Chris Gardner, a member of the board of governor's for Citizens Property Insurance was named chairman of the controversial board on Friday by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. He replaces outgoing chairman Carlos Lacasa of Miami.
Gardner, who was originally appointed to the board by former House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Orlando, is a Winter Park insurance broker whose firm does not have any business interests with Citizens, Atwater said in press release.
From Atwater's press release:
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the appointment of Chris Gardner as Chairman of the Board of Governors for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Gardner, a resident of Winter Park, has 20 years of experience in the retail insurance brokerage business with a specific focus in Commercial Property and Casualty Insurance. He has served as a member of the Citizens board since his appointment in July 2011.
“In his 20 years in the insurance industry, Chris has proved himself to be a person of high character and sound judgment who shares my high expectations for how a corporation such as Citizens should be managed,” said CFO Atwater. “I am confident he has the business background and leadership qualities it will take to further establish defined and transparent procedures at Citizens. It is important to continue to build the public’s trust in the non-profit corporation and better equip it to protect Floridians during their greatest times of need.”
Chris Gardner is the managing shareholder of Kuykendall Gardner, LLC, a Florida based insurance broker doing business since 1953. Neither the firm collectively nor Mr. Gardner personally has any current business interests in Citizens. He has been a past chairman of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and is a past vice chairman of the City of Orlando Municipal Planning Board.
“I am very honored to be chosen for this opportunity to lead a corporation that protects Florida’s property owners,” said Gardner. “My first priority will be to establish a very clear process for how Citizens will conduct business, which means serving customers in a more transparent way than ever before that continues to protect them during times of disaster and protects the taxpayer dollars of all Floridians.”