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In this episode, Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) President and CEO Frank Rudd discusses how FSAE is continuing to support its members during COVID-19.
With more than 25 years of experience in the association industry, it’s no surprise Rudd was selected to lead FSAE. Since 2014, Rudd has helped teach other associations how to better serve their members by facilitating collaboration among association management professionals through networking and educational events, online communities, and best practice resources.
Chris Cate: Welcome to the Fluent in Floridian podcast featuring the Sunshine State's brightest leaders talking about the issues most important to the people of Florida and its millions of weekly visitors. In this episode created by Salter Mitchell PR, our Executive Producer, Heidi Otway, the President of SalterMitchell PR, talks to Frank Rudd, the President and CEO of the Florida Society of Association Executives.
Heidi Otway: So Frank, thank you so much for being a guest on today’s Fluent in Floridian podcast. We are thrilled to have you, especially considering we’re all working from home in this pandemic, so thank you so much for joining us.
Frank Rudd: Happy to be here. Thank you, Heidi, so much and I’ve always loved this concept of this blog. I loved the name when it first came out because, as a lifelong Floridian, I always thought of myself as fluent in Floridian. So I enjoy these podcasts and very honored that you asked me to be a part of it.
Heidi Otway: Thanks. And that’s a perfect segue into my first question. I mean you’re a native Floridian, you grew up in Tallahassee and I do consider you fluent in Floridian. So tell us what made you stay in the Sunshine State and stay in the state capitol after growing up here in Tallahassee?
Frank Rudd: I tried to escape several times. I remember there was a couple of interviews I had in different places up in DC and Atlanta for different associations. I truly have always loved Florida. My family … I’m at least a fourth generation Floridian. My great grandfather’s buried over in Gadsden County and so I’ve always had strong roots here. There definitely was a time right out of college I was thinking about leaving, but I just kept getting jobs that really challenged me, that I really enjoyed here in Tallahassee and things kept going. And now as I’ve entered a life with an 11-year-old, a 13-year-old and a wife, there’s no other place I’d love to live than Tallahassee.
Heidi Otway: So tell us about how you started your career in association management. I mean you’ve been doing it for nearly 30 years now. What moved you into that career path?
Frank Rudd: I am one of the few people who actually what I majored in in college is what I’m doing now, because at Florida State, I was in the College of Business. I was an RMI, risk management insurance, major for a semester and I admire those people very much, but that was certainly not the path I wanted to take in my life.
So at that time, I remember an article came out in the Florida Flambeau there about a new association management option in the School of Business Management and I thought, well, that sounds interesting. I remember my dad calling me and my brother flipping it out and showing it to me, and then I just remember driving down Monroe Street near the Capitol and looking, well, that’s an association, that’s an association. Wow, okay, this is what this is. And I was very excited to be on the ground floor with that and to be new into something and it’s been great. It’s worked out. I’ve had some great mentors, some great people who have helped me along the way. So I’ve done it right … my senior year in college, I was working for an association and it’s just been in that way ever since.
Heidi Otway: So you were in the first class for this new course at Florida State?
Frank Rudd: Yes, absolutely.
Heidi Otway: And what is so appealing about the association world I mean to have been in this career for so long? What makes it so special to you?
Frank Rudd: To me, I think I have very few marketable skills, but they all seem to align up real well with the association management world. I am very good working with people, connecting with people, talking to people and I think that’s such a big thing. It takes a lot of organizational skills and a lot of those things. It’s always really seemed to line up to what I seem to do [inaudible 00:03:27] wise and I just enjoy it.
I tell you I enjoy working for people who have a mission, who have a goal. You know, 99% of the members I’ve ever worked with in my career have been people who want to further their profession, further their industry and want to look at the bigger picture. I’ve always enjoyed that and I’ve always enjoyed working people like that who work for really smart people and work for people who you just want to do the better good for the State of Florida and for their profession.
Heidi Otway: So tell us a little bit about how your career trajectory got you to your current position as the head of the Florida Society of Association Executives. I read your bio and it says and you just mentioned right out of college you went right into the association world. So tell us about your career path to where you are today.
Frank Rudd: It’s a full circle. It truthfully is. Right out of college in my last semester of college, I worked for a woman named Peggy McCollum who was a wonderful pioneer in the association world and she owned an association management company. They managed about eight different associations including FSAE, the Florida Society at the time. Great place to learn. I learned so much from her and it was a wonderful thing.
