Florida Council of 100 taps Michael Simas as new President 

Bob Ward is retiring in December.

The Florida Council of 100 is promoting Michael Simas to President. Simas previously served as Chief Operating Officer, a position he’s held since January.

Simas will replace Bob Ward, who is stepping down after more than seven years of service to the Council and 37 years working on public policy in the state. Ward will remain CEO until his retirement in December.

Simas has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the Council of 100, he served as Executive Vice President of the Partnership for New York City, where he led efforts to promote economic growth and job creation. Simas has had a long career as a senior advisor to CEOs, developing and executing groundbreaking business initiatives in collaboration with global, federal, state and local leaders.

“We are grateful that Michael, like many Americans, has decided to bring his talents and business acumen to the most successful state in the country,” Florida Council of 100 Chair Eric Silagy said. “He will be a tremendous asset not only to the Council of 100, but to Florida overall as we find new ways to propel the state to even greater heights.”

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 Florida.

“The Council of 100 has a long history of driving positive outcomes for our state and its residents by developing thoughtful, business-driven public policy,” Vice Chairman Sen. George LeMieux said. “Michael is an expert in this space, and we look forward to his contributions to continue this legacy as our new President.”

Ward praised his successor’s “experience and expertise in convening private sector leadership to promote economic growth and prosperity,” which he said makes Simas “the perfect candidate to lead the Council.”

Ward said he is honored for the opportunity to lead the Council, adding that he looks forward “to working with the business leaders of the state to drive economic development and create opportunities for all Floridians.”

The Council of 100 was first established in 1961 by Gov. Farris Bryant and has since then provided advice on key policy issues within the business community to Florida elected leaders and government officials. The Council today represents more than 140 businesses that collectively employ more than 1.3 million Floridians.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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