Jacksonville Daily Record Lawyer of the Year Daniel Bean helped land USS Orleck

His contributions to the community include preserving history and helping veterans meet challenges.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 12:00 a.m. May 2, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Jacksonville Daily Record Publisher Angie Campbell presented the 2024 Daily Record Lawyer of the Year award to Daniel Bean on May 1 at the Jacksonville Bar Association Law Day luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront hotel.
Jacksonville Daily Record Publisher Angie Campbell presented the 2024 Daily Record Lawyer of the Year award to Daniel Bean on May 1 at the Jacksonville Bar Association Law Day luncheon at the DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront hotel.
Photo by Monty Zickuhr
  • Law
  • Law Day
  • Share

The Jacksonville Bar Association recognized Daniel Bean as the 2024 Jacksonville Daily Record Lawyer of the Year at its annual meeting and Law Day luncheon May 1.

The award honors outstanding service to the community over and above the practice of law, at the meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown. 

“We are here to add another name to list the list of distinguished recipients,” Daily Record Publisher Angela Campbell said.

Bean’s professional life began in 1987 as a U.S. Navy officer after graduating from Vanderbilt University and its ROTC program.

Attorney Daniel Bean, a U.S. Navy veteran, worked for years to bring a naval museum ship to Jacksonville. As a member of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association, he helped bring the USS Orleck to Jacksonville in 2022. The ship is now open for visitors along the St. Johns River south of the Duval County Jail.

After four years as a Surface Warfare Officer, he attended law school with a Navy scholarship and then joined the Judge Advocate General.

He concluded 25 years of military service with the rank of captain and numerous awards, including the Legion of Merit.

Like many Navy retirees, Bean decided to settle down in Jacksonville, where he went into private practice with Marks Gray.

He clerked for three federal judges before joining Holland & Knight, where he rose through the ranks to managing partner before striking out on his own and opening a boutique firm with a Holland & Knight colleague in 2018.

Jacksonville Daily Record 2024 Lawyer of the Year winner Daniel Bean speaks after receiving the award May 1 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront hotel.
Photo by Laurence Green

That firm merged recently with Smith, Gambrell & Russell so Bean can devote more of his time to community service.

His record in that field is long and varied.

Bean is chair of the Jacksonville Port Authority board of directors, chair of the Northeast Florida Mission United advisory board and chair of the FreshMinistries board. 

He is treasurer of the Five Star Veterans Center, vice chair of the Florida College Prepaid Foundation and former board chair of WJCT, the public broadcasting TV station and NPR radio station.

Two projects he helped to start, and that benefit Jacksonville and the veterans community, stand out on the list.

A military museum for Jacksonville

Bean began helping lead the effort to establish a naval museum Downtown in 2010 as he was ending his term as president of the Jacksonville Bar Association.

At the time, the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association was working to bring the USS Charles F. Adams, a Cold War-era guided-missile destroyer that was in the Philadelphia Navy Yard waiting to be scrapped, to Jacksonville.

The USS Orleck arrives in Downtown Jacksonville on March 26, 2022

When the Navy ultimately decided to scrap the warship, the association found another retired destroyer of the same era, the USS Orleck, a museum ship in Lake Charles, Louisiana, that needed a new home.

The association entered into an agreement in 2019 to take over the floating museum, then convinced City Council to approve moving it to a berth Downtown.

The warship was moved to a shipyard in Texas in late 2021 for initial refurbishment to prepare it for its journey to Jacksonville.

On March 26, 2022, the Orleck was towed on the St. Johns River and moored along the Northbank Riverwalk.

It has since moved to its permanent berth at the Shipyards property, where more than 70,000 people have toured Jacksonville warship museum.

It is the only warship attraction in Florida, and the anchor for the planned redevelopment of the Northbank west of the Four Seasons hotel and office complex under construction near EverBank Stadium.

Helping warriors heal

The nonprofit K9s For Warriors, established in 2011, helps end veteran suicide by providing trained service dogs to military veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury or military sexual trauma.

Daniel Bean is CEO of K9s For Warriors, which pairs veterans who need healing with rescued canine companions.

Bean was a charter member of the board. When the organization’s CEO resigned in January, Bean, then board chair, took over as interim CEO.

On April 16, he dropped “interim” from the title when he was voted CEO by the board.

In addition to being the nation’s largest provider of trained service dogs to military veterans, the nonprofit helps bring awareness to veterans’ mental health issues and advocates for policy-level reform on their behalf. 

Attorney Daniel Bean is the CEO of nonprofit K9s For Warriors and was a member of the board when the organization that helps veterans was established in 2011.
Photo by K9s For Warriors

With most of the dogs being rescues, the program allows the canine/veteran team to build a bond that facilitates their collective healing and recovery.

More than 1,000 dogs have been matched with veterans since the program began.

The organization’s six facilities include: K9s For Warriors’ Shari Duval National Headquarters and the Davis Family Mega Kennel in Ponte Vedra and the Petco Love K9 Center and Warrior Ranch in San Antonio, Texas.

Bean spoke of the organization’s future challenge in March at the most recent graduation ceremony, which marked the 1,000th warrior/K9 team.

“While saving the next 1,000 lives is important, our vision is much bolder, as we are focused on saving all the lives of veterans suffering from trauma caused by their service defending you and me. We will not stop until that mission has been achieved,” he said.



Special Offer: $5 for 2 Months!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.