Florida Chamber Regional Chair Michael Minton Talks Opportunity

“Free enterprise to me means that you have the opportunity to realize the American dream and do it in a way that you don’t have government creating roadblocks in your way to be able to do that.”

– Michael Minton, Immediate past president of Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer
Florida Chamber Regional Board Chair, Palm Beach/Treasure Coast

As Florida Chamber Regional Board Chair, Michael Minton has a unique look at the issues his region faces.

Issues like water:

Water issues relate to the ability to meet the needs of our community and meet the needs of other parts of the community as far as having adequate water supply. For our region, it’s the impact that discharges of fresh water to the lagoon [and] effects on the s-drain environment of the Indian River Lagoon and the St Lucie Rivers. One of the aspect we’ve been closely involved within the water issues in finding ways to keep that water from being discharged and maintain it in the system so it’s available to provide water supply elsewhere in the state.

Diversifying our state’s economy, both with agriculture:

Hand in hand with the water issues, as we try to attract a more diverse work force and a diverse investment community are the opportunities for diversified value added business for our agribusiness industry…. The difficulties that are being experienced out in California with the water shortage creates huge opportunities for agriculture in our state to diversify its production and the potential for value added product for processing fruits and vegetables other than just citrus is a great opportunity for our state, so we see that a as a real growth potential.

And with a high-wage tech sector:

The effort that was undertaken to diversify our economy into the biotech sector we believe, still stands to pay significant dividends to our state we just need to stay the course and make sure we do what we can as a community to support the efforts that were undertaken to bring in that vital industry because it creates so many other opportunities. You look at what’s going on in central Florida with the prospect of being able to develop a whole corridor of smart sensor production down in Osceola County…The future of that development project is tremendous to our state.


And for Minton, attracting businesses goes hand in hand with opportunities and free-enterprise principles.

Florida has a very pro-business environment and we have an upward ascending growth pattern so there is a lot of opportunity in Florida… There is still so much land in Florida that is available for other uses and activities so it’s a very inviting state for businesses and people to travel to and to relocate their business activities.

Free enterprise to me means that you have the opportunity to realize the American dream and do it in a way that you don’t have government creating roadblocks in your way to be able to do that. We have the most wonderful country in the world and the greatest opportunities in the world but we keep finding ways to stifle that entrepreneurial spirit. I think the Florida Chamber has done a great job of taking the lead of finding where those roadblock are and knocking those roadblocks out of the way of the entrepreneur and creating the opportunity so that they can achieve and realize their dream.


Did You Know Almost 70 Percent of Florida’s Potential Water Supply is on Private Land?

With Florida’s population expected to increase by 6 million more residents in 2030, total statewide water consumption will grow to 9 billion gallons a day – a 20 percent increase over today’s demands. To meet these needs, it is imperative that Florida develop a long-term, comprehensive water plan that focuses on sustainability, economic growth and quality of life.

Approximately 10 million of Florida’s 34.7 million acres of land is owned by local, state and federal government and dedicated to conservation. Twice as much of Florida’s land, 19.4 million acres, is private land with conservation opportunity. Many of Florida’s private land owners are currently expanding their infrastructure for alternative surface water storage and investing in conservation and reuse projects that protect the state’s water supply.

“Farmers, ranchers and other private land owners are the best stewards of their land and ideal partners for conservation easements and water retention and storage projects,” said Michael Minton, Chair of the Agribusiness Industry Team at Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer. “By creating sustainable water conservation solutions, Florida can meet present and future consumption needs while protecting our valuable natural resources and promoting sustainable agriculture that supports the state’s economic growth.”

Get Involved

Florida Chamber Names Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer Executive Regional Board Chair

CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261


Michael Minton Appointed for 2014-2015
Term in Palm Beach/Treasure Coast Region

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (June 10 , 2015) – The Florida Chamber today announced Michael Minton, Shareholder and Chair of the Agribusiness Industry Team of Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer, has been appointed to a one year term as the Florida Chamber’s Palm Beach/Treasure Coast Regional Board Chair.

“Serving as the Florida Chamber’s Palm Beach/Treasure Coast Regional Board Chair is an exciting opportunity,” said Minton. “I am eager to unite fellow Palm Beach/Treasure Coast business leaders behind the Florida Chamber’s pro-business initiatives.”

Minton was appointed by Steve Knopik, President and CEO of Bealls, Inc. and Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and will work directly to rally Palm Beach/Treasure Coast business leaders with Florida legislative leaders to create the most competitive business environment.

“Michael Minton is a highly experienced business leader that fully understands what it takes to lead Florida to a new and sustainable economy,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “In his role as a Florida Chamber Regional Board Chair, Michael will champion the Florida Chamber’s mission to secure Florida’s future.”

Minton is one of twelve regional chairs that are a part of the Florida Chamber’s Regional Board Chair Program


The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Did You Know Florida Typically Receives Nearly Half Its Yearly Rainfall In Only Three Months?

Although precipitation rates in Florida vary from year to year, most years Florida receives nearly half of its rainfall during the months of June, July and August. This is important because although Florida receives more rain than most states, much of the rainfall is lost as storm water runoff. Florida has many months where there is little rainfall, so being able to capture rain water and use it during the drier months will help Florida prepare for the expected increase of 28 percent more water by 2030.


Data Source: Florida State University Climate Center

According to Michael Minton, Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) member, and Chair of Dean Mead’s Agribusiness Industry Team, Florida’s water management system was designed to drain rainfall from inland areas to the coast as rapidly as possible to keep land usable for commercial and residential development, agriculture, and other land use needs. To continue to grow, Florida must move from a water drainage system to a water storage system.

The challenge for Florida will be how to prepare for population increases, ever-more visitors with four years of record visitation to Florida and further increases expected, as well as more business expansions and relocations to Florida.

“I believe water is the biggest long-term issue facing Florida. If we don’t have a sustainable, high-quality, affordable source of water to support environmental and economic development initiatives, then Florida as we know it ceases to exist,” said Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Florida is the national leader in reusing water, most of which is used for residential and golf course irrigation. As of 2013, there are 482 facilities providing recycled water in our state.

Studies indicate that Florida will need $32.4 billion in new drinking and wastewater infrastructure spending by 2020, as well as $750 million over the next 10 years for capital improvements and maintenance for flood control.

Florida also has the opportunity to expand its leading positions in fruit and vegetable production, if water resources in our state are developed properly for the future. With recurring droughts in other states, Florida could produce even more healthy food for our families as well as those in other states and other countries. Florida is already the number one state in value of production of oranges and grapefruit as well as fresh market snap beans, cucumbers, sweet corn, tomatoes, and watermelons.

According to Commissioner Putnam, “When our communities work together with our water districts, Florida can be prepared not only to produce more fresh Florida food, but we can also be prepared for increases in the population and more business activity and tourism.”

The Florida Chamber’s Capitol Days will be held March 4-6 in Tallahassee, and will feature leaders from the Legislature and experts from around the state on many topics, including Securing Florida’s Water FutureClick here to view the agenda. Click here to register for the Florida Chamber’s Capitol Days.

Share Your Story:

How is your business engaged in exporting Florida-origin products? Share your story by contacting the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Chief Economist Jerry Parrish at jparrish@flfoundation.org.