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Chamber creates Smith Endowment.

Chesterfield Smith, former president of the American Bar Association and The Florida Bar, is lending his legendary name to support the Florida Chamber Foundation's business-led research.

The Chesterfield Smith Public Policy Research Endowment at the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation aims to invest in Florida's future with more studies that will provide the intellectual framework for state policy.

"Chesterfield was vice chair, of our foundation in the mid to late '80s, when we made a lot of changes in our foundation," said Florida Chamber Foundation President Frank M. Ryll, Jr.

"Before, it was a purely educational foundation, and we broadened it to public policy research. Chesterfield provided a lot of leadership."

The initial goal is to raise $520,000, and the secondary goal is to top the million-dollar mark, said Ryll, adding that the foundation has raised more than $200,000 so far.

The foundation's newest study, "Transportation Cornerstone Florida," recommends strategies to strengthen Florida's stressed transportation system, expected to be a major issue in the upcoming legislative session.

"The whole purpose of the transportation study is that Florida has to make investments in its physical infrastructure if we are going to be competitive internationally," Ryll said. "We need to improve connecting airports, roads, rail into a system. We've under-invested. What will happen is, with the growth of trade, if we can't handle it here, it will go offshore."

Another foundation initiative was the WorldClass Education Center, established to train business leaders to help children acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for success. So far, more than 3,000 business, civic and education leaders have been trained in 17 Florida communities for the education reform project.

The campaign committee for the Chesterfield Smith Public Policy Research Endowment includes two colleagues Smith has worked with closely: Marshall Cassedy, former executive director of the Bar; and Burt Early, former president of the American Bar Association.

A celebration honoring Chesterfield Smith and the public announcement of the new endowment will be held April 7 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. All donors will be invited and recognized at the event.
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Publication:Florida Bar News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2000
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