At the November luncheon, Ned Pope from Florida Next explained how his organization works with Floridians around the state to help build a better Florida. Florida Next works with young people, small businesses, entrepreneurs, etc. helping them take their ideas/products/services to the next level. Florida Next helps these people create actual plans of action, financial support and execution “running it like a business, not a charity.” Florida NEXT has built relationships with large corporate and private donors and helps put the donors in contact with the entrepreneurs. Pope referred to the approach as the “nice shark tank” or “dolphin tank.” Throughout his presentation Pope stressed the importance of asking donors what they want to get out of their sponsorship and also being sure to think mobile with your organization/company/event website. Pope stated that more people access the internet via mobile devices than standard computers and so it’s crucial to make sure your website has a mobile version.
Ned Pope is a fifth generation Floridian with a long track record of success in project management and implementation. In his time at the Florida NEXT Foundation, he has implemented programs such as Give Day Tampa Bay and Impact Forums. Pope previously served as the vice president of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Project Management for the Collins Center for Public Policy, where he directed and administered six court- ordered mediation programs and a statewide mediation program sponsored by Fannie Mae.
Pope also served under Alex Sink as director of external affairs during her administration as chief financial officer of Florida. Before taking that position he served as the Department of Financial Services’ primary certified contract negotiator, representing the state as lead negotiator in the 2008 Worker’s Compensation Medical Case Management Project. In 2007, Pope co-managed and developed the nationally recognized searchable contract transparency website, currently known as “FACTS”. Before going to work directly for DFS he served as the operations manager for the agency’s Hurricane Insurance Mediation Program, administered by the Collins Center from 2004-07.
Ned Pope is a 2001 graduate of Georgia Southern University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Print Management/Publishing, and 2004 graduate of Florida State University, with a Master of Science degree in Communications, New and Interactive Technology. He is also the owner and CEO of the Pope Management Group, a project management firm that consults private companies on workflow efficiency and compliance with their government contracts.
Pope lives in Tampa with his wife, Merris, daughter, Avery, and son, Miles.