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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Feb. 20, 200712:00 PM EST

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by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

by Max Marbut

Staff Writer

Lad Daniels has accomplished many things since he was elected to the City Council almost eight years ago and the walls of his office at City Hall prove it.

Daniels was a real estate developer in the ‘70s – mostly ocean-front condos,” he said – until the early 1990s when he became president of the First Coast Manufacturers Association. Now his company, Daniels & Associates, has a contract to manage the association.

“I originally intended to be there for six months, but I never got away,” he said.

Daniels said his experience with the association including educating its members about issues affecting manufacturing and doing quite a bit of public relations work was the perfect training ground for being a Council member.

“It really gave me a leg up.”

During his first term, he served on most of the Council’s standing committees. He was Council president in his second term and received the Charles D. Webb Award from the Council for the 2005-06 Council year.

Sitting among the memorabilia received in recognition of his service to the citizens of Duval County, Daniels said the thing he’s most proud of is his work with young people and especially exchange programs including Children’s International Summer Villages. Daniels got involved with the program when his own children were in it and has continued the work ever since.

“Its core program is to bring 11-year-olds from a dozen nations together in a camp environment for a month. The purpose is to teach them how to get along together. I wanted to bring the concept that the world can live together to the local community. As a community, we are far more diverse than we think we are. We tend to think of ourselves and divide ourselves along black and white lines. That’s not good for the community. We’re a little bit of everything, like a melting pot. We’re not going to change the world overnight, but we have to start,” he said.

In June, Daniels will be packing up his collection to clear out the office for his successor, but it’s not going into storage. He hopes to move it a few hours west to Tallahassee. Daniels said he plans to seek State Rep. Mark Mahon’s seat in the legislature that must be vacated due to the term limit.

“Then maybe I’ll come back and run for City Council again,” he added.

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