TALLAHASSEE, Fla - Florida TaxWatch, the state’s premier non-profit, non-partisan research institute and government watchdog, named its new chairman and welcomed new board members at its 37th Annual Board Meeting on November 17th.
TaxWatch’s Board of Trustees unanimously elected SunTrust Bank’s David Mann of Jacksonville as chairman. The Board selected former State Senator Pat Neal of Neal Communities (Sarasota) as Chairman-Elect, former U.S. Senator George LeMieux of Gunster (Ft. Lauderdale) as Corporate Treasurer, and Piyush Patel of Kyra Solutions (Lakeland) as Corporate Secretary.
Mann follows an historic legacy of Florida’s top civic leaders who have served as chairmen including: Publix Super Market’s Barney Barnett of Lakeland, IBM’s Steve Evans of Tallahassee, Prudential’s Mike Jennings of Jacksonville, then-AT&T State President Marshall Criser, then of Miami (currently the Chancellor of the State University System), and most recently Immediate Past Chairman Michelle Robinson, who is Vice President of State Government Affairs for Verizon.
“I’m honored to lead Florida TaxWatch and its amazing Board of Trustees and volunteers for the next two years. Michelle did an amazing job and I look forward to continuing to improve upon her successes,” said Chairman Mann. “I’m honored to work with all of the many volunteer leaders and partners in advancing our mission to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and analysis.”
Mann serves as Regional Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Banking Executive for SunTrust, overseeing the company’s regional CRE operations. He previously had served as chairman and CEO of the company’s North Florida region from 2009-2013. In 1984, Mann joined SunTrust as a commercial lender in Tampa and then spent five years at Chase Manhattan Bank, now JPMorgan Chase Co. in corporate middle-market lending before rejoining SunTrust in 1990 as a commercial real estate lending team leader.
Mann, a sixth generation Floridian, grew up on a farm south of Lake City and attended the University of Florida, earning two bachelors’ degrees in finance as well as agricultural economics in 1981.
“David has been a highly respected member of Florida TaxWatch for many years and I know that he will do an excellent job as its next chairman,” said Immediate Past Chairman Robinson. “I’m glad to leave the position in capable hands.”
“Florida TaxWatch is proud to have David as our chairman and SunTrust as a continued partner in serving the taxpayers of Florida by enhancing government transparency, efficiency, and accountability. David has been an invaluable leader for our organization,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “I know that he will lead Florida TaxWatch well as we move into our 38th year serving Florida taxpayers by work with the state’s business and political leaders to improve Florida.”
Additionally, the Board welcomed the following civic-minded leaders from the Sunshine State as members of the Florida TaxWatch Board of Trustees:
• Hon. Frank Attkisson, American Board
• Jesse Panuccio, Foley & Lardner, LLP
• Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation
• Shane Strum, Hollywood Memorial Healthcare Systems
• Natalie King, RSA Consulting
• Richard Berkowitz, Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants
• Jay Townsend, Booz Allen
• Ed Canup, Capital City Bank Group, Inc.
• Robert Bacon, Earl Bacon Agency
• Lady Dhyana Ziegler, Florida Commission on the Status of Women
• Keisha D. Rice, Frank & Rice, P.A.
• Charles E. Frazier Jr., Gateway Investment Partners
• Saransh "Sam" Sharma, Gordium Healthcare, Inc.
• Samira Beckwith, Hope Health Care
• Amelia Maguire, REA International
• Monique McCall, Monique McCall Music
“I’m excited to welcome these new members onto the Florida TaxWatch Board of Trustees,” said Calabro. “Each one of them is a true leader in their communities and businesses and will serve with honor and distinction.”