VENICE, FL – Governor Rick Scott has appointed James F. Gabbert to the Sarasota County Charter Review Board according to a news release issued by the governor’s office on January 15. Gabbert fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Charles Cooper and is appointed for a term beginning January 15, 2014 and ending November 4, 2014. The function of the Charter Review Board is to review and propose changes to the Sarasota County Charter which are submitted to referendum in accordance with the provisions of Article VI of the Charter.
Gabbert, 53, is a second-generation Floridian, longtime Sarasota resident, successful entrepreneur, avid outdoorsman, dedicated community volunteer and involved investor. The president of Gabbert Investment Group, he has also served on the boards of Caldwell Trust Company, an independent, locally owned trust company headquartered in Venice, and Trust Companies of America, Inc., its parent, since 2001. He became board chair of both entities in May 2007.
Gabbert’s background demonstrates business acumen as well as an intense dedication to community service. “I have been honored to work with Caldwell Trust Company for over a decade, in part because of ‘Caldwell Cares,’ the statement that encapsulates their commitment to the community,” Gabbert says. “I am honored that Governor Scott has provided another opportunity for me to serve our citizens.”
He had been a Sarasota firefighter/EMT for 25 years, retiring in 2004. In 1987 he 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 Gabbert sold it to a publicly traded company in 2005.
Since retiring, Gabbert has remained involved in entrepreneurial pursuits and community service. He is a member of the United States Green Building Council and the Construction Materials Recycling Association. In addition, he has served for years on the board of the Suncoast Community Blood Bank and is past president of Hidden Harbor HOA.
Gabbert attended the University of Florida Center for Training Research and Education for Environmental Occupations (TREECO), Engineering Department. 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.
He resides in Hidden Harbor, Sarasota, with his wife Lori. Their three grown children live in Sarasota and Orlando.