Executive Vice President; Florida Chamber Foundation
Ret. U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel David Gillespie serves as the Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. In this role, David leads the Florida Chamber Foundation working to secure Florida’s future through the management and execution of the Six Pillars Framework and 39 goals of the Florida 2030 Blueprint, including coordinating key stakeholders to ensure Florida’s goal of becoming a top 10 global economy.
David brings to the Chamber a combined 35 years of professional leadership, strategy formulation & execution, policy, and program management experience via the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) apparatus and U.S. Department of Justice’s criminal justice community of interest.
Upon earning his commission in the U.S. Air Force through Florida State University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), David proceeded to serve in a variety of executive and operational ISR capacities across the globe from 1987 to 2007. During his career, highlights include David deploying and serving in a number of operational conflicts and/or campaigns including Operation DESERT STORM, the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, and as a senior intelligence advisor deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, as a member of the Joint Intelligence Operations Center – Afghanistan where he was charged in part to advise the Commanding General of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the ISAF Director of Intelligence, and international staff on threats to nation building and coalition forces.
After retiring from the U.S. Air Force, David was selected to design the concept and serve as the senior project lead for a transformational intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance event designed to better optimize collaborative information sharing practices among globally distributed DoD intelligence fusion centers. This effort resulted in the event, and by extension, the project team being honored with the 2009 General George C. Kenney Award—an award presented each year to the team that is deemed to have made the most significant contribution in the field of lessons learned for the entire U.S. Air Force.
Shortly thereafter, David and his family returned to his native city of Tallahassee, FL where he joined a company with a proven history of promoting greater efficiency and effectiveness among local, state, tribal, and federal criminal justice agencies on behalf of U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. David’s specific contributions within the company included serving as a senior manager and senior research associate within a team charged to develop and promote law enforcement officer safety and wellness initiatives throughout the nation. David followed this experience by joining a team of dedicated professionals within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that was responsible for rolling out key criminal justice information sharing initiatives for the State of Florida.
David holds Master of Science degrees in criminal justice studies from Florida State University and business administration from Boston University, a Master of Military operational art and science degree from The Air University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Florida State University. He is also a graduate of The Air University’s Air War College (correspondence) and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
David and his wife, Marsha, of 35 years were both born and raised in Tallahassee, FL and have two beautiful daughters, both of whom are married, and two granddaughters. David and Marsha enjoy spending time outdoors and especially love exploring the Florida beaches, water, boating, fishing, and hiking.
“The combination of the Florida Chamber enterprise being comprised of a team(s) of people that embodies an ALL-IN spirit and passion for the sustained economic growth of Florida, coupled with a laser-like focus on the Six Pillars framework and the Florida 2030 Blueprint vision, makes serving the Florida Chamber’s constituents that much more exciting. I encourage everyone and all Florida businesses who share the same passion, to not miss the opportunity to get on this bus!” – Dave Gillespie