September 28, 2023

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Learning and Leading

David Denor | 10/25/2019

I am honored to be participating in this year’s Leadership Florida Class No. 38. For those of you who are not familiar with the organization, Leadership Florida was created by the Florida Chamber of Commerce in 1982. Operating independently of the chamber now, Leadership Florida seeks to build a sense of statewide community by identifying and educating individuals who have the passion, commitment and clout to help drive positive change within the state.

Each year, Leadership Florida selects a new class — a diverse group of business and non-profit executives who assemble in different parts of the state during the course of a year to learn about Florida’s regions and issues.

One of Class 38’s first homework assignments was to read Patrick D. Smith’s A Land Remembered. The book is a historical novel set in pioneer Florida — spanning our state’s history from 1858 to 1968.

The story focuses on the fictional MacIvey family, who migrate from Georgia into Florida in the mid-19th century and struggle to survive in the harsh Florida environment. They scratch a living from the land and learn to round up wild cattle and drive them to Punta Rassa to ship to Cuba. Over three generations, they amass more land and money and move further from their connection to the native, untamed land.

The book is an exceptional read, one that I highly recommend. It also has given me new reasons to pause as I travel throughout Florida to enjoy and appreciate the diverse landscape and culture of our state.

As I have shared in previous columns, I spend a fair amount of time on the road each month. When time allows, I try to take the path a bit less traveled so that I can absorb, experience and appreciate the areas where “untouched” or “old Florida” still exists. It provides an opportunity to appreciate Florida’s natural and historical beauty — reminding me why our state is so special.

I have accumulated a growing list of unique destinations to visit as I travel throughout Florida. However, I am always open to additional suggestions or recommendations. If you know of any interesting “out-of-the-way” areas in Florida that you think I would enjoy visiting or driving through, I would love to hear about them — and add them to my bucket list.

Speaking of Florida’s natural beauty and historical significance, this month’s Economic Backbone features articles on green development and sustainability initiatives.

The topic is increasingly important not just to our state, but also our country and the world. Solar plants, urban trails, healthy living communities, aquacultureand more are covered in the feature. I guarantee you will learn something new about sustainability efforts taking place in Florida.

— David Denor, Publisher


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