Meet Our Persons of Vision

Person of Vision award

2016 Honoree Bob Buckhorn is saluted by Event Co-Chair, Kevin Bakewell.

Prevent Blindness Florida (now Preserve Vision Florida) presented its first Person of Vision Award in 1979 and has honored over 60 of Florida’s visionary leaders who have made a profound impact on Florida and the Tampa Bay community.

2015 Persons of Vision

2015 Honorees Jeff and Penny Vinik, owners of the Tampa Bay Lightning, are congratulated by Event Co-Chair Kevin Bakewell (left), Senior VP and Chief Public Affairs Officer of AAA – The Auto Club Group.

POV 2014 honorees

Event Chairs Lorna Taylor (CEO of Premier Eye Care) and Jim Davis (former U.S. Representative) congratulate 2014 Honorees Betty Castor (former Florida Commissioner of Education and former USF President) and U.S. Representative Kathy Castor.

HonoreeAffiliation at Time of Award
Mayor Ed AustinCity of Jacksonville
Ted BakerFlorida Rock Industries
Thompson BakerThompson Baker Insurance
George BeanHillsborough County Aviation Authority
Henry H. BeckwithBlue Cross Blue Shield
Ken BurtonManatee County Tax Collector
Mayor Bob BuckhornCity of Tampa
Jack ButcherThe Tampa Tribune
A. R. Pete CarpenterCSX Transportation
The Hon. Betty CastorFormer FL Secretary of Education, Former USF President
Congresswoman Kathy CastorU.S. House of Representatives, Tampa
Congressman Jim DavisU.S. House of Representatives, Tampa
Congresswoman Tillie K. FowlerU.S. House of Representatives, Jacksonville
Senator Pat Collier FrankFlorida Senate
Former Mayor Bill FredericksCity of Orlando
William W. GayW. W. Gay Mechanical Contractor
Mayor Dick Greco
and Dr. Linda McClintock-Greco
City of Tampa
Tampa General Hospital
Senator Mary GrizzleFlorida Senate
Sheriff Walter HeinrichHillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Max H. HollingsworthWinn-Dixie
Mayor Glenda HoodCity of Orlando
Col. Joseph House (Ret.) and Sue HouseUSAA
Community Volunteer
Senator Toni JenningsFlorida Senate President
Carlton JonesLeadership Florida
Dr. Frances KinneJacksonville University
Rep. John LewisFlorida House of Representatives
Bill McBride
and Alex Sink
Holland & Knight
NationsBank Florida
Congressman John MicaU.S. House of Representatives, Casselberry
Rudy MichaudMetLife
Frank L. MorsaniPrecision Enterprises, Inc.
Henry MotesE. H. Thompson Restaurant Equipment Company
Harold and Howard O’SteenO’Steen Volvo
Outback Founders
Robert D. Basham
Tim Gannon
Chris T. Sullivan

Outback Steakhouse
Art PepinPepin Distributing
Mayor Wayne PostonCity of Bradenton
Lynwood RobertsDuval County Tax Collector
Hubert RutlandRutland Department Store
Terrell SessumsFlorida House of Representatives Speaker
Dow SherwoodVillage Inn Restaurants
John and Susan SykesSykes Enterprises
Ronald D. TaylorE. W. Nash & Sons
Gilbert E. TurnerGulf Tampa Industries
Representative Daniel WebsterSpeaker, Florida House of Representatives
University Presidents – Hillsborough
Judy Lynn Genshaft, Ph.D.
Gwendolyn W. Stephenson, Ph.D.
Ronald L. Vaughn, Ph.D.

University of South Florida
Hillsborough Community College

The University of Tampa
University Presidents – Sarasota
Dr. Gordon Michalson
Dr. Sarah Pappas
Dr. Laurey Stryker

Larry Thompson, Ph.D.

New College of Florida
Manatee Community College
University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee
Ringling School of Art & Design
Jeff and Penny VinikTampa Bay Lightning
Joseph J. ZalupskiTampa Sports Authority


Buckhorn toasted — and roasted — as Person of Vision

Kevin Blakewell, Debbie Blakewell, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn

Event co-chair Kevin W. Bakewell of AAA, left, with his wife, Debbie,
and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn

(Tampa Bay Business Journal) January 14, 2016 — Dignitaries, business leaders and former mayors toasted — and roasted — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at a reception Wednesday night as he received the Person of Vision Award from Prevent Blindness Florida (now Preserve Vision Florida). Read the Tampa Bay Business Journal‘s complete article.

Walter Wood with his wife, Kelley Parris<br> at the Person of Vision dinner

Walter Wood with his wife Kelley Parris
at the Person of Vision dinner

 Dr. John Smith, event co-chair Lorna Taylor, Dr. Juel Smith and Rosemary Henderson

Dr. John Smith, event co-chair Lorna Taylor, Dr. Juel Smith and Rosemary Henderson at the Person of Vision dinner


See the original announcement.

Person of Vision Award 2016

Bob Buckhorn

Bob Buckhorn

Prevent Blindness Florida will present its 2016 Person of Vision Award to the Honorable Bob Buckhorn, mayor of Tampa, during a special event on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.

The Person of Vision Award honors individuals who have made a profound impact on their community or the state of Florida.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has focused on the city and region’s economic leadership, stability, and most importantly, business opportunity. Today, Tampa is recognized as the competitive city it is. Our continued success in those efforts will set the stage for how and why we build in tomorrow’s Tampa.

AAA – The Auto Club Group is the Visionary Sponsor for the event; Premier Eye Care is the Signature Sponsor.

AAA The Auto Club GroupToasters include U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor; former Tampa Chief of Police Jane Caster; and Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Jeffrey Vinik.

Festivities at the Marriott at 700 S. Florida Ave., Tampa, will begin at with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. and continue with dinner and the award program starting at 7 p.m. Business attire is suggested.

Honorary Co-Chairs for the event are Jane Castor, Ana Cruz, and John and Susan Sykes (Honorees 1998).

Premier_logoEvent Co-Chairs are Kevin Bakewell of AAA – The Auto Club Group and Lorna Taylor of Premier Eye Care.

Host Committee members are: Russ Alba, Esq., Black Swan Legal Counsel; Bridgette Bello, Tampa Bay Business Journal; Jose Bello, AXA Advisors; Ali Brown, Eventions; Yolie Capin, Tampa City Council; Ron Christaldi, Esq., Shumaker, Chair, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce; Mary Ann Ferenc, Mise en Place, Inc.; Stephen Gay, Smith & Associates; Casa Nova; Bill Goede, Bank of America; Guy King, M. E. Wilson Company, Chair Elect, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce; Joanne Lighter, Prevent Blindness Florida; Joe Lopano, Tampa International Airport; Jasmine Mohadjer, MD, Eye Institute of West Florida; Patrick M. McNamara, Esq., de la Parte & Gilbert; Aakash Patel, Elevate Inc.; Lansing Scriven, Esq., Trenam; John Smith, Retired USF Dean College of Arts; Juel Smith , Ju-el Consulting; Eric Ward , Chief of Tampa Police Department; Bill West, Bank of Tampa.

Prevent Blindness Florida was established as Prevent Blindness Florida in 1957 with the mission to “prevent blindness and preserve sight” by promoting a continuum of vision care as the only statewide provider of vision screenings, vision education, prescription glasses, and vision treatment.