April 24, 2024

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

The Impact of a Floridian

David Denor | 12/1/2023

One of the editions I treasure most each year is our annual Floridian of the Year issue, published each December. The process begins in mid-summer when members of our editorial team narrow the list of candidates they believe are worthy of the honor. It is a process that is both objective and subjective in its nature, but our team is methodical in its research as we work to reach a consensus decision.

The final rounds of discussion among our editorial team can sometimes be vociferous as our journalists debate the merits and strengths of potential candidates, but they come out of those lively conversations agreeing on the year’s selection.

This year, the choice of Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson was one that came together quite easily.

Mark’s achievements as a savvy business leader cannot be denied, but what is even more striking is his intense focus on some of the state’s most difficult issues — such as driving down Florida’s childhood poverty rate, providing working families with access to affordable, quality childcare and tackling pervasive mental health issues.

FLORIDA TREND Associate Editor Michael Fechter captures Wilson’s story in “Man on a Mission” beginning on page 55. Once you begin reading this profile of Wilson, which details his motivation and impact on securing Florida’s future, you will not be able to put it down.

The remainder of the December issue also will not disappoint. Our Economic Backbone feature, beginning on page 14, looks at growing investments hospitals and health care systems are making across the state to stay in step with the needs of Florida’s growing population.

As Florida is primed for continued development, South Florida Editor Mike Vogel tells the story of the nearly century-old Hialeah Park thoroughbred racetrack. The family that owns the retired racetrack has carved out a 12-acre slice of the property and is in the final stages of developing a 341-unit apartment complex. This could be the beginning of other such redevelopment opportunities across the state, a place where horse and dog racing were long part of the landscape and culture. Learn more starting on page 68.

Another feature of this month’s issue that I am sure you will enjoy is our annual Rising Executives profiles, which begin on page 76. We’ve identified some impressive young executives and entrepreneurs who are making a name for themselves in their industries, regions and across the state.

Two FLORIDA TREND Custom Content sections also will be sure to catch your attention:

FLORIDA TREND Legal Elite NOTABLE — Women Leaders in Law profiles peer-nominated attorneys whose vision and achievements set them apart in the professional and civic organizations they serve. (page 114)

The Regional Economic Profile looking at Florida’s Space Coast and Brevard County — which is launching a new era of economic growth and out-of-this-world innovation. (page 90)

As we finish an amazing year and on behalf of the entire FLORIDA TREND team, I wish you the happiest of holidays and much success throughout 2024.

— David G. Denor, Publisher ddenor@floridatrend.com

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