From there I left and went to the Florida Home Builders Association and did a lot of meeting planning, education programming for them. Left there for my first job as an executive director with the Florida School Nutrition Association, which is a great organization of school professionals working on feeding children and taking care of them on a daily basis. Left there after 11 years and I went to the Florida Engineering Society. So I kept moving a little bit further up and further a little bigger staff, a little bigger budget. The Florida Engineering Society was just, again, a chance to work for really smart people, to get to know that world and that was such a wonderful opportunity.
Then this job came open about six years ago. It’s already been six years, but to me it was a chance for me to serve my profession, to slow down a little bit as I was getting a little tired of the government affairs, what’s going on in the Capitol. There’s not as much going on with FSAE as far as government affairs. So it was a chance to do that and come full circle and do lots of things for the association management profession. So it’s been so enjoyable these last six years here.
Heidi Otway: I think that we may have some listeners that just don’t understand what associations do. So can you just describe what associations do and then the value that they bring to their members?
Frank Rudd: Well, I think you’ve got to look and say what do I do for a living. Am I in public relations? [inaudible 00:06:06] Then there’s the Florida Public Relations Association. This is a group that … There’s an association for everything, which is good job safety for me. There are so many jobs. There really is an association … it is really when a group of people with common interests get together for common goals, it happens. It’s a very interesting thing because it happens a lot of times, but then there’s also times when it splinters when you have groups like the Florida Medical Association, which is all of the doctors and all of a sudden as they are further along in that, they go, “Well, I really want to get closer to endocrinologists or I want to get closer to podiatrists” and then they kind of splinter off into those groups.
So it’s really just common interests, common goals that you have and everybody works together better than they do by themselves. So they can do that. At FSAE, we spend a great deal of time trying to help associations run their organizations better, to be more cutting edge. We educate them on the latest trends in association management, things that are going on, how to better serve their members. So that’s been the interesting part for me is to kind of pivot a little bit and look at internal associations versus what the association members do as much.
Heidi Otway: I don’t know if folks even recognize that Florida has more than 2,800 associations across the state from international to regional to local. A couple of years ago, we helped do some PR for FSAE to talk about the economic impact of associations. Can you talk a little bit about that research report and the findings? I thought it was pretty remarkable.
Frank Rudd: It was and I don’t have numbers right in front of me, but I know it does. Associations have a tremendous impact on the economy in the State of Florida. If you think about all the number of annual meetings, of educational programs that we produce, governmental affairs activities in the state, in Tallahassee how much people spend on lobbyists, they spend on getting Tallahassee to get their advocacy issues across to the legislators, how much the associations use printers for their magazine and those type things. So it is a tremendous impact. I know in Tallahassee it’s easily the second largest economic impact other than state government as far as monies that are spent for association supplies and products and those type of things.
Heidi Otway: Yeah, I remember the report. It was like $3.7 billion impact of the top 1,000 associations in Florida and that these associations employ more than 15,000 people across the state.
Frank Rudd: It is and, after that, the next layer of people they use for outsourcing and people they use for different things like that, it continues to ripple and ripple through the economy in the State of Florida.
Heidi Otway: You talked a little bit about FSAE’s role in helping associations stay on trends, follow best practices and grow and become better associations. Right now we’re in the midst of this pandemic and so what are you all sharing with your members? I get all the emails. So as a member of FSAE, I’m seeing what you’re sharing and I know a lot of things have moved virtually. What other things are you all doing to keep the associations going in Florida?
Frank Rudd: This last month has been the biggest change in 30 years that I’ve seen because it was absolutely stopped on a dime. No more meetings. We’re not going anywhere and I just admire the staff we have here at FSAE because they got us together and they said it’s time and we pivoted on a dime and started working on it. We’re having virtual meetings on how to run your association in these times and from early on things of what do you do when you got a meeting booked at the Hilton in Orlando in April, what are we going to do. So we’ve brought in a lot of legal people to talk about those type things. We brought in a lot of panels and a lot of best practices. That’s mostly what we do is how are things that work. We don’t have a lot of new good ideas but we steal a lot of good ideas from other associations and take those and put them into play.
So that’s a lot of what we do is try to get those ideas out to people, show them how to best run their organization. But it has been the pivot and we’ve worked on all things that what are we doing now in this virtual world and there is a community we have that there’s questions every day about what are we doing membership wise now, what are we doing for meetings, and those type things we try to get answers to our members about.
