Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce Announces Coalition Leadership

(Tallahassee, Fla., April 4, 2014) The Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce (FBCW) today announced its leadership team to the 501c(4) committee. First announced in January of this year, the Coalition’s formal organization now includes: Patrick Geraghty, chairman and CEO of Florida Blue in Jacksonville, Florida; John Tonnison, Executive Vice President and Worldwide CIO of Tech Data Corporation in Clearwater, Florida; and Philip Dinkins, Senior Vice President of Cassidy Turley in Tampa, Florida. They will serve as President, Secretary and Treasurer of the FBCW coalition respectively.

While it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing and public accommodations based race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status, the LGBT community is currently left out of statewide non-discrimination protections. That is why top employers in the state have united in support of Sen. Joe Abruzzo’s (D-Royal Palm Beach) SB 348 and Reps. Holly Raschein’s (R-Key Largo) and Joe Saunders’ (D-Orlando) HB 239, the Florida Competitive Workforce Act.

Recruiting and retaining talent is critical to the state’s long-term business success, and coalition members understand that Florida employers must attract qualified and diverse applicants who reflect the diverse population of the state. The link between strong anti-discrimination laws and the ability to draw the best and the brightest is the reason that 84 percent of the nation’s largest companies have adopted comprehensive anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Respect is one of our core values here at Florida Blue, and workplace equality and acceptance is something we strive for,” said Pat Geraghty, chairman and CEO of Florida Blue. “Through the collection of experiences, abilities and backgrounds of our employees, Florida Blue is an inclusive organization that attracts the best talent and contributes to magnificent teamwork.”

“Tech Data understands the value of bringing together diverse ideas, and we are committed to fostering an inclusive culture where those ideas can thrive,” said John Tonnison, executive vice president and Worldwide Chief Information Officer at Tech Data Corporation. “As one of the largest public companies in Florida and one of FORTUNE’s ‘World’s Most Admired Companies,’ we have a long history of living our company’s shared values, including integrity and respect. As Tech Data celebrates its 40th year in business, we remain dedicated to fundamental fairness and equality for all.”

“Cassidy Turley believes that a diverse workplace helps our firm to live our values and to succeed in business. Diversity is all the unique characteristics that make us who we are and providing a safe, comfortable, and inclusive working environment is the right thing for all businesses and their employees,” said Philip Dinkins, Senior Vice President of Cassidy Turley in

Tampa. “We are committed to creating an environment in which diverse individuals feel welcome.”

The coalition is comprised of many of Florida’s major employers, including C1 Bank, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, CSX Corporation, Darden Restaurants Inc., Florida Blue, Haskell, Home Shopping Network (HSN), On Top of the World Communities, Raymond James, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Tech Data Corporation, University of North Florida, Walt Disney World Resorts, Wells Fargo and Winn-Dixie.

About Patrick Geraghty
Patrick J. Geraghty is the Chairman and CEO of Florida Blue and the GuideWell group of companies. He is a leader in Florida’s health care industry. Throughout his career, Geraghty has been active in community and professional organizations. He is a board member for a diverse group of organizations, including the National Institute of Health Care Management (NIHCM), Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Oliver Wyman Innovation Center Advisory Board. Geraghty has also received many awards from the community. He received the 2013 Humanitarian of the Year Award from Kappa Alpha Psi for his leadership on diversity issues, and the American Values Award for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the community from the North Florida Council Boy Scouts of America. In 2014, Geraghty was named Floridian of the Year by Florida Trend magazine for his outstanding leadership.

About John Tonnison
John Tonnison is Executive Vice President and Worldwide CIO of Tech Data Corporation, one of the world’s largest distributors of IT products and services serving more than 125,000 IT solution providers in over 100 countries. Tonnison joined Tech Data Corporation in 2001 as vice president, worldwide e-business, leading the development of Tech Data’s e-business strategy and tools. In 2006, he was promoted to senior vice president, Information Technology, The Americas, continuing to drive Tech Data’s e-business vision and taking responsibility for all business systems technology, application software and operations in the Americas. Prior to Tech Data, Tonnison held executive management positions in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany with Ameriquest, Log 2000, Frontline Distribution and Mancos Computers.

About Philip Dinkins
Philip Dinkins is Senior Vice President of Cassidy Turley in Tampa, a leading commercial real estate services provider with a track record of delivering superior results for clients. Prior to Cassidy Turley, Dinkins worked for CLW Real Estate Services Group, and served as Vice President and Director of Leasing for 100 North Tampa, a 42-story, 552,000 square-foot, Class A office tower in downtown Tampa. Dinkins began his real estate career with Paragon Group in 1982 and later became First Vice President of CB Richard Ellis. He has been responsible throughout his career for the successful leasing of three of downtown Tampa’s most prominent office buildings including Fifth Third Center, Bank of America Plaza and 100 North Tampa and several buildings in Westshore including The Pointe, Concourse Center and Bridgeport Center. Dinkins current assignment, 100 North Tampa, has been the best performing building in downtown Tampa’s history having averaged 99% occupancy since 1998.

Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce
The for Florida Businesses for Rome a Jugend Competitive Workforce (FBCW) Coalition is a 501c(4) whose mission is to support passing The Competitive Workforce Act (HB Systemwechsel 239/SB 348) which would modernize state law to include anti-discrimination protection based on sexual orientation Yo and gender identity Wholesale Miami Dolphins Jerseys or expression. The Coalition believes that the Florida S?n Competitive Workforce Act will make Florida more competitive in the national wholesale MLB jerseys and global marketplace in much the same way companies have benefitted from adopting wholesale jerseys anti-discrimination policies.