member elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required / $3,315 in fees

- Group representing local economic developers has gotten free office space from Enterprise Florida valued at $18,000 a year plus $5,000 a year for events.

- Four of its corporate sponsors also contribute to Enterprise Florida.

 

Howard Halle

Florida commercial banking director, Wachovia Bank, Jacksonville

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$300,000 / $8,500 (Predecessor, First Union, contributed $300,000 / $2,250)

- Bank, subsidiaries and predecessors have gotten more than $660,000 through Enterprise Florida bond program since 1997, according to documents provided by Enterprise Florida.

- Made total of about $2.7-million on about $5-million investment through Enterprise Florida affiliate, documents show.

 

Marshall Heard

Executive director, Florida Aviation & Aerospace Alliance, Merritt Island

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required

- Industry group got $9,050 from Enterprise Florida; contract called for group to help state win aviation projects.

- Also got Enterprise Florida's help lobbying for sales and property tax exemptions benefiting aviation and defense companies.

 

Pete Hegener

President, Core Communities LLC, Port St. Lucie

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$100,000

- Developer of 8,200-acre community in St. Lucie County has offered land for biotech business as part of state and local incentive package worth tens of millions.

- As of December 2005, Core had used $52.4-million in community development district bonds to finance and maintain roads, sewers, schools and other public projects.

 

Julie K. Hilton

Vice president, Hilton Inc.; partner, Hilton, Hilton, Kolk & Roesch, Panama City

Appointed by governor

No contribution required

- Attorney/hotelier encouraged Enterprise Florida board to support legislation to increase quotas for foreign seasonal workers.

- Is minority shareholder with former Enterprise board member/House Speaker Allan Bense in a company that owns a public golf course in Panama City.

 

James W. Holton

President, Holton Companies, Madeira Beach

Appointed by House speaker

No contribution required

- Real estate developer and big GOP donor was appointed by Gov. Bush to Florida Transportation Commission.

- Last year he gave $25,000 to Bush's education foundation.

 

Donald L. Jernigan

President and chief executive, Adventist Health System, Winter Park; former president, Florida Hospital, Orlando

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$300,000 / $3,550 from Florida Hospital

- At November 2002 Enterprise Florida board meeting, Jernigan stepped into medical malpractice debate, calling it a critical economic development issue as Florida competes for doctors relocating to North Carolina.

- Adventist, three affiliated hospitals and a management company agreed in 2004 to pay $20.3-million to settle allegations that they overcharged Medicare, the Justice Department said.

 

Cyrus M. Jollivette

Senior vice president of public affairs, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Jacksonville

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$50,000 / $7,000

- Giant insurer has gotten more than $220,000 in health insurance premiums to cover employees in Enterprise Florida's Tallahassee office over eight years.

- Last year, Blue Cross listed 19 lobbyists, including John Thrasher, former House speaker; David Rancourt, Gov. Bush's former deputy chief of staff; and Michael Hightower, a Blue Cross vice president who raised more than $100,000 for President Bush.

 

Lynda Keever

Publisher and chief operating officer, Florida Trend, St. Petersburg

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$531,000 in free advertising / $1,257

- Magazine affiliated with St. Petersburg Times has gotten $157,000 for ads, subscriptions, and copies and distribution of special publications that the magazine publishes for Enterprise Florida. Also has been paid $3.4-million largely for printing specialty publications for Workforce Florida, Department of Education and Department of State.

- Parent firm sued state after auditors denied company's claim for $1.3-million in sales tax refunds for purchase of printing equipment used to increase production. Settlement in the works.

 

Tom Kuntz

Chairman, president, chief executive, SunTrust Bank, Florida, Orlando

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$300,000 / $15,500

- Bank and subsidiaries have been paid more than $37,000 in banking fees from Enterprise Florida. Also has collected about $430,000 in Enterprise Florida bond-related fees and about $2.7-million through Enterprise Florida investment affiliate, according to documents provided by Enterprise Florida.

- Enterprise Florida board elected Kuntz vice chair starting next year.

 

Howard Lance

Chairman, president, chief executive, Harris Corp., Melbourne

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$100,000

- Government communications firm has gotten about $745,000 in state sales tax exemption for purchase of equipment used in defense and space business.

- War against terror has boosted firm's government contracts and led to hundreds of new jobs in Florida.

 

Timothy Laney

Global corporate sales executive, Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C.

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$375,000 / $41,857

- Bank and predecessors have made about $5.4-million on $9.8-million investment in Enterprise Florida affiliate since 1995, according to documents provided by Enterprise Florida.

- Laney has relocated to bank's Charlotte, N.C., office. Another bank executive is expected to replace him on board.

 

Frederick Leonhardt

Chairman, GrayRobinson, Orlando

Appointed by governor

$3,500 in fees, including from predecessor firm

- Law firm that represented GOP during Bush-Gore election dispute counsels Enterprise Florida on employee benefit issues. (November 2002 contract lists value at $8,000.)

- Before joining board, Leonhardt and other lawyers at his firm helped obtain incentives for microchip plant in Orlando that closed a few years later.

 

James M. Lewis

Senior vice president, Disney Vacation Development, Celebration

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$350,000

- Entertainment titan qualified for $680,000 in tax refunds to consolidate 260 jobs in Osceola County. Also got $61,000 for Enterprise Florida events at company properties.

- Ninety of the 260 jobs were to be moved to Osceola from Orange County. Disney laid off 472 Florida employees in 2004 and 2005.

 

Jeff Lyash

President and chief executive, Progress Energy Florida, St. Petersburg

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$250,000 / $68,837

- Utility joined task force partnership that pushed for tax incentives and grants to attract and develop hydrogen businesses. Has gotten $680,000 from state for two hydrogen projects.

- IRS recently ruled company can claim $1.25-billion in tax credits generated during four years of production of synthetic fuel. But "continued uncertainty" of federal legislation put future credits in doubt; three months later, utility suspended synfuel operations and laid off 130 workers.

 

A.D. "Sandy" MacKinnon

Chief executive, Yale Industrial Trucks, Tampa

Appointed by Senate president

No contribution required

- Former Tampa chamber chairman and GOP contributor was among business leaders who quietly headed to Cuba with former Mayor Dick Greco in 2002 to explore trade opportunities.

- Is husband of former Hillsborough County Commission chairwoman Dottie Berger.

 

Brian A. McDonald

President and chief executive, BRM Group, Oldsmar; former vice president of hemophilia services, Priority Healthcare Corp.; former officer, Hemophilia of the Sunshine State

Appointed by Senate president

No contribution required

- Priority Healthcare, which provides specialty pharmaceutical products to people with chronic diseases, qualified for $1.8-million in tax refunds to add 456 jobs to 377 existing jobs.

- Priority, which acquired Hemophilia of the Sunshine State in 2002, eliminated 68 jobs in California and Florida in 2004. It was acquired by another company in 2005.

 

Lisa A. Malone

Director, public affairs, NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center

Nonvoting member elected by Enterprise Florida board

$200,000

- Enterprise Florida pushed for funding to develop space lab and government-industry projects at Kennedy Space Center.

- NASA decided not to contribute any more cash to Enterprise Florida in 2005.

 

Susan Martinez

Senior executive vice president, Florida Banking Group, AmSouth Bank, Tampa

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$50,000

- Bank got about $309,000 in fees from a company for handling $18.7-million deal for Enterprise Florida bond program.

- State recently prevailed in lawsuit after bank tried to reduce its state income tax between 1992-96 by claiming Florida assets were managed by committee in Alabama. Bank won't say how much it paid in settlement.

 

Howell W. Melton Jr.

Managing Partner, Holland & Knight, Orlando

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$375,000 plus $107,000 in free legal services / $38,425

- Firm has gotten more than $1.1-million in legal and consulting fees. Serves as Enterprise Florida's official representative in China. Also received fees of about $200,000 for representing banks in bond deals, according to closing statements provided by Enterprise Florida.

- Firm recently hired Enterprise Florida's former top board member, George Koehn of SunTrust, as a business development adviser and its former president, Darrell Kelley, as chief operating officer.

 

J. Patrick Michaels Jr.

Chairman & CEO, Communications Equity Associates, Tampa

Appointed by House speaker

No contribution required

- Entrepreneur provides advice on how Florida can attract private equity firms.

- Michaels has been a member of elite cadre of GOP contributors known as Republican Regents. Party officials have said each Regent has given at least $250,000 and gets to meet regularly with President Bush and Gov. Bush.

 

Armando Olivera

President, Florida Power & Light, Juno Beach

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$125,000 / $2,000

- Florida's largest utility, among the fastest growing in the nation, had 37 state lobbyists in 2005, more than any firm represented on Enterprise Florida board.

- Olivera became board member after personal appeal by Enterprise Florida president in 2004 for board members to encourage utility to donate $50,000.

 

Clarence Otis Jr.

Chair, Chief Executive, Darden Restaurants, Orlando

Appointed by the governor

$300,000 / $5,000

- Company that operates Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants stands to benefit from $2.5-million in tax refunds to create 500 new jobs and $2-million in road improvements to consolidate headquarters in Orlando. Also has qualified for $4.8-million economic development grant from Orange County.

