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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jul. 18, 201707:00 AM EST

NEFBA hires Garrison as group’s executive officer

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Clay Florida Economic Development president takes over Deal’s role.
by: Caren Burmeister Contributing Writer

The Northeast Florida Builders Association hired Bill Garrison, president of the Clay Florida Economic Development Corp., to serve as NEFBA’s new executive officer starting Aug. 14.

Garrison will succeed Corey Deal, who accepted the executive officer position at the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. 

Garrison has 27 years of experience in the homebuilding industry and has volunteered at NEFBA for two decades. 

NEFBA is the fifth-largest homebuilders association in the country and covers eight counties.

 Garrison will report to seven board members and represent 1,300 or more member companies. 

As president of the public-private Clay Florida EDC, Garrison worked to promote high-wage job growth and recruit, expand and relocate new businesses to the county. 

A Clay County native, Garrison held the position at Clay Florida EDC nearly five years.

Before that, he worked 10 years as a real estate agent and operations manager for Sid Higginbotham Builder Inc. 

“Going back to the homebuilding industry is like coming home,” Garrison said Monday. 

Clay Florida EDC and NEFBA have similar missions, he said, noting he couldn’t have gotten the second job without the first. 

“The experience at Clay Florida EDC is really what prepared me for this,” he said. “It’s all about promoting growth. This is just more focused on homebuilding.” 

Garrison was a NEFBA board member from 2004 to 2010. He also served on the Clay County Housing Finance Authority’s board of directors for a decade.

Garrison said he is committed to continuing NEFBA’s work, growing its membership and strengthening its government affairs. 

He views the NEFBA position as a legacy type of job because it has had just three other executive officers in the past 40 years.

“Just to be included in that group is such an honor,” said Garrison, who is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Jerry Agresti, founding chairman of the Clay Florida EDC and president of the Developers Realty Group, said he’s sad to see Garrison leave.

“We are extremely proud of what Bill has done for Clay EDC and wish him all the best in his new role with the Northeast Florida Builders Association,” he said.

NEFBA President Lee Arsenault notified members in a letter about hiring Garrison.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate to find someone of Bill’s caliber to step into the EO position. Corey Deal is a hard act to follow, but we believe Bill is up to the challenge,” he said.

Arsenault said Garrison served as the Clay Builders Council chair in 2007 and again in 2010 and later was named the CBC Builder of the Year.

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