Heidi Otway: Yeah, I think that’s real important. I mean I think it’s impacting every single industry, of course, in Florida. Then the hotels and the restaurants and the hospitality industry is a big part of your organization as well. How is that going, the conversations with them?
Frank Rudd: That’s been the biggest heartache I’ve had is just absolutely when I send an email out and I get 40 returns back saying that people are no longer at their place, they’re furloughed, that they’re not working there anymore. It’s just been about the biggest heartache truthfully, because these are friends of mine. These are people I’ve worked with for years and you really can’t keep a hotel open if you don’t have any guests coming in or if you don’t have any bed taxes for your Convention Visitors Bureau, it’s really hard to keep things going.
But I think unfortunately, until things turn around, it’s going to be a situation where it’s bad for everybody. Florida is so used to tourism. It’s a wonderful thing until it stops and I think we’re learning that effect right now on tourism, on state business, on state meetings. Those type things are just absolutely … it’s been hard for everybody. I think what’s going to happen the next step … it’s happening that way for our associate members, our hotel people. Unfortunately, when some associations in June have their biggest state conference and they can’t do it or they’re doing it at 30% revenue that they were anticipating, that’s when I think we’re going to have some problems with the association world. Obviously, we’re going to have to look at some layoffs and cuts there and that’s never good, but it’s hopefully a situation we can turn around in a hurry here.
Heidi Otway: Well, as the head of this association, I’m sure that you are thinking through ways to help your members long term. We work for a couple of associations and they’re learning from everyone else, best practices and how to stay viable. And talk about the value of the associations at this time. I think I have completed probably every survey my associations have sent me to give feedback on, am I going to stay involved and what does that look like. Are you all doing those kinds of surveys or, if you are, what are you hearing back from folks?
Frank Rudd: We are doing those and I think, as an association for associations, we’ve got to do what we can to get our members the products that will give their members a return on investment. Even before all of this happened, in the 1970s there was times when, say for example, the Florida Engineering Society, your boss walked in one day and said, “You’re joining this organization,” and you go and you had … But now, the generations coming up, they’re going, “Now why am I doing this? What’s my return on investment?” So it’s been a whole change there and I think we’re [inaudible 00:13:31] Hilton in Orlando in April, what are we going to do so we’ve brought in a lot of legal people to talk about those type things.
We’ve brought in a lot of panels and a lot of best practices. That’s mostly what we do is how are things that work or associations … We don’t have a lot of new good ideas, but we steal a lot of good ideas from other associations and take those and put them into play. So that’s a lot of what we do is try to get those ideas out to people, show them how to best run their organization. But it has been the pivot and we’ve worked on all things that what are we doing now in this virtual world and there is a community we have that there’s questions every day about what are we doing membership wise now, what are we doing for meetings and those type things we try to get answers to our members about.
Heidi Otway: Yeah, and I think that’s real important. I mean I think it’s impacting every single industry of course in Florida. And then you know, the hotels and the restaurants and the hospitality industry is a big part of your organization as well. How is that going, the conversations with them?
Frank Rudd: That’s been the biggest heartache I’ve had is just absolutely when I send an email out and I get 40 returns back saying that people are no longer at their place, they’re furloughed, that they’re not working there anymore. It’s just been about the biggest heartache truthfully because these are friends of mine. These are people I’ve worked with for years and you really can’t keep a hotel open if you don’t have any guests coming in or if you don’t have any bed taxes for your Convention Visitors Bureau, it’s really hard to keep things going. But I think unfortunately, until things turn around, it’s going to be a situation where it’s bad for everybody. Florida is so used to tourism. It’s a wonderful thing until it stops and I think we’re learning that effect right now on tourism, on state business, on state meetings. Those type things are just absolutely … It’s been hard for everybody.
I think what’s going to happen, the next step, it’s happening that way for our associate members, our hotel people. Unfortunately, when some associations in June have their biggest state conference and they can’t do it or they’re doing it at 30% revenue that they were anticipating, that’s when I think we’re going to have some problems with the association world. Obviously, we’re going to have to look at some layoffs and cuts there and that’s never good, but it’s hopefully a situation we can turn around in a hurry here.
