Bob Graham Center at UF to honor environmental activist as Citizen of the Year

Published: May 23 2013

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Floridian who has worked tirelessly to preserve the state’s natural resources, including the Everglades, has been named the inaugural Bob Graham Center Citizen of the Year.

The Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida will honor Nathaniel Reed, its 2013 Citizen of the Year award winner, and two honorees at 6:30 p.m. June 11 at Shula’s Hotel and Golf Club in Miami Lakes.

The award was established to recognize Florida residents who have made a substantial contribution to enhancing the quality of life for Floridians. An external selection committee of leading citizens, drawn from various backgrounds in Florida, chose the 2013 award winner and honorees. They are:

  • Winner: Nathaniel Reed
    vice chairman, Everglades Foundation; vice chairman, Florida Conservation Coalition

    Reed was selected for an impressive and lengthy track record of selfless service at the highest level on issues related to conserving Florida’s precious environmental resources.

    In 1969, Reed was appointed chairman of the department of air and water pollution control and was central to the reversal of two nationally significant cases of environmental deterioration: the signing of the Florida Jetport Pact that halted the construction of an airport close to the Everglades; and the abandonment of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal project. During these Florida years, he was credited with a major role in the purchase of 22 new state parks and wilderness areas, and he chaired hearings to establish air quality regions in the state.

    In 1971, Reed accepted the invitation of President Richard Nixon to become Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and National Parks. He remained in that position through the Gerald Ford administration.

    Reed returned to Florida in 1977 and subsequently served seven governors on a wide range of committees and commissions. He is best known as the highly visible chairman of the Commission on Florida’s Environmental Future that recommended a $3 billion investment in the remaining wild lands in Florida, the most ambitious land acquisition program in U.S. history.

  • Honoree: Martha Barnett
    partner, Holland & Knight; past president, American Bar Association
    Barnett was selected as an award honoree for her distinguished legal career and her efforts to protect the legal rights of all Floridians. Considered a groundbreaker for her work championing minorities, Barnett was a member of a pro-bono legal team that for two years negotiated a legislative settlement for survivors of the 1923 Rosewood massacre. Barnett was elected president of the American Bar Association in 2000. She was the second woman to head the ABA in its history and the first to chair its House of Delegates.
  • Honoree: Ellen Freidin
    campaign chairwoman, Fair Districts Now and
    A game changer in Florida’s 2012 elections, Friedin was selected for her distinguished legal career and tireless commitment to electoral fairness. She was campaign chair of the nonprofit and nonpartisan organization Fair Districts Now Inc., the organization behind the successful effort to gather 676,811 signatures for two ballot initiatives — Amendments 5 and 6 — aimed at amending the Florida constitution to require more compact legislative and congressional districts.

As part of the selection, the winner and honorees will be invited to address those attending the June 11 gathering. Michael Putney, senior political reporter for WPLG, Local 10 in Miami, and host of “This Week in South Florida with Michael Putney,” will emcee the program. Gov. Bob Graham will also offer brief remarks on the importance of leadership and civic engagement for our state.

Reception begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m. The cost is $250 per person or $2,000 per table of 10. A portion of ticket purchases is tax deductible. All proceeds support the mission of the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

For more information, contact Sherry Feagle at 352-846-1575. The RSVP deadline is May 31.


Shelby Taylor, 352-273-1086

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories