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Michael Smith, GER, Past National President

Full body photo Mike Smith_edited.jpg

Michael F. Smith was born on October 2, 1949, the second of two children, and was raised in Plant City, Florida. He was never far from the ocean and from Florida’s inland lakes, and he developed a lifelong love of water. A strong athlete, Michael excelled in sports and was named captain of his high school basketball team, which won the state championship during his senior year. He was named MVP of the tournament, captain of the All-Star team, and captain and MVP of the North-South All Stars. He received a full basketball scholarship to St. Leo College, in Florida.

After college, Michael married his high school sweetheart, Sandra, and they started a family. Michael was initiated into the Plant City, Florida, Lodge, his father’s lodge, on January 22, 1979, and with Sandra’s support, immediately became active in lodge activities and committees. Both their son, Todd, and their daughter, Jennifer, grew up in the lodge and both have continued their family’s involvement with the Order. Todd became a member of the Plant City Lodge on September 25, 1995, and Jennifer’s husband, Steve, is a past exalted ruler at the Plant City Lodge. Michael and Sandra are very proud of both children and their many accomplishments. Jennifer is a high school teacher and college professor and Todd is a pharmaceutical representative. Michael and Sandra also enjoy their seven grandchildren and are happy to cheer them on in their many youth sports activities.

As a member of the Plant City Lodge, Michael started Christmas in the Park, which became an annual Christmas Day tradition in downtown Plant City, during which the Elks would cook a traditional turkey dinner for a few thousand less fortunate families. He also initiated annual holiday dinners to honor the local police and fire departments.

Michael has served the Plant City Elks in many positions, including two terms as exalted ruler (1992–1993 and 1993–1994). He worked his way through the chairs, spent several years as a trustee, and still chairs the Memorial Day Service each year. At the state level, Michael was named district vice president before serving the Florida State Elks Association as state president in 2001–2002. Michael sits on several boards for the state, including the Florida State Elks Association board of directors, and he is currently chairman and president of the Harry-Anna Investment Fund. At the Grand Lodge level, Michael served in 1998–1999 as district deputy for the Southwest Central District of Florida before being appointed to the Grand Lodge’s Lodge Activities Committee in 2000 and becoming chairman in 2005. Chosen as Grand Esteemed Lecturing Knight for 2005–2006, Michael joined the Grand Lodge Board of Grand Trustees in 2006 and currently serves as chairman of the board.

Michael has been in the insurance business for over thirty years, primarily in the health care field. His practice consists of payroll administration, human resources, plan design, and administration for self-funded and fully insured benefit programs. Michael also works with Innovation HR & Benefits. In addition to the insurance industry, Michael is a partner in a hotel in St. Petersburg Beach, serves on the board of directors for a management company, and has served as the president of a condominium association for the past twenty years.

Michael enjoys golf and boating. His affiliations are the BPO Elks, Florida Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, National Association of Health Underwriters, National Retirement Plan Advisors, National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, First Baptist Church of Plant City, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, and Pasadena Yacht and Country Club, where Michael has served on the board of directors.

Michael F. Smith is just one of many hardworking and dedicated Florida Elks. He is convinced that our focus on charity, children, and veterans will rekindle our desire to serve and that if we “Promote Elks Passion,” the Order will prosper and attract new members.


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