Eight Prominent Grads Named UF Law School Trustees

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Five attorneys, a metropolitan city mayor and two leading business executives have been named to the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida Levin College of Law Center Association.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, business executives W. Michael Heekin of Atlanta and Lawton “Bud” Chiles III of Orlando, and attorneys Ladd H. Fassett and J. Thomas Cardwell, Orlando; Gene K. Glasser, Hollywood; Michael D. Minton, Fort Pierce; and F. Wallace Pope Jr., Clearwater, each will serve a five-year term on the board of the law school’s major private financial and administrative services organization.

They join with approximately 50 other executives throughout the state and Southeast in overseeing the 95-year-old law school’s facilities and programs needs. The association helped raise more than $20 million toward the school’s library expansion and new classroom facilities construction now underway, and is instrumental in helping the College fulfill its teaching, research and service mission.

J. Thomas Cardwell is chairman and CEO of Akerman Senterfitt, a Florida-based firm with more than 400 attorneys in eight Florida cities and Washington, D.C. He is a past chairman of the Orange County Housing Finance Authority, 1994-96 chairman of the financial institutions committee of the Florida Bar, and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Cardwell is ranked in “America’s Leading Business Lawyers,” and among the best U.S. lawyers in banking law and business litigation. He earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1964, and his law degree with honors from UF in 1966.

Lawton “Bud” Chiles III is chairman of Florida Capital, a Coastal Property Company; former vice president of Hope Worldwide, an international charity organization, and founder and president of Chiles Communications. He is former chairman of the Florida Environmental Coalition and vice chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and has received national awards for his work in public health. Chiles attended Duke University and earned a B.A. from Stanford University.

Buddy Dyer, a three-term member of the Florida Senate starting in 1992 and Senate Democratic Leader three years, was elected mayor of Orlando in February, 2003. He earned his undergraduate engineering degree from Brown University, worked as an environmental engineer in Florida, and was awarded his UF law degree with honors in 1987. While at Florida, Dyer was editor of the Florida Law Review and inducted into Florida Blue Key, Order of the Coif and Phi Delta Phi. At the time he took his Florida Bar exam to be able to practice law, he received the highest score of the almost 1,000 test takers.

Ladd H. Fassett helped found the Orlando firm of Fasset Anthony & Taylor, P.A., in 1989, and is active in the Orange County Bar Association, the Florida Bar (Board of Governors 1988-1990) and member of the judicial nominating commission of the Fifth District Court of Appeals. He is a former president of the Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, and was on the Bar Board of Governors 1988-90. He earned his B.S. with high honors in 1977 and his law degree with honors in 1979, both from UF. He served as president of the UF National Alumni Association in 1997.

Gene K. Glasser of Abrams Anton, P.A., Hollywood, specializes in estate planning and administration, and tax law. He is on the board of directors of the United Jewish Community of Broward County, Inc., and the Memorial Hospital Foundation, and is former chairman of the Jewish Community Foundation. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel, active in Florida Bar programs, and past chairman of the State Certification Committee of Wills, Trustees and Estates. He earned a B.S. in business administration with a major in accounting and his law degree in 1972, both from UF. His 1973 LL.M. in taxation is from New York University.

Atlanta businessman W. Michael Heekin was founding chief operating officer of WebMD, a company that delivers Internet-based medical information and services to healthcare providers and consumers. He is of counsel to Bryant Miller & Olive, a member of the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America’s Atlanta Area Council since 1999, and was appointed by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002 to be the team leader of the Bush Transition Team for the State Technology Office. Prior to joining WebMD in 1997, he held executive positions with American Heritage Life Insurance Co., Jacksonville, and served as Associate Dean of the Florida State University College of Law. Heekin earned accounting and law degrees at UF in 1975 and 1978, respectively, and in 1986 earned an MBA in finance at The Wharton School.

Michael D. Minton of the Treasure Coast office of the Dean Mead Minton & Zwemer business law firm, is past vice chairman of the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District and a past president of the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce. Minton recently was appointed to Governor Jeb Bush’s Committee for a Sustainable Treasure Coast, served on Governor Lawton Chiles’ Growth Management Task Force, and is a member of the judicial nominating commission for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit and the executive council of the Florida Bar Tax Section. He earned his law degree with honors in 1981 and his LL.M. in taxation in 1982 from UF, after receiving his B.S. in agriculture with high honors in 1979 also from Florida.

F. Wallace Pope Jr., a senior member of the 30-year-old Tampa Bay firm of Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, LLP, was honored in 1999 by the Pinellas County Circuit Court as the circuit’s most professional civil lawyer. Pope is a member of Clearwater, Hillsborough County and American Bar Associations, and a former member of the Florida Bar board of governors, judicial nominating commission of the Second District Court of Appeal and the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers. He earned a B.A. at UF in 1962, an A.M. in 1965 at Boston University, and his UF law degree with honors in 1969. He was editor of Florida Law Review, and inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, Order of the Coif and Florida Blue Key. He served in the U.S. Army 1962-67, as a military intelligence captain.

Published: May 4th, 2004

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