President of the Economic Roundtable of Jacksonville.
The mission is to raise awareness about economic growth in Jacksonville. The group, founded in 1975, is a chapter of the National Association for Business Economics. Gilham served as treasurer for five years before he took the helm as president. His next meeting will be lunchtime April 30 at the Jacksonville University Davis College of Business featuring Joe York, president of AT&T Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands.
It’s really a team effort at the Economic Roundtable of Jacksonville. The phenomenal programming, speakers series, Jacksonville University and Federal Reserve Bank meeting locations are all a result of the board members’ collective efforts and passion for the organization. My primary responsibility as president is to inform our community about the great mission of our organization.
Starting in the ’70s, we’ve been hosting leaders from our community and throughout the Southeast. We’ve done an excellent job of providing a platform for these leaders to update our community on various issues and their economic impact to our city. Headline topics like higher education, Jacksonville Transportation Authority innovation, tax reform, health care, private equity investment and our local military all have a huge economic impact on our citizens. It’s our responsibility to get that message out.
It’s our mission to provide Jacksonville leaders with the premier forum to sustain and elevate local economic growth. Additionally, two years ago, we began giving scholarships to local university students seeking degrees in finance and economics. Our goal is to engage community leaders and educate our members with the latest economic trends impacting the Jacksonville community.
My wife, Carol, and I have been married for seven years. In my version of the story, she picked me up at the old Starbucks on the corner of Main and Forsyth streets. Neither of us is originally from Jacksonville, but we both fell in love with the city and decided to make it our home. We have a beautiful little girl, Kennedy Grace, and two dogs, Sebastian and Taylor.
One of my passions is to climb and hike mountains. Much like growing a successful business, setting off for a summit requires significant planning. You can always see it in the distance and it only gets bigger, and more daunting, the closer you get. In the thick of the climb, at higher altitudes, when you are exhausted, you find yourself focused solely on the next step. Often, you can only see the very next step in the light of your headlamp. If you could see further, the peak would only cast more doubt about your ability to reach it. But when you reach the summit, the views are beautiful and the adrenaline is overwhelming. As you hike, drive and fly away from the mountain, you can always see the peak on the horizon and it’s a constant reminder of your achievement. When I’m not climbing mountains, I enjoy being on the water, bike rides with the family, and date nights out with my honey.
Editor’s note: I serve on the board of the Economic Roundtable of Jacksonville.