Heidi Otway: Well, as the head of this association, I’m sure that you are thinking through ways to help your members long term. We work for a couple of associations and they’re learning from everyone else best practices and how to stay viable and talk about the value of the associations at this time. I think I have completed probably every survey my associations have sent me to give feedback on am I going to stay involved and what does that look like? Are you all doing those kinds of surveys or, if you are, what are you hearing back from folks?
Frank Rudd: We are doing those and I think, as an association for associations, we’ve got to do what we can to get our members the products that are going to give their members a return on investment. Even before all of this happened, in the 1970s and the 19 … there was times when, say for example the Florida Engineering Society, your boss walked in one day and said, “You’re joining this organization,” and you go and you had … But now the generations coming up, They’re going, “Now why am I doing this? What’s my return on investment?”
So it’s been a whole change there and I think we’re trying to get our members to show their members that there’s a return on investment on being a member, that being a member gives you an edge over non-members in the industry and also try to be cutting edge as you can. We’ve got to be the leader in technology. We’ve got to be those things to show that you are of worth to their paying their dues and being a part of your organization.
Heidi Otway: I do see a silver lining here. I am participating in more activities with my various associations because I don’t have to go in person so I don’t have to get in my car, drive to the location, participate and then come back. I can just jump on on my computer and I see a lot of value in that and I’m hopeful that we’ll see more of this moving forward. I do love one-on-ones but this is much easier.
Frank Rudd: And the trick is right now we’re offering all of these programs for free because we’re trying to just absolutely get out, but the big trick is going to be later on are we doing these programs for a revenue stream and see if people still want to participate. It is amazing though to me to see the number of people that are participating in the programs. Just to totally sidebar a little bit to church services, I laugh because I looked at a church service on Monday that was done on Sunday and it had over 1,200 people listening. I know that many people won’t go to a church, but the fact that they were able to do it on Sunday, on Monday in their shorts and those types things definitely are something that we’re going to be able to look at and hopefully that we’ll be able to use this as we move forward.
Heidi Otway: That’s great. That’s great. So before we got to this pandemic, I’m sure you had a vision for FSAE and where you wanted to take the association. So you’re six years in and when you first started, what was your vision and what did you accomplish before we got to a pandemic that’s basically shut down our state and our country?
Frank Rudd: My first goal coming in the door was to, again, make FSAE relevant again to a lot of our members because it had stagnated a little bit. We needed to build up our revenues, we needed to build up our reserves and we needed to offer programs that members are going to want to be a part of. And it’s worked out that way. It was also kind of serendipitous later I realized. At the time, I didn’t think so because I’d been here about a month and the executive director for TSA, the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives retired and they start talking about let’s merge. I’m like, “Whoa, I just got here. I have no idea what I’m doing here.” And in the long run, it’s been a great thing because it’s enabled us to get together, to take a lot of the great programs that they had and use those and combine them with what we had. It really worked well and it’s been a big bonus for us. I think it’s been a big bonus for all the associations here in Tallahassee.
But we definitely spent the first few years growing. We’re up to over 1,200 members now for the first time. We were always about 800-850 members, so I wanted to do that. I wanted to grow us. I wanted to spend a lot of time getting other CEOs involved and then let them see the relevance, let them see the worth of it and they ended up bringing their employees on. So that was kind of a good plan we had.
We just finished a three-year strategic plan and I laugh because, gosh, after this pandemic, we may have to just throw the whole thing out because I don’t know. We were moving forward [inaudible 00:20:42] but it was really continue to grow. The Florida Society really truthfully Florida is … We are definitely Tallahassee-centric with a lot of our members because that’s where the legislature is. That’s where a lot of our associations are based, but there are a lot of associations in Central and South Florida that we want to reach out, we want to touch, we want to get them involved. So that’s something as we move forward. I really want to make this truly the Florida Society to really bring everybody involved, to have programs that benefit everybody.
Heidi Otway: Yeah. I’ll have to tell you, your conferences and events are some of the best I’ve ever attended and I’m a member of several different associations. But I always say, “You guys got to see what FSAE is doing.” I mean it’s just amazing. The energy, the fun, the professionalism, it’s like smooth and not saying that my other association groups that I go to aren’t smooth, but yours is just at another level, man. It’s awesome.
Frank Rudd: Well, there’s a great staff here at FSAE that does a wonderful job I will say that, and FSAE is like a family. There’s many people that have come for years. They come, they know each other, they get together. They’re competitors in different things but they’re also friends. They hug and they … well, they used to hug. I don’t know if we can hug anymore, but we used to. I met my wife through FSAE. She worked for Hilton Hotels and so there’s so many stories like that that do that.
