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Michael Brown Recognized as the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year

Michael Brown Recognized as the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year

March 15, 2019 Robert Lane

The Indian River State College (IRSC) Foundation hosted the 20th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year dinner at the Dan K. Richardson Center, located at IRSC Mueller Campus in Vero Beach, on Thursday, March 7. The event was held in honor of the 2019 award recipient Michael Brown, retired CEO of both Harbor Federal and Harbor Community Bank and current Director of CenterState Bank. 

Michael Brown speaks during the 20th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Dinner.

Michael Brown speaks during the 20th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Dinner. Brown was recognized as the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year during the 20th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year dinner at the Richardson Center located at IRSC Mueller Campus in Vero Beach Thursday, March 7. 

 

Brown began his banking career in Florida in 1972 as Chief Financial Officer for University Federal Savings and Loan in Coral Gables. In 1974 he was called to First Federal Savings and Loan of Fort Pierce to serve as its Chief Financial Officer, and then was named Chief Executive Officer at just 34 years of age.

During his leadership, First Federal Savings and Loan grew to become Harbor Federal Savings Bank, a publicly traded company valued at over $320 million, serving 10 counties with more than 900 employees. It was one of the top-performing banks in Florida.

Brown launched Harbor Real Estate in partnership with Hal Roberts and Mike Brown Jr. and subsequently retired from the bank in 2008. He then led in the enterprise of establishing Harbor Community Bank, and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer beginning 2011. In 2018 the bank was sold to CenterState Bank where he now serves as Director.

During his career, Brown has served on many key advisory and leadership boards related to the banking industry, including service as a member of the Federal Reserve Thrift Institution Advisory Council from 2003 to 2004 alongside Alan Greenspan, Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States.

As a lifelong philanthropist, Brown leads his life with the philosophy of giving back to the community. His support of numerous charities and community organizations includes Fort Pierce Rotary Club, St. Lucie Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County, Treasure Coast Hospice, Harbor Branch Foundation Board, HANDS Clinic of St. Lucie County, and the Sunrise Theatre.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award program recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence, and community involvement—central elements of the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program established by the IRSC Foundation and 13 other founding members to promote awareness and appreciation of the free enterprise system.

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