Lonny Powell, the CEO and executive vice president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association based in Ocala, was recognized as the Executive of the Year by the Florida Society of Association Executives at their annual conference held July 20-22 in Tampa at the Marriott Water Street.
The award, which was presented Friday during the conference awards luncheon, honors the association executive who has displayed the highest commitment to professional growth and pride in association management, with evident professionalism and leadership in both services to the association management profession and to the community.
The FSAE is the state-wide resource for information, best-practices and innovations in the Florida association community by fostering peer to peer networking and association community engagement. The FSAE offers professional development that prepares the CEO and staff for their day-to-day jobs and offers cutting-edge knowledge with unique programming and new ideas in association management with personal growth and leadership opportunities through volunteer service, recognition, and community service.
It is the second largest state society with more than 1,100 members representing approximately 500 non-profit and member trade associations throughout Florida including leaders from the expansive hospitality, tourism and convention industries. Members include the Florida Bar, the Florida Homebuilders Association, the Florida Institute of CPAs, the Florida Institute of Auditors and the Florida Association of Colleges and Employees. Associate members include the Walt Disney Company, Visit Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Economic Development Council, Marriott International Inc., Hyatt Corporation and The Breakers Palm Beach.
“I am very honored to be selected by the FSAE as Florida Executive of the Year,” Powell said. “I extend my greatest appreciation to FSAE, their awards committee and salute the Association’s state-wide and diverse membership of leading executives and decision makers in our Sunshine State’s expansive non-profit, hospitality, member and trade association spaces.
“I also extend my appreciation to the member or members who nominated me in the first place to be considered for this Association’s highest honor.”
Powell received his second major career achievements award after also being honored by the American Horse Council, which represents all breeds of horses in the nation’s capital, with their acclaimed Van Ness Award in Washington, D.C., in June.
He was presented the Van Ness Award for his outstanding contributions to numerous state horse industries over the years including those in California, Washington, Arizona, and particularly Florida.
“I’d also like to emphasize that it takes a team and then some to get things done and make good things happen,” Powell continued. “Accordingly, I must share this award with all of our amazing staff and management in Ocala as well as advisors in Tallahassee. Combine them with a consistently engaged board and officer team as well as members, friends and supporters and that’s how someone like myself gets such awesome, flattering and humbling accolades.
“It also helps when you represent such a magnificent, heritage steeped and accomplished Florida-bred thoroughbred industry that annually contributes billions of dollars in state economic impact while being strategically headquartered in the Horse Capital of the World.
“I greatly appreciate being recognized by FSAE for my leadership, executive management, advocacy, promotional, public relations, strategic, communications and subject mastery abilities long demonstrated.”
Powell served eight consecutive years as an FSAE board member and past chair prior to concluding his term of office at the conference. He has been elected by the FSAE board to every officer position including secretary, chair elect, treasurer and ultimately chair in 2021. He is the first person from Marion County or the agriculture and equine industries to either serve on the FSAE board, be elected chairman or be named the FSAE Executive of the Year.
Powell and his FTBOA team were also recognized in 2015 by the FSAE as their Association of the Year, just months before being recognized similarly by the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership that same year.
“Wow! Two prestigious awards in one year. Congratulations,” FTBOA president Valerie Dailey said. “It’s very nice to see Lonny receiving these awards for his dedication and hard work in the organizations he serves. It’s well deserved.”
“For the past several years, Lonny has been an integral part of guiding the success of FSAE as Chair and Board Member,” FSAE president and CEO Frank Rudd said. “Our award winners set the standard for excellence in the association community and Lonny’s leadership in FSAE and his success in FTBOA led to our highest recognition for his achievements.”
“Lonny’s service to FSAE has been exemplary,” FSAE chair Marsha Kiner said. “He served on the board in numerous capacities, led important committees, and has been a significant contributor to the major decisions impacting the organization for the last ten years. His leadership in 2020 during the onset of Covid-19 was exceptional. He is a phenomenal human being and he is most deserving of this high honor.”