Executive Secretary, Government Relations
Rick Scott is the 45th Governor of the great State of Florida. As promised during his campaign, Rick is focused on creating jobs and turning Florida’s economy around. Born in Bloomington, Illinois, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Rick‘s father was in the 82nd Airborne during World War II. After the war, Rick’s father was a city bus driver and then a truck driver. His mother worked as a JC Penney clerk. At times the family struggled financially, and when Rick started public school, they lived in public housing. In high school, Rick met Ann, and the high school sweethearts have been married for 40 years and have two married daughters, Allison and Jordan. This year they will become proud grandparents.
After attending high school and community college, Rick enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served on active duty aboard the USS Glover as a radar man. The G.I. Bill enabled Rick to attend college and law school. While enrolled at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and working full-time at a local grocery store, Rick and Ann made their first significant foray into the business world by buying two Kansas City doughnut shops for Rick’s mother to manage. Following graduation from UMKC with a degree in business administration, Rick earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University.
A successful businessman with a Midwestern work ethic, Rick is considered one of America’s foremost entrepreneurs, and he has brought his business experience to Tallahassee. As Governor, Rick is working to ensure every Florida family has the same opportunity to live the American dream, to provide children an opportunity for a great education and every adult an opportunity to get a job. Rick is phasing out the business tax, providing property tax relief, expanding education options for children, encouraging economic development statewide, and reforming state government to run more efficiently and effectively for the people of Florida. Rick is working to make sure the cost of living in Florida does not increase.
Faith, Family and Community
Before moving to Tallahassee, the Scott family lived in Naples. When they are back home, they still attend Naples Community Church, which Rick and Ann helped start in 2006. Throughout their lives, Rick and Ann have served their community through volunteer and charitable work. Rick has served on the National Board of the United Way, and Rick and Ann have worked with World Vision to create a primary health care system in Bunyala, a poor area of Kenya. In addition, they fund scholarships for graduates of the Kansas City high school they both attended, as well as one that enables a low-income student to attend SMU Law School each year. They also fund an entrepreneur contest at George Washington University where one of their daughters received a business degree.
Businessman and Entrepreneur
Rick is known as an innovator in business, health care, and politics. After law school, Rick stayed in Dallas, working for the city’s largest law firm, Johnson & Swanson, primarily representing companies in the health care, oil and gas and communication industries. His specialization was in health care mergers and acquisitions, and it was during his work on these transactions that he recognized how patients could be better served by improving hospital efficiency, lowering costs, and focusing on better outcomes.
In 1987, while still practicing law, Rick made an offer to purchase HCA, Inc. When the offer was rejected, Rick started Columbia Hospital Corporation with his and Ann’s entire life savings of $125,000. Rick also started Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, which advocated for free market principles of choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility in health care. Rick wanted to prevent further government encroachment on the rights of patients.
When Rick left Columbia in 1997 at age 44, it was one of the most admired companies in America. It had grown to become the world’s largest health care company with more than 340 hospitals, 135 surgery centers, and 550 home health locations in 37 states and two foreign countries. Columbia employed more than 285,000 people, making it the 7th largest U.S. employer and the 12th largest employer worldwide.
Through his entrepreneurship, Rick developed a reputation in the health care industry for providing affordable, high quality care to patients. As Governor, he brings a similar vision for quality and efficiency to benefit the people of Florida.