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EDC Announces Finalists for Pete Hegener Leadership Award

April 12, 2016

The Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC) is pleased to announce the three finalists for the prestigious Pete Hegener Leadership Award.  The award is presented to a dedicated organization or business leader who has significantly contributed to St. Lucie County’s economy and quality of life.  The winner will be recognized at the EDC’s 4th Annual Leadership Dinner, sponsored by Florida Power & Light Company, on April 28th from 6 to 9 p.m. at Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club. 

The EDC leadership committee interviewed the nominees and voted to choose the three final candidates who most embody the superior leadership and community mindfulness of the award’s namesake, Pete Hegener.  The finalists are: Kathryn Hensley, St. Lucie County School Board Member; Michael D. Minton, Shareholder of Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer; and The Honorable Ken Pruitt, St. Lucie County Property Appraiser.   

“We were very impressed with the number of nominations and the caliber of the nominees,” said Pete Tesch, President of the EDC.  “Each person’s accomplishments and positive impact on the community are exemplary and made the final selection an extremely difficult one.”

About the finalists

Kathryn Hensley, a two time finalist, is a pillar within the St. Lucie County community.  Her role as a long-time member of the School Board of St. Lucie County puts her in an important leadership position to positively impact the education of the children of St. Lucie County.  Kathryn is involved in several governmental organizations including: the Treasure Coast Council of Local Governments; St. Lucie Transportation Planning Organization; and the SE Florida Regional Partnership.  She also serves on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations including: The Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County; The Children’s Movement of Florida; Hibiscus Children’s Center; the Parent Academy of St. Lucie County and many others.  She is a visionary thinker and serves as an inspiration and role model for other leaders in the community helping everyone who comes into her path.

Michael Minton is a shareholder at Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer.  Not only did Michael help create jobs when he opened the Treasure Coast office of his law firm, but he embodies the visionary spirit shared in Pete Hegener’s original vision for the community development of St. Lucie County, now employing 14 professionals in the Fort Pierce office. Minton helped establish Main Street Ft. Pierce, helped save and restore Sunrise Theatre, and was a driving force behind the Manatee Observation and Education Center.  While president of the Chamber of Commerce, he was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. award for increasing employment upon the successful multi-year effort he chaired to relocate the USDA ARS Lab from Orlando to St. Lucie County.  Michael has spearheaded several efforts to enhance education on the Treasure Coast. He has served as Vice Chair of the South Florida Water Management District and has dedicated himself to advance several projects to divert stormwater to stop harmful discharges in the Indian River Lagoon. In addition, he is currently Chair of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation.  Minton believes in the philosophy of giving back to the community and encourages all of Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer’s professionals to get involved as well.

Ken Pruitt has spent the majority of his professional life serving the citizens of St. Lucie County. He has represented the best interests of the region as a member of the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate, the latter culmination with his ascension to the Senate Presidency; he now continues his dedicated service as Property Appraiser of St. Lucie County. Under the leadership of Pruitt, the Property Appraiser’s office won the IAAO Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award which is presented to only one office out of 7000 in the World.  Ken inspires a “Can Do” spirit within the organization of 70 professionals.  Throughout his elected service, Pruitt has been a champion for the economic development in St. Lucie County. He spearheaded the merger of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute with Florida Atlantic University and his ardent support of Indian River State College resulted in the St. Lucie West Campus being named in his honor. He has worked diligently to diversify the local economy, efforts which led to the creation of both the Tradition Center for Innovation and the Treasure Coast Research Park. Lastly, his advocacy in everything from education to the environment has enhanced the quality of life in St. Lucie County, making economic development more viable in our community.

Other esteemed nominees include: Michael & Jamie Heissenberg, owners of Expert Shutter Services, Inc; Pamela Houghten, Vice President of Administration and Outreach at Torrey Pines Institute of Molecular Studies, Florida; Hoyt C. Murphy, Jr, Real Estate Broker at Coldwell Banker Paradise; Tammy Roncaglione, Community President/Senior Vice President at CenterState Bank; Richard Stetson, CEO of CareerSource Research Coast; Florida Power & Light Company, St. Lucie News Tribune/TCPalm.com; and Treasure Coast Food Bank.

About the award
The recipient of the Pete Hegener Leadership Award exemplifies the qualities of a visionary, a trusted role model and leader whose inspiration and achievements impact the quality of job creation, economic vitality and small business growth.

Pete Hegener, the man whose actions inspired this award, was a founding member and integral partner of the EDC, served on the Board of Directors, and was an Executive Committee member.  Pete was a pillar of the St. Lucie County community, having played a key role in the development of western St. Lucie County and what is now Tradition.  Friends and colleagues described him as “honest, visionary, and caring.”  He passed away in March 2012, but his legacy is fondly remembered and recognized through this award.

Platinum Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors:

 
                      
 


Participation in this event will help achieve funding goals to support the EDC’s strategic plan to create a more prosperous St. Lucie County and advance its important job creating initiative.

For information on tickets to the 2016 Leadership Dinner, contact Candy Marlow at 772.336.6252.

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