2018: George T. Elmore
Founder of Hardrives, Inc. George Elmore
George T. Elmore, from New Castle, Pennsylvania, moved to Florida in 1947. He attended the University of Miami for one year and then was called to duty in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict. Upon returning, he and his wife Wilma traded in their car for a pickup truck, borrowed $3000 from his father and got started paving driveways. They used their house as an office and the back of a gas station as an operating base. Wilma kept the books while her husband worked in the field.
Today, Hardrives has become one of the largest road construction firms in Palm Beach County and is one of South Florida’s preeminent, longest running heavy construction firms. With Elmore’s leadership, perseverance, a keen eye for opportunities and a business practiced with foresight and a genuine concern for the community, Hardrives has grown along with South Florida, constructing the major highway projects including much of I-95 and many of the major thoroughfares in South Florida.
2018 Companion Medalists: Joseph Anderton, John Crossman, Damien Simmons
2017: David C. Novak
Co-Founder and retired chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc.
2016: Kenneth Langone
Founder of Invemed Associates and co-founder of The Home Depot
2015: Leo A. Vecellio, Jr.
Chairman and President of Vecellio Group Inc.
2014: Arthur L. Williams
Founder of A.L. Williams & Associates
Arthur L. Williams is the founder of A.L. Williams & Associates, a life insurance business that began in Atlanta, Ga. and a highly-regarded motivational speaker.
Born in Waycross, Ga. and raised in nearby Cairo, Williams began his career after college as a high school football coach, just like his father. In the midst of success as a winning football coach, Williams made a decision that would change his life dramatically. In 1963, his father died unexpectedly of a heart attack, leaving his family with no will and very little life insurance. Several years later, Williams' cousin introduced him to the concept of "buy term and invest the difference." Remembering his parents' experience, Williams became a crusader for the term insurance concept.
After selling insurance part-time and earning more than his coach's salary, Williams left his first company ITT in 1973 for Waddell & Reed, another term company. In 1977, he formed A.L. Williams & Associates, which quickly grew in sales and by 1990 was ranked as the largest seller of life insurance in the world. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University and a master's degree in education from Auburn University.
2014 Companion Medalists: Fabiola Brumley, Greg Quattlebaum and Peter D. Reed
2013: Tim Gannon
CEO of Palm Beach PDQ
Tim Gannon is a co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc., and the creator of the “Bloomin’ Onion” recipe and many other dishes on Outback’s menu. He is the CEO of Palm Beach PDQ.
A Florida native and Palm Beach resident, Gannon has been an art gallery tour guide in Italy, a successful restaurateur and a champion polo player. Gannon is an alumnus of Florida State University, where he studied art history and dreamed of being a museum curator. This took him to Florence, Italy, where he became a tour guide for an art gallery.
He then went to Aspen, Colo., where he developed his passion for food and cooking. In 1987 Bob Basham and Chris Sullivan invited Gannon to return to Florida, become their partner and launch a new restaurant concept, which would become known as Outback Steakhouse. Outback Steakhouse became one of the biggest corporate success stories in recent years.
Riding the success of his restaurant ventures, in 1992 Gannon obtained his dream of playing polo. He had his own team, Outback Polo, and has been one of the greatest sponsors of the game. In 2001 Outback Polo won its third U.S. Open in a row, which no other polo team has ever done.
2013 Companion Medalists: Paul Donahue and Kenneth Kennerly
2012: Brian P. Burns
Attorney, entrepreneur and philanthropist
Brian P. Burns, attorney, entrepreneur and philanthropist, is former chairman and chief executive officer of Boothe Financial Corp., and of Robert Half International, Inc. Burns has had a distinguished career as a practicing attorney. His broad range of business experience has led to his election or appointment to the boards of major corporations, as well as professional, governmental and charitable organizations across the United States as well as in Ireland.
He is chairman of The Burns Foundation in San Francisco and served as a trustee of
the Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy Family Trusts of 1926 and 1936 in New York City from
1998 to 2010. He also has served as a member of the board of directors of Joseph P.
Kennedy Enterprises Inc. in New York.
He and his wife, Eileen, have eight children and 15 grandchildren. In recognition of her extensive community service, Mrs. Burns received the Women of Distinction Award from Palm Beach Atlantic in 2011.
2012 Companion Medalists: Connie Cooper Shepherd and Donald K. DeWoody, Jr.
2011: H. Wayne Huizenga, Jr.
President of Huizenga Holdings, Inc.