The Palm Beach Civic Association is celebrating its 80th anniversary season with a stellar line-up of speakers and forums that promises to engage and inform island residents like never before.
This season’s outstanding roster of speakers includes the chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee; a prominent investor and director of the Everglades Foundation; an international environmentalist with a focus on protecting the world’s oceans; and one of the nation’s top television journalists.
Michael Pucillo, chairman and CEO of the Civic Association, said the organization’s 80th season is an important milestone.
“For 80 years, this organization has worked cooperatively and constructively with the town government to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach,” Pucillo said. “This season, in addition to what we normally do, highlighting town issues including water and zoning, we are going to have speakers on significant global matters which we think our membership and the community will find interesting and stimulating.”
The Civic Association will launch its new season by welcoming returning residents to a community forum in early November. A town forum in March will bring residents together to discuss issues that impact the quality of life on the island.
In January and February, our three-part Signature Speaker Series will draw figures from the national stage into the local spotlight, where they will offer cutting-edge views on matters of political, environmental, and entrepreneurial importance.
As always, the Civic Association’s Community Service Award Breakfast in March will be a major highlight of the season. Headlining this year’s breakfast will be NBC News political director and on-air talent Chuck Todd.
It all wraps up with our Annual Meeting, featuring Mayor Danielle Moore’s state-of-the town address, on April 8 – the Civic Association’s 80th birthday.
The Civic Association was created in 1944 by a small number of civic-minded Palm Beach residents with a mission that remains in force to this day: to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life on the island.
One of the organization’s first orders of business was to take a strong and successful stand against the operation of organized gambling on the island. From early on, the Civic Association fought for coastal protection, water quality and low taxes, and against the expansion and widening of the Port of Palm Beach Inlet – concerns that remain front and center today.
The organization’s educational programming and public forums have come to occupy an increasingly important role in island life. Membership has increased dramatically since the 1940s and continues to grow.
Nov. 7 – Welcome Back Community Forum
The Civic Association launches its 2023-24 season with a Welcome Back Community Forum on Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. until noon, at the Mandel Recreation Center. The public is invited to the gathering, which will be sponsored by Northern Trust.
Chairman Pucillo and Mary Robosson, president and chief operating officer of the Civic Association, and town leaders will be there to welcome returning residents to the 2023-24 season.
Also speaking will be Sean S. Suder, lead principal and founder of Cincinnati-based ZoneCo, the leading consultant in the town’s review and reform of its zoning code, which the Town Council has named as a top priority.
Nov. 16 – Directors’ Reception and Luncheon
Next up will be the Directors’ Reception and Luncheon on Nov. 16 from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Club Colette. This year’s reception will be sponsored by The INNOVATE nonprofit cultural arts center.
The INNOVATE’s chairman is Avram “Avie” Glazer. His wife, Jill Glazer, is a Civic Association director. Avie and Jill Glazer are Palm Beach residents. The Glazers own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and hold a majority ownership stake in English football club Manchester United F.C.
Dec. 13 – Annual Holiday Party
Members are invited to celebrate the season and share some holiday cheer when the Civic Association hosts its annual holiday party at The Breakers’ Circle Ballroom on Dec. 13 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Members at the giving level of $250 or above are welcome.
The party is being sponsored by the Frisbie Group and The Breakers.
Jan. 19 – Signature Speaker Jack Reed
U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, will be first of three keynote speakers headlining the 2024 Signature Speaker Series.
Reed will appear on Jan. 19 from 8:45 a.m. until 9:50 a.m. at The Beach Club Ocean Lounge and Ocean Room.
Reed is chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee and chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee of the Legislative Branch. He was elected to the Senate in 1996 after serving as U.S. representative for Rhode Island’s 2nd congressional district 1991-97.
Reed is an attorney and a graduate of both the United States Military Academy and Harvard University. He served in the U.S. Army as an active officer from 1971 to 1979.
All three 2024 Signature Speaker Series engagements are being sponsored by the Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr. Legal Society through a gift from the late Cynthia Van Buren. The Rumbough Society is named for the late businessman, philanthropist and former co-chairman and CEO of the Civic Association.
All three Signature Speaker Series dates are open to Civic Association members at the giving level of $1,000 and above.
