PALM BEACH — The Florida Council of 100 today announced the election of new officers at their Fall Conference in Palm Beach. Florida Power & Light’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Eric Silagy was named as Chair of the Council, succeeding Syd Kitson. Senator George LeMieux, who is Chair of the business law firm Gunster, will serve as the Council’s Vice Chair.
“I am proud of the substantive policy discussions and solutions the Florida Council 100 has led throughout the organization’s history, and it has been an honor to contribute to the council’s legacy,” Syd Kitson, Immediate Past Chair of the Florida Council of 100 and Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Kitson & Partners said. “I pass the gavel to strong leaders and public servants in Eric Silagy and Senator George LeMieux. Eric will take the helm as Chair during an important point in Florida’s growth. He is a capable executive that is prepared to work with Florida’s leaders on important policy issues that will write the next great chapter of Florida’s success story.”
Founded in 1961, the Florida Council of 100 has served as a source of nonpartisan insight, advice, and business perspective on important policy matters to Florida’s elected leaders and government officials. The aim of the Council of 100 is to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of all Floridians through the relentless pursuit of better, business-driven public policy. Silagy and Senator LeMieux will serve a two-year term in their roles as Chair and Vice Chair and lead the Council, which represents more than 140 businesses that employ over 1.3 million people throughout the state.
“People and businesses are flocking to the state of Florida because Governor Ron DeSantis and our other state leaders have been intensely focused on creating a pro-business climate backed by a talented workforce, as well as protecting our communities and natural resources,” Eric Silagy, Chair of the Florida Council of 100, said. “The growth Florida is experiencing is exciting and presents many opportunities for Floridians, but it also comes with challenges that will require leadership and innovative public policy solutions. I look forward to working with the members of the Council of 100 and our state’s leaders to keep Florida the top destination to visit, build a business and raise a family.”
About Florida Council of 100 Leadership
The Florida Council of 100 is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of business leaders committed to promoting economic growth and improving the quality of life for the people of our state. First established in 1961 by Governor Farris Bryant, the Florida Council of 100 became the first organization of its kind in the United States. For more than six decades, the Council has been charged with providing advice on key policy issues from the business community’s perspective to Florida’s elected leaders and government officials across the political and ideological spectrum. Today, the Florida Council of 100 represents more than 140 businesses that employ over 1.3 million people throughout Florida. Member companies have achieved remarkable success and recognition in their industries and demonstrated interest and involvement in public policy issues. The individual leaders of those companies possess character, integrity, and other important leadership qualities.
Eric Silagy is chairman, president and chief executive officer for Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., and the largest vertically integrated rate-regulated electric utility in the U.S. He was appointed president in December 2011, CEO in May 2014 and chairman in March 2022. Mr. Silagy has worked for NextEra Energy companies for nearly two decades. For FPL, he served as senior vice president of regulatory and state governmental affairs and as chief development officer, managing all generation development, including solar, natural gas and nuclear energy projects. At NextEra Energy Resources, Mr. Silagy served as vice president and general manager of the Southern region, and vice president of business development. Prior to joining NextEra Energy, Mr. Silagy served as vice president, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures for Entergy Wholesale Operations, and as vice president and managing director, Southeast Asia, for The Wing Group, a subsidiary of Western Resources. He also worked for U.S. Sen. J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana in several capacities, including chief of staff. Mr. Silagy is a member of the board of directors of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, where he served as chairman in 2013-2014 and is a former board member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Mr. Silagy is currently serving a seven-year term as a member of the Board of Governors for the State University System of Florida, including a two-year term as vice chair which began on Jan.1, 2022. He is vice chair of the Florida Council of 100, an executive board member of Enterprise Florida and board member of the Honda Classic PGA Tour event. He also serves on the Energy Security Leadership Council of Securing America’s Future Energy, a bi-partisan council of business and military leaders supporting a comprehensive, long-term policy to reduce U.S. oil dependence and improve energy security. Mr. Silagy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the Maryland and U.S. Supreme Court bars.
Senator George S. LeMieux has been lead trial counsel in federal and state courts, in civil and regulatory matters, before juries, judges and arbitrators for more than twenty years. His clients include financial institutions (Wells Fargo, TD Bank), telecommunications companies (AT&T), healthcare providers (Cleveland Clinic, Broward Health, Memorial Healthcare), real estate developers (Ram Realty Services, Falcone Group), and during the course of his career prominent individuals including President-elect George W. Bush, Governor Jeb Bush, and Raymond Perelman. He has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Florida, and Florida’s intermediate appellate courts. His practice includes defending clients in enforcement matters brought by state attorneys general, advocating for clients in administrative law proceedings including bid protests, and counseling governmental bodies on public records and public meeting requirements. He has successfully litigated business disputes and intellectual property cases to verdict; his practice also includes professional liability defense. George is an advisor to Fortune 500 companies, their officers and boards. He leads internal corporate investigations representing boards of directors and has experience in representing independent committees of boards in related party transactions. George served as Florida’s 34th United States Senator in the 111th Congress. In the United States Senate, he served on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Armed Services Committee, and the Special Committee on Aging. He successfully passed legislation on health care fraud, export promotion, rating agency reform, small business promotion, as well as a treaty resolution on tactical nuclear weapons. He also served as Florida’s chief deputy attorney general, overseeing more than 400 attorneys, and as the governor’s chief of staff overseeing all state agencies and operations. In that role, he negotiated a gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. At the request of Governor-elect Ron DeSantis, George co-chaired the DeSantis/Nunez transition in 2018. George is the chairman of the board of Gunster. He is the founder of the LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He is also the author, along with Laura Mize, of the award-winning book, Florida Made, The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State.
Syd Kitson is Chairman/CEO of Kitson & Partners, a Florida-based real estate company specializing in the creation and development of environmentally responsible, sustainable master-planned communities and commercial properties. Kitson is a graduate of Wake Forest University, with a notable career in the National Football League. Upon retirement, he began his career in real estate, founding Kitson & Partners in 1999. In 2006, Kitson completed the historic purchase of Babcock Ranch in Southwest Florida, encompassing an area five times the size of the island of Manhattan, with over 80% of the original land purchase set aside in the largest single land preservation agreement in the state’s history.
Syd has served on multiple civic, education and non-profit boards. He is currently Chair of the Florida Council of 100, served as Chair of the Board of Governors for the State University System of Florida in 2020 and 2021, and was elected the 2016-2017 Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.