- Company settled meal and rest-break lawsuits with workers in California for $9.5-million.

 

Rick Walsh

Senior vice president, Darden Restaurants, Orlando

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

- See above.

 

Susan Pareigis

Executive director, Florida Council of 100, Tampa

Nonvoting member elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required

- Between March 2003 and May 2005, Enterprise Florida paid council $1,680, largely to cover costs for Enterprise Florida's top executive to attend council meetings.

- At least seven past and current Enterprise Florida board members also have served on the council, whose members are invited into the group and approved by the governor.

 

Stuart Perlin

Vice president of business development, Aleriant, Fort Lauderdale

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$108,000 in free services

- Outsourcing firm donated 864 hours in customized software development at $125 an hour, for a total of $108,000 in free services.

- Participated in trade mission with Gov. Bush to Colombia, where firm has an office.

 

Albert Petrangeli

Division President, Centex Construction, Plantation

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$100,000

- Construction contractor got $21-million to build temporary facilities for Scripps Research Institute at Florida Atlantic University.

- Parent company and former president were fined more than $203,000 in 2003 for illegal campaign contributions by employees to Florida politicians.

 

Winfred Phillips

Vice president for research, University of Florida, Gainesville; president of UF Research Foundation

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required

- University got $10-million for new biotechnology facility promoted on Enterprise Florida's Web site. Also got $25,000 grant from Enterprise Florida to plan a joint residence facility for a graduate engineering and research center at Eglin Air Force Base.

- Phillips is among Enterprise Florida's longest-sitting board members and past member of agency's audit committee. UF paid him $310,000 last year.

 

Hector Ponce

Executive vice president, Mitsubishi Power Systems, Lake Mary

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$200,000

- Maker of power-generation components qualified for potential $1.4-million in tax refunds for 350 jobs and $87,740 training grant.

- Gov. Bush worked directly with company officials to win Mitsubishi deal for Florida.

 

John B. Ramil

Chief operating officer, TECO Energy, Tampa

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$150,000 / $10,000

- Former subsidiary participated in 1999 trade mission to Mexico to try to persuade Mexico's state-run oil company to build an environmentally friendly plant that the subsidiary would have developed. Company says no business resulted from trip.

- Utility has used tax-exempt bonds to pay for pollution-control devices.

 

Charles Rehwinkel

State vice president, Embarq Corp., Tallahassee

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$300,000 / $6,000 from Sprint

- Embarq's predecessor, Sprint, got $4,832 from Enterprise Florida. Rehwinkel helped assemble "legislative handbook" to win approval of Enterprise Funding package and incentives.

- Sprint and subsidiaries laid off 1,105 workers in Florida between 2001 and 2004.

 

John Rigsby

President, Bright House Networks-Florida Group, Orlando; former president, Time Warner Cable's Central Florida Division, Orlando

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$100,000 / $10,500 (plus $50,000 from Time Warner)

- Bright House (and predecessor Time Warner) has gotten $5,577 for cable service in Enterprise Florida's Orlando office. Firm routinely seeks permits from state transportation officials to install cables and wires on state roads, streets and rights-of-way.

- Rigsby has served on Enterprise Florida committee that approves executive compensation.

 

Stuart L. Rogel

President, chief executive, Tampa Bay Partnership, Tampa

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required

- Partnership has paid Enterprise Florida more than $340,000 since 2000 for various missions, trade shows and a joint marketing alliance, including ads on NPR. Has gotten $50,000 or more in contributions from each of seven companies also represented on Enterprise Florida board.

- Rogel has helped lead Team Florida, an Enterprise Florida initiative that has lobbied lawmakers for additional tax incentives and other Enterprise Florida goals.

 

Frank M. Ryll Jr.

President, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Tallahassee

Nonvoting member elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required

- Business group's foundation got $35,000 from Enterprise Florida for conducting a study.

- Had 36 lobbyists in 2005 and spends about $3-million a year on lobbying for agenda that includes tax incentives and funding for Enterprise Florida.

 

Burt L. Saunders

State senator, R-Naples; attorney, GrayRobinson law firm

Nonvoting member by law

No contribution required

- Got job with GrayRobinson firm in 2004 with help of fellow Enterprise board member Fred Leonhardt.

- Sponsored bill that extends tax refund programs to 2010.

