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Bob Swindell Named Seafarersí House Business Leader of the Year
Published Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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Seafarers’ House is pleased to announce that Bob Swindell, President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, has been selected as 2017 South Florida Business Leader of the Year.

Swindell will be honored at the 22nd Annual South Florida Business Leaders’ Luncheon hosted by Holland America Line to benefit Seafarers’ House. The luncheon will take place Nov. 17 at 11:00 a.m. aboard the ms Oosterdam at Port Everglades. Check-in and boarding begin at 10:45 a.m. This year’s event co-chairs are Jonathan Hines, South Florida Area Manager, Cliff Berry, Inc., and Maggie Gunther, Director – Communications and Programs, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

“Who better to honor as Business Leader of the Year than the leader of Broward County’s private-public partnership for economic development,” said Seafarers’ House Executive Director Lesley Warrick. “Bob has been at the forefront of many of the county’s economic growth initiatives to create jobs and attract capital investment.”

Honorees for the South Florida Business Leaders Award are selected by their peers. Acknowledged leadership, entrepreneurial background, philanthropic contributions to the communities where they live and work, as well as long-term contributions to the success, diversity and breadth of the South Florida business community, are all considerations for this award. 

“As the Number One container port in Florida and the third busiest cruise port in the world, Port Everglades is one of Broward County’s most powerful economic engines. Seafarers’ House plays a critical role by serving a wide range of mariners and port employees every day of the year,” said Swindell. “The Alliance highly values our partnership with Seafarers’ House and I am honored that the organization has selected me to receive this recognition.”

A lifelong Broward resident, Swindell has served in several business and community leadership roles. Prior to joining the Alliance, he was President of Champion Manufacturing for 18 years; a Pompano Beach- and Fort Lauderdale-based industrial supply company serving the Southeastern United States. In 1992, following Hurricane Andrew, Swindell chaired the local Board of the American Red Cross for two years. 

In 1989, Florida Governor Bob Martinez appointed Swindell as a Commissioner for the Florida Board of Harbor Pilot Commissioners. He was, and continues to be, the youngest member to ever serve as a Pilot Commissioner. Governors Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush re-appointed Swindell and he served as the Board Chairman and Vice-Chairman during his terms. In November 2012, Swindell was appointed to the Board of Pilot Commissioners for a two-year term by Governor Rick Scott. 

He serves on several professional and community boards including CareerSource Broward, United Way of Broward County, Junior Achievement of South Florida, Winterfest and the Broward Education Foundation. He is a past-Chairman of the Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC). Since October of 2005, he has served on the Florida Atlantic Research & Development Park Authority as an appointee of the Broward County Commission. Swindell also served on the Board of Directors for NAIOP and Enterprise Florida. 

Swindell joins the ranks of distinguished previous honorees such as: Bob Moss, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Moss & Associates; J. David Armstrong Jr., President, Broward College; Nicki Englander Grossman, Past President Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; Denise Johnston, Resolve Maritime Academy/RESOLVE Marine Group, Inc.; Betty Ann Rogacki, International Warehouse Services, Inc.; Lynn Shatas, Florida Power & Light; Phil Allen, Past Port Director, Port Everglades; Cliff Berry, Sr. of Cliff Berry & Associates; William J. Burke, Paradise Bank; Joseph Farrell, Jr., RESOLVE Marine Group; Robert Toney of National Maritime Services; and Joseph J. “Joe” Rubano of RPM Diesel Engine Company and Diesel Services of America.

The annual luncheon is a fundraiser for the mission of Seafarers' House. Various levels of event sponsorship, individual seating and congratulatory ads are available by visiting or by calling 954-734-1580.

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