Jan. 25 – Signature Speaker Paul Tudor Jones II
Paul Tudor Jones II, the prominent investor, philanthropist and director of the Everglades Foundation, will headline the second Signature Speaker Series engagement on Jan. 25.
Jones will speak from 10 a.m. until noon at The Beach Club Ocean Lounge and Ocean Room.
In 1980, Jones founded his hedge fund, Tudor Investment Corporation, an asset management firm headquartered in Stamford, Conn. Eight years later, he established the Robin Hood Foundation, which works to alleviate poverty in New York City. In 1993, he founded the Everglades Foundation, which advocates for conservation of the Everglades.
February 27 – Signature Speaker David Rockefeller Jr.
David Rockefeller Jr., a prominent environmentalist, businessman and philanthropist, will speak on Feb. 27 from 12:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. at The Beach Club’s Ocean Lounge and Ocean Room.
A lifelong sailor and conservationist, Rockefeller founded the non-profit Sailors for the Sea, now a component of Oceana, which is an international organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans.
Rockefeller has held many leadership positions in Rockefeller-related entities and in nonprofits that support the arts, education and the environment.
He is a former trustee and chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation and former president of the Rockefeller Family Fund. He is a trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
March 17 – VIP Dinner
This year’s VIP Dinner, in honor of Chuck Todd, keynote speaker at the 2024 Award Breakfast, will be held at a private Palm Beach residence on March 17 at 6:30 p.m.
The dinner is by invitation to directors at the giving level of $5,000 and above.
March 18 – Award Breakfast featuring Chuck Todd
The Civic Association’s Community Service Award Breakfast, always a highlight of any Palm Beach season, will feature Chuck Todd, a prominent television journalist who was, until recently, moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press.
The award breakfast will be held March 18 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. in The Breakers’ Venetian Ballroom. Tickets are $200 for Civic Association members and $300 for non-members.
Todd is the political director for NBC News and serves as on-air political analyst for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and Today. The Miami native is a former chief White House correspondent for NBC. He moderated Meet the Press for nine years before stepping down in September 2023, when he was succeeded by Kristen Welker.
Each year at the breakfast, the Civic Association announces and honors the recipient of its annual William J. “Bill” Brooks Community Service Award. Brooks was a Town Council member and longtime general manager of WPTV Channel 5 who died in 2010.
The Community Service Award Breakfast is being sponsored by Florida Crystals.
March (TBD) – Town Forum
The Civic Association will host a forum for the public at Town Hall focusing on local issues. The date has not yet been determined.
It will be sponsored by Good Samaritan Medical Center.
March (TBD) – Major Contributors’ Reception
The Civic Association will host a gathering in honor of the organization’s major contributors. The date, time and location are not yet determined.
April 8 – Annual Meeting & Directors’ Meeting
The Civic Association will mark the 80th anniversary of its founding by closing out its 2023-24 season on April 8 – the date of its founding in 1944.
Mayor Danielle Moore will present her annual state-of-the-town address at the meeting, which will be from 10 a.m. until noon at the Flagler Museum. It will be open to the public.
Civic Association Chairman Pucillo is expected to announce the organization’s slate of new directors for 2024.
In another highlight of the meeting, the Civic Association will honor the recipient or recipients of its annual Raymond J. Kunkel Award for heroic or meritorious service to the Palm Beach Community.
80th anniversary season a ‘landmark celebration’
Robosson, the president and COO of the Civic Association, said the organization “belongs to our members and residents.”
“I believe our founders would be proud of the extraordinary commitment of our directors and members, who are serving our mission to protect and improve the quality of life in the town,” Robosson said.
“This year marks a landmark celebration, as we will honor the past and embrace a dynamic future through the work of our 16 standing committees,” she said. “In honor of our 80th anniversary, we invite all residents to become a member and celebrate with us!”
For more information on the Civic Association’s upcoming calendar of events, look for Palm Beach TV’s Thursday, Oct. 5, newscast.
To RSVP for any of the events, contact the Civic Association by calling 561.655.0820, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by logging onto our website, palmbeachcivic.org.
The Palm Beach Civic Association’s mission is to protect and improve the quality of life in the Town of Palm Beach by taking proactive stands on civic affairs; informing, educating and engaging residents on key town issues; working with local government; and encouraging citizen involvement in the community.
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