theParklander

Famous Floridians
By Amanda Current / May - June, 2011

Recognizing and memorializing the achievements of Floridians is the idea behind the Florida Hall of Fame. Though now in the planning stages, it will be a center for learning how hard work and personal perseverance can help Floridians strive for excellence in any endeavor. It is the brainchild of Leonard Saffir, who is chairman and chief executive officer. He is no stranger to hard work and personal perseverance. Among his credits are author of three books and recognized achievements in journalism, public relations and business. He was given the prestigious Silver Anvil Award by the Public Relations Society and is past president of the Overseas Press Club of America.

Saffir's older brother is Herbert Saffir (1917-2007), a civil and structural engineer and creator of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which defines hurricane strength by categories one through five. Saffir was also an early advocate of high-wind resistance building construction codes.

"I haven't talked to a single person, including corporate executives and university officials, who doesn't think that the Florida Hall of Fame is a good idea," says Leonard Saffir, who lives in Boca Raton. "We're excited... We've gone as far back as Ponce De Leon for our honorees and all the way up to H. Wayne Huizenga and beyond. "

Joining Saffir on the executive board is Rodney Nail, president, and Richard B. Jacoves, executive vice president. Nail, a Fortune 500 corporate businessman and former varsity athlete in basketball, tennis and soccer, has been involved in youth-oriented activities at the community level and a leader in youth activities such as coaching and mentoring. Jacoves brings a lifetime of community service to the board with service to the Boy Scouts, synagogues, United Way, Jewish Federation of New Orleans, and Chefs Charity for Children, a multi-million dollar annual event to support St. Michael's School for Exceptional Children.

An auditorium for children is proposed, along the lines of California's Hall of Fame. Saffir estimates that from plan to completion, the Florida Hall of Fame project will take approximately two years. When 501-3C not-for-profit status is finalized, the organizers hope to raise $5 million, which includes land and a building for a 40,000-square foot permanent home.

Offices are in Boca Raton.

To learn more, visit the web site www.floridahalloffame.org or send an email to info@floridahalloffame.org.


Leonard Saffir, chairman and chief executive officer
Rodney Nail, president
Richard B. Jacoves, executive vice president




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