 

Gary Spulak

President, Embraer Aircraft, Fort Lauderdale

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$110,000 / $16,300

- U.S. subsidiary of Brazilian jetmaker got $500,000 to create 100 jobs in Palm Beach in 2000 plus $91,000 training grant. Stands to get $825,000 for additional 150 jobs. Closed Palm Beach office last year.

- A 2005 incentive package worth $4.8-million (plus free rent at Cecil Field in Jacksonville) is on hold after Army killed contract to build Embraer spy plane.

 

Stanley E. Stephens

President, Manasota Commercial Construction, Bradenton

Appointed by governor

No contribution required

- Partnership including Stephens, a former Manatee County commissioner, and state Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, purchased commercial property last year in area near I-75 that allows industrial development.

- Agreed to pay $500 fine for failing to file a conflict-of-interest form, while on the port authority board in 1998, on a matter that benefited his construction firm.

 

Susan Story

President, chief executive, Gulf Power, Pensacola

Appointed by governor

$267,500 / $24,750

- Utility helped make rural development a priority for Enterprise Florida and helped marshal organization's support for military bases, including those in Gulf Power's service territory.

- Story, who serves as Enterprise Florida's vice chair, has sought more board involvement in passing business-friendly laws. Has been active on boards of at least a dozen economic development or industry groups, including Gov. Bush's Advisory Council on Base Realignment and Closure.

 

Mark Templeton

President, chief executive, Citrix Systems, Fort Lauderdale

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$100,000 / $100,000

- Tech firm got approval for potential $520,000 in tax refunds for 130 jobs in 2005. Also got $838,000 in refunds approved in 1996, $75,711 in training grants in 2001 and 2002.

- Gov. Bush attended opening of Citrix office in England soon after company announced plans to lay off more than 100 employees in Florida and elsewhere.

 

J. Antonio Villamil

Chief executive, Washington Economics Group, Coral Gables

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

No contribution required

- Consultant got $72,000 contract from Enterprise Florida.

- As head of Gov. Bush's trade office in 1999 and 2000, Villamil oversaw Enterprise Florida and incentive deals. Now, public and private clients pay his firm for studies that sometimes justify use of incentives.

 

Guillermo Villar

President, chief executive, Commercebank N.A., Coral Gables

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$100,000

- Subsidiary of Venezuela's largest international financial institution focuses on lending to Latin America businesses and has been expanding statewide.

- It got help winning an Enterprise Florida board seat from board member J. Antonio Villamil. Villamil also sits as a paid director of the bank board, which does not disclose its members' fees.

 

Philip L. Waller Jr.

Vice president, MWH Americas, Tampa

Appointed by House speaker

No contribution required

- Waller served as a state delegate on trade missions to Peru and Germany, where he met with government officials and representatives seeking to do business in Florida. Three years before Waller was appointed to board, his engineering firm got a $53-million contract with another firm to do Everglades restoration.

- Reappointed by Gov. Bush last year to Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

 

Frederick J. Wilson III

Senior vice president, Bacardi USA, Miami

Elected by Enterprise Florida board

$75,000 / $75,000

- Subsidiary of Bermuda-based liquor producer has provided cash and free services in cities where Enterprise Florida makes business recruiting trips.

- Texas grand jury indicted company in 2004 on charges of making an illegal $20,000 payment to political group founded by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Company denies wrongdoing.

 

Katherine Wilson

Chairman, Workforce Florida Inc., Tallahassee; assistant vice president, CSX Corp., Jacksonville

Member by law

No contribution required (but CSX has given $5,000)

- Workforce agency, created by Legislature to help train Florida workers, paid Enterprise Florida about $470,000 for accounting and human resources services since 2000.

- A 2001 state audit reccommended agency improve procedures to address potential conflicts of interest involving "related parties."

 

John Winn

State commissioner of education

Member by law

No contribution required

- Gov. Bush's education agenda from charter schools to use of corporate tax credits for school vouchers has gotten a political boost from Enterprise Florida board members.

- Winn is viewed as architect of Bush's education overhaul; a St. Petersburg Times headline called him possibly "the most important person you've never heard of."

* * *

- Contribution and fee information is from Jan. 1, 2000, through Oct. 31, 2005, and based on documents provided by Enterprise Florida. Some companies contributed in only one or two years. Contributions are not required from appointed board members and some members who work for organizations that provide "valuable insight and perspective about various aspects of Florida's business climate."

Research by Times researcher Carolyn Edds.

Sources: Enterprise Florida; the governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development; Workforce Florida; vendor database from Department of Financial Services; interviews with corporate board members and company spokesmen; company reports, Securities and Exchange Commission; Corporate Library.

[Last modified August 29, 2006, 17:35:50]


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