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Orlando Business Journal Nominates The Sharing Center’s Board Members for the 2020 CEO of the Year

We must celebrate! Recently, two of our incredible Board Members, Cliff Long and Ron Davoli, were honored with a nomination for the Orlando Business Journal’s 2020 CEO of the Year award. Their accomplishments within the community and the businesses they serve have and will transfer into guiding The Sharing Center’s mission and work to prevent hunger and homelessness.

It was only right, we ask what this distinguished nomination means to them as community leaders and Board Members. They answered…with compassion, community, and dignity. Cliff Long has served on a Board of Directors for less than a year and Ron Davoli began his term in October 2020. We are proud to have them as part of The Sharing Center family. Please join us in celebrating their great accomplishment by reading their Q & A!

Cliff Long

What inspired you to go into a career path in the REALTOR® business?

I was given an opportunity to lobby and be a Government Affairs Director for REALTORS® a while back.  I loved it!  I was enthralled with the back-office politics and loved working with elected officials. But what I learned back in those days was that I loved working with and helping people.  Eventually, I was presented with the opportunity to become the Interim CEO of that Association, and I was hooked.   I never looked back.  I knew that I was right where God wanted me to be.   That has been well over a decade ago.

How long have you been with Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association?

I joined the Orlando Regional REALTOR ® Association in the winter of 2017. Before that, I was the CEO of the Birmingham Association of REALTORS® in Alabama.

How has your business expertise helped you in being a board member at The Sharing Center?

The Sharing Center is a special place and what it does for the homeless in our region is nothing short of phenomenal.  I think that my most significant contribution to The Sharing Center was visible during the evaluation of its new CEO.  Many Boards get lost in the minutiae of evaluating their CEO, and good executives’ performance is very rare.  As a CEO, I was proud to contribute and help the leadership focus on the right things to look for.  Central Florida needs to keep its professional talent pool if we are competing with other regions and non-profits. The Sharing Center has an extraordinary talent in its new CEO.

What are you most looking forward to while serving on the board of The Sharing Center?

I am enamored with the fact that what I do for The Sharing Center, I do for God, and I can be open about that. I can’t wait to tackle some big, audacious goals and show the world that God never left us and that we can accomplish anything through Him.

What would winning 2020 CEO of the Year mean to you?

A CEO is simply the representative of the efforts of everyone that he or she works with.  Thusly, winning CEO of the year is akin to being named TEAM of the year.  It will prove that my team is as wonderful as I think they are and that we are all being recognized.  I must also offer credit to my wife because she is also the CEO of the year.  She runs our household and is there for our children when I am not.  I would not be where I am if she were not winning in our home.

Ron Davoli

What inspired you to go into a career path in the construction industry?

As a Civil Engineer, I was working for a consulting engineering firm in Orlando doing structural engineering and construction administration.  I enjoyed being involved with projects during construction and Wharton-Smith was building many of the projects we had designed and were administering for the owners.  I lobbied George Smith for a job, and as they were growing, he hired me as a Project Manager over 30 years ago.

How does your role at WhartonSmith open doors to serve in the community?  

Our Company Vision is “To be the construction group of choice for our employees, our clients and the communities we serve.”  The philosophy of our founders, Bill Wharton and George Smith, has always been to give back to the community and our culture is built on that.  As we have profitably grown to over 600 employees we are able to make significant contributions to worthy causes and to make sure that our executives serve on various non-profit boards to offer our expertise.  As President & CEO, it is one of my duties to see that we do stay involved in the community and get involved with the non-profits that can have a positive impact on the communities we serve.

How will your business expertise help you in your Board Member role at The Sharing Center?  

I have joined the finance committee so hopefully I can provide some insight to that group, although from what I have seen from my first committee meeting the budgeting, tracking and financial statements process seems to be well organized and very detailed.  I also hope to be able to help out with facility maintenance and new construction projects.  Our network of subcontractors and our own in-house construction experts can hopefully get some items done at no cost or at least heavily discounted, therefore saving The Sharing Center some money to be used for our clients.

What are you most looking forward to while serving on the Board at The Sharing Center?

Initially just learning more about how The Sharing Center works and helping out in any way I can.

What would winning the 2020 CEO of the Year mean to you?  

What it would mean to me would be an affirmation of all the great people we have here at Wharton-Smith.  A company of our size does not succeed due to any one or group of individuals, we are successful because of the great team we have and how we work together to make our Vision and Mission statements come true.