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How to Guide Company Growth: James Gabbert of Caldwell Trust Company

by Caldwell Trust

s-gabbert-jamesJames F. Gabbert, board chair of Caldwell Trust Company, was very clear about his agenda for Caldwell in 2008.  His goal is to make the company stronger and grow our business base.

As the leader of our board, Jim has been instrumental in guiding our growth to over $500 million in assets under management.  He shares our vision and provides the ability to help us achieve it.  His strong business sense and his guidance with our strategic planning have been invaluable in helping us to reach our goals.

The company’s growth is measured not only in assets but in staffing and other resources.  Caldwell had five trust officers, a retirement plan specialist and three people in operations to oversee $407 million in assets under management. Now Caldwell has eight trust officers – one who also serves as in-house legal resource – a retirement plan specialist, a vice-president of investments, a marketing manager and three people in operations. I met Jim Gabbert through the adventure sports we both enjoy.  As our friendship grew, I became aware of Jim’s business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit.  I invited him to join Caldwell’s board of directors and he was elected to the board in September 2001.  In short order, he decided to become a Caldwell client.  In April 2007 he was elected to chair the board.

Jim’s background is diverse.  He is currently president of Gabbert Investment Group.  He has been a Sarasota firefighter/EMT for 25 years, until retiring in 2004.  In 1987 this multitasker also became president of Meyer & Gabbert, an excavating contractor, pioneer in recycling construction materials and winner of Sarasota County’s 2002 Environmental Excellence in Business Award.  Meyer & Gabbert had grown to 100 employees serving three counties by the time Jim sold in 2005.

His knowledge of sustainability led Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection to appoint him to Technical Advisory Groups (TAG Groups) at the University of Miami and the University of Florida.
Jim serves on the board of Suncoast Communities Blood Bank and is president of Hidden Harbor HOA – and has a life beyond business and community service.  A second-generation Floridian married to a fourth-generation Floridian who is going to do whatever it takes to preserve Florida’s natural wonders for his three children, his two grandchildren and everyone who loves the great outdoors!

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