Much of what goes on in the Capitol is shaped by what happens in Tallahassee — and for the past three decades, much of life in Tallahassee has been shaped by a dynamic and tireless leader: Ron Sachs.
So, it was entirely fitting that last night this gregarious, visionary “idea guy” was honored with the Lifetime Leadership Award bestowed by Leadership Tallahassee, a program of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.
From every corner of Florida, from every point along the political spectrum, from every branch of government and sector of the business and nonprofit community, leaders call on Sachs for counsel.
And odds are, it won’t be long before he’s come up with an idea to help them through whatever dilemma they face.
With Ron Sachs, newcomers don’t remain strangers for long, thanks to his unique ability to find something in common that brings them together. He takes pride in his seemingly unlimited capacity to devise awful puns, yet brilliant ideas burst forth just as quickly. Now 73 and wearing the title of “Chairman Emeritus” of the firm he founded in 1996, Sachs remains a force to be reckoned with.
Leaders across all sectors of Florida know about Sachs from his work shaping the communications firm that bears his name. He crafted Sachs Media into the foremost public affairs communications firm in Florida and one of the best in the nation, where he has applied his messaging savvy to help organizations and causes across the political spectrum. He worked with many of them while serving as Chair of Leadership Florida and before that as Communications Director for then-Gov. Lawton Chiles.
What people outside of Tallahassee may not know as well is that Ron Sachs is an unyielding advocate for those in the community who genuinely need help. This Miami native and one-time South Florida journalist flat-out loves the Tallahassee community, and he dedicated himself and his firm to getting deeply involved in a wide range of efforts to improve life for all who call the Capital City home.
That’s what led him to serve an unprecedented two consecutive terms as Chair of the United Way of the Big Bend and led its annual campaign to raise funds for the community’s less fortunate. He was a chair and longtime Board member of the Tallahassee Chamber, reflecting his dedication to bolstering the community’s economy. He and his wife Gay were honored as “Philanthropists of the Year” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
The list goes on and on. When COVID was ravaging Florida, he had Sachs Media create a community campaign to educate the public across the Big Bend area on how to keep safe. When local public schools had no money for desperately needed repairs and equipment, Sachs led his firm’s pro bono work to pass, and then years later retain, a half-penny sales tax.
And then there is his real pride and joy, the Best & Brightest Program for Leon County high school seniors. It’s a scholarship program with a twist: Beyond just academics, recipients must show exemplary community service.
Created by Sachs in 2006, the program has awarded more than $867,000 in scholarships, helping over 2,400 deserving students.
It’s just the kind of thing Ron Sachs would consider important. Just the kind of thing he would think of and push into existence.
Just the kind of thing that makes him the kind of leader deserving of such recognition.