March 2019 eNews Guest Editor – Bennett Napier (LT 16)

I have lived in Tallahassee since 1992. Unlike many, I moved to Tallahassee to go to work, I did not move here to go to school, however, I did end up at FSU for a graduate degree after some time here.

1992 was long before the exciting offerings of “Midtown”, “College Town” and “Cascades Park” were even on the horizon. Nonetheless, I enjoyed those days of Tallahassee, especially, since FSU, had more than a winning record during that time, except for a couple of wide right games.
I was able to get involved on a Chamber Task Force targeted to the Association sector in the mid 1990’s. That was my first exposure to the Chamber. It has been a fun ride ever since.
In 1997, I was honored to enter Class XVI. Being this is being published in an LT Newsletter, I have to say Class XVI was the best class. What other class has both the CEO of the Chamber, Sue Dick (LT 16) and a former Board Chair, Rick Moore (LT 16) in the same class. I think we have that honor.
I opened a company in a home office with a vision and not much of a plan. Twenty-one years later, the good news is I was able to move out of the house during the growth of our business. We now employ and/or contract over forty personnel, most of which, live and work in Tallahassee.
I am happy to have continued volunteer service within the Chamber, serving on both the board and the executive committee. To see the continued service and increasing leadership and value that the Chamber and Leadership Tallahassee provide this community has been exciting to watch.
Unfortunately, due to my work, which puts me on a plane 150,000 miles a year, I don’t get to volunteer with LT much or attend many luncheons. However, I continue to advocate to countless peers their need to apply for the LT program or Opportunity Tallahassee.
LT provides individuals a wonderful foundation of knowledge through “showcasing” many of the hidden gems in our fair city. This program fosters significant connections among diverse professions/sectors with one goal for all graduates, “get involved and give back”. Clearly, if we look at the alumni, the Leadership component is alive and well throughout every facet of “positive change” that Tallahassee has seen over the years and continues to see.
Leadership Tallahassee was one of the greatest experiences of my professional career and a number of classmates are still close friends and business colleagues who are always there to share.

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