Florida Chamber Foundation Honors Ananth Prasad with Champion Award

By: Edie Ousley

Ananth Prasad Honored for Service to Florida

Florida Chamber Foundation Awards Prasad During Transportation Summit

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (January 29, 2014) – Today, the Florida Chamber Foundation honored former Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Ananth Prasad with a Champion for Florida’s Future award during the Chamber Foundation’s annual Transportation Summit in Greenville, Florida.

“Mark [Wilson] has been a tremendous partner of the Department of Transportation and when I became secretary I realized that to achieve what Governor Scott laid out, we needed to partner with the [Florida] Chamber,” said Ananth Prasad. “I think you heard Secretary Boxold also talk about what the Governor did, and what Mark helped us realized is that DOT is much more than roads and bridges- that we are truly a facilitator of economic development and if we don’t do it right, businesses will not grow and worse yet, businesses will leave our great state.”

For more than 20 years, Prasad worked with FDOT to make our state more competitive and was an integral part of major projects including Florida’s record investment in ports, roads, and rail, as well as innovations in both safety for Floridians and the use of public-private partnerships.   These projects have created countless jobs for our state, and have helped Florida become a leader in both economic development and quality of life.

“I can tell you when I look back to the last 21 years of public service, the last four years have been the best in the sense of, as an agency, I think we realized that it’s not roads, bridges, turn lanes or potholes, it is truly about economic development,” said Ananth Prasad. “I can’t thank Mark and his team, and the [Florida] Chamber Foundation for your support. These sort of summits are really important to laying that agenda.  When we talk about the transportation trust fund and sweeping the trust fund it is not to benefit the road builder or engineering firm, it’s to benefit Floridians and all the businesses that work in Florida. It’s much bigger than asphalt, concrete or engineering-it is truly economic development. I will continue to work with the Florida Chamber and continue to advance this great state.”

“Ananth has not only been a good friend to Florida but a pro-business, pro-Florida partner as well,” said Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Ananth has set a standard for leadership. We wish him well on his next journey and are excited to continue our partnership with FDOT and Secretary Jim Boxold.”

New FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold kicked off the Chamber Foundation’s one-day Transportation Summit by launching a discussion that included FDOT’s five-year plan and the overall future of transportation in Florida.

“With a growing population, the Florida Chamber Foundation takes discussions on Florida’s Transportation future very seriously,” said Carvajal. “By bringing together industry experts with those affected by transportation issues, we can not only plan for the future, but we are able to plan better for the next six million residents.”

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The Florida Chamber Foundation is the business-led, solutions development and research organization working in partnership with state business leaders to secure Florida’s future. The Foundation’s “Six Pillars” serve as a visioning platform for developing the first-ever, long-term strategic plan for the state. The Foundation’s work focuses on: 1) Talent Supply and Education, 2) Innovation and Economic Development, 3) Infrastructure and Growth Leadership, 4) Business Climate and Competitiveness, 5) Civic and Governance Systems, and 6) Quality of Life and Quality Places. Founded in 1968, the Foundation is a crucial voice for improving the state’s pro-business climate to enable Florida to grow and prosper. For more information, visit www.FLFoundation.org.