Melvin honored as Volunteer of the Year

From left: David Melvin; Antonio Jefferson-Opportunity Florida Chair; Richard Williams-Opportunity Florida Executive Director

From left: David Melvin; Antonio Jefferson-Opportunity Florida Chair; Richard Williams-Opportunity Florida Executive Director

Opportunity Florida recently honored David Melvin, owner of Melvin Engineering in Marianna, with the Volunteer of the Year Award. The award was presented at the 2016 Florida Rural Economic Development Summit.

David Melvin has long been an advocate of business development in the Northwest Florida region as well as the rest of the state. He and his firm are always ready to assist economic development organizations as they endeavor to help support existing business as well as the creation of new jobs in the region.

“David Melvin is a community economic development warrior committed to facilitating economic opportunities for all residents of Northwest Florida. While David does not seek recognition for his contribution of time, talent and resources, Opportunity Florida could not have recommended a more deserving individual for the Florida Rural Economic Development Association (FREDA) Volunteer of the Year Award,” noted Opportunity Florida Chairman, Antonio Jefferson.

A long time Opportunity Florida member, David Melvin is active and ready to assist with any projects.

“Our region is blessed to have someone of David’s character who is willing to work so hard to make this s better place to live, work and play. David does so much behind the scenes that he refuses to take credit for, that the least we could do is give him this small token of appreciation. I hope the people of our region realize what an outstanding example of community leadership we have in David Melvin,” said Opportunity Florida Executive Director, Richard Williams.

That modesty and dedication are readily apparent. Asked about receiving the award, Melvin replied, “I was very surprised and honored to receive the award. I have a passion for creating good jobs for our communities, our children. It is a privilege to work with those in the Opportunity Florida area that share the passion for job creation.”

Senators Bill Montford and Jack Latvala were also honored at the Summit with the Rural Economic Development Legislative Champion Awards. Both these senators fit that appellation well. They have been working hard in the legislature to help bring more opportunities to Florida businesses and residents. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also attended the Summit and was presented with the Rural Economic Development Champion Award.

The Rural Summit was a huge success with economic developers, state agencies and rural city and county elected officials attending. The sessions were aimed at economic development and job creation in the rural areas of Florida. One such session, moderated by Antonio Jefferson, featured former Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope and Neal Wade, Director of the University of Alabama Economic Development Academy. The two spoke of the challenges faced by rural economic development and encouraged attendees to take a good look at their assets and opportunities and develop a strategy that fit their own community.