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Florida Poly Foundation names prominent Lakeland businessman as new chair

Jack Harrell III, chief operating officer at Harrell’s LLC, has been named the new chair of the Florida Polytechnic University Foundation Board of Directors.


LAKELAND, Fla. – Longtime Lakeland businessman Jack Harrell III has been appointed chair of the Florida Polytechnic University Foundation Board of Directors. Harrell has been a member of the board since 2018.

“It’s an honor to be named chair of the Florida Poly Foundation Board,” he said. “There are tons of great things going on at the University. The Foundation’s important responsibility of raising funds to continue Florida Poly’s growth is on the front lines of making that happen.”

Harrell is chief operating officer at Harrell’s LLC, one of the nation’s leading providers of branded fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides, as well as a producer of custom-blended fertilizers and other materials. He is a third-generation leader at the Lakeland-based company. He most recently served as the board’s vice chair.

In his capacity as Foundation Board chair, Harrell said he’ll lead the board to continue increasing support and awareness of Florida Poly, as well as fostering strategic industry relationships with the University, so it becomes one of the leading STEM institutions in the country.

“My priorities as board chair are to continue the work those before me have started and take it to the next level,” Harrell said. “We have a lot of exciting things going on around campus and leading the foundation in supporting those initiatives is priority number one.”

Among the Foundation’s recent achievements are successful events such as Florida Poly’s 2023 Giving Day and the annual Leaders in STEM recognition event.

“The University has already had so much success in our few short years that the sky is the limit,” Harrell said. “When you are around the students, you see why that is. This University has so much potential for what it can do not only for these incredible students, but also Lakeland, Polk County, the I-4 Corridor, and the state of Florida.

In addition to his service on the Florida Poly Foundation Board, Harrell is a member of the Governance Board at Lakeland Regional Health, Givewell Community Foundation Board, Parker Street Ministries Advisory Board, and Harrell’s LLC Board of Directors.

“I could not be more thrilled to see Jack take the helm of our Foundation Board,” said Kathy Bowman, CEO of the Foundation and Florida Poly’s vice president of advancement. “He is a dedicated and purposeful leader who I am certain will continue to make great things happen for both the Foundation Board, and, in turn, the University.


For the most recent University news, visit Florida Poly News.

About Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University is ranked the number one public college in the Southern Region for two years in a row, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and a member of the State University System of Florida. Nationally ranked in engineering education, Florida Poly is the only state university dedicated exclusively to STEM and offers ABET-accredited degrees. Florida Poly is a powerful economic engine within the state of Florida, blending applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. Florida Poly’s iconic Innovation, Science, and Technology Building, designed by world-renowned architect Dr. Santiago Calatrava, has won more than 20 global awards and was named one of the 16 most breathtaking buildings in the world. Connect with Florida Poly.

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