ALLAN G. BENSE
CEO, BENSE ENTERPRISES, PANAMA CITY
A former Speaker of the Florida House, Bense was among the more than 20,000 Bay County residents who experienced significant damage to their homes and businesses when Category 5 Hurricane Michael blew through the greater Panama City area in October 2018, leaving some $4.5 billion in damage in its wake. Bense joined with Will Weatherford, another former Speaker, to create Rebuild 850, a joint recovery initiative launched just a couple of weeks after the hurricane. “There’s still a staggering gap between the money we need and the money that is coming our way. Our advocacy work is important to keep up the attention and focus for years to come,” said Bense, a Panama City general contractor, a year after the natural disaster.
He heads Bense Enterprises, a holding company with interests in road construction, general contracting, insurance, golf courses and other industries, and is chairman and partner of GAC Contractors. Bense, who served in the Florida Legislature from 1998-2006, is a board director for James Madison Institute and Capital City Bank Group. He formerly chaired Florida State University’s board of trustees and was honored for his decades of support of FSU, his two-time alma mater, with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree last year.