But we also have the great advantage of some great hotels, some great hosts, Convention Visitors Bureaus. Every year Long Beach, [inaudible 00:22:12] County and Fort Lauderdale and so they’re going to spend more money, they’re going to do more to outdo each other and the next year Jacksonville’s going to try to outdo them. So it’s a great benefit for us and we were able to really take those energies and really bring in some great educational speakers and I think that helps us as well.
Heidi Otway: Yeah, I thoroughly enjoy it. So, Frank, you’re part of what I see as the Extraordinary CEO Group, and I think that’s such a remarkable accomplishment. Tell us a little bit about that. When I saw that, I wanted to explore. Tell us about the Extraordinary CEO group and your role on that advisory committee.
Frank Rudd: It’s a group that Doug Eadie has done. He’s out of Pinellas County and he really tries to just bring in a lot of content that is relevant for CEOs or for leaders in our industry to bring forward. At some point, he pigeonholes us because nobody wants to do it. Nobody has time. But he pigeonholes us into doing a program like this where we can talk about particular topics and subjects. So it’s great. It’s just really CEOs talking to CEOs about how to run their organization better.
Heidi Otway: Any tips? What are some of the things that you … Have you all met recently and is there anything that you’ve heard that could help CEOs now as we’re going through this change, this pivot?
Frank Rudd: No, really all the meetings are virtual. They’re done by emails and back and forth and those type things. And, truthfully, I think everybody has manned the lifeboats in the last two months and jumped and really haven’t had any time to get together to talk about … We can’t talk about what’s going to happen in the next two years when we’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen in the next two months. So there’s been a lot of manning the lifeboats, trying to figure out what we’re going to do through the summer.
Heidi Otway: I think I’ve covered everything. I have maybe two questions just to ask you before we get into our closing questions. What are you most proud of? In your years in association management, helping this industry which has more than a $3.7 billion impact on the state, shat are you most proud of in your role?
Frank Rudd: I’m proud of that we’ve had organizations that are able to be financially viable, that they bring things. There are programs that really help impact people in the State of Florida. There are things when I was at the Engineering Society, legislation we passed that would really help the health, safety and welfare of the people of the State of Florida. Those are just things where you go, “Wow, I was a little small part of making that happen.” And those are good things to feel back on.
I think the fact that I was hopefully able to mentor some people as I’ve been in this organization a long time and been in different associations that I’ve tried to show people how association management is a profession. Most people usually fall into it sideways. They were working, they were president of their association and they kind of fall into it sideways at a different point. But association management is a profession and we really try to … Everything we do about FSA is you’re a professional society. We want people to understand that this is their chance and really hopefully I’ve been able to mentor some people along. And it’s been neat to watch people that work for me have gone on to bigger and better things. That always gives me a source of pride for sure.
Heidi Otway: Thank you for that. Thank you for that. So we’re going to wrap up with the four questions that we always ask our guests. The first question is, and I would love to hear what you have to say, who is a Florida leader that you admire? It can be someone from any different industry or your field, from the past or someone who’s still active in their work?
Frank Rudd: Hurley Rudd, who was my father. Hurley was a legislator here in Tallahassee and a city commissioner. That was my first thought early on. He was just a wonderful ambassador for the city for things. I looked back and I was thinking about this question ahead of time a little bit. So I was thinking a little bit ahead that Governor Collins would have been somebody I would always … I hear that name a lot and I’ve heard so many wonderful stories about him, what a Southern gentleman he was and what a groundbreaker he was. That was always somebody I would have loved to emulate.
Interestingly, I just read last week about the mayor of Clearwater, George Cretekos, a great story about him. He retired and the whole article was on he’s retiring and he didn’t want anybody to know about it. I love leaders who are unassuming. I love leaders who are collaborative and I love leaders who are thoughtful. I think if you have those three things, you’re not worried about what’s the next wrong that I’m trying to go, but whatever job you’re doing right now, you want to do it with thoughtfulness, with collaboration and just that you’re not worried about your ego. Those are people I admire.
Heidi Otway: Yeah. So your dad was a commissioner. I didn’t know that.
Frank Rudd: He was City Commissioner for eight years. He was a legislator for eight years, absolutely.
Heidi Otway: And you didn’t go into politics?
Frank Rudd: That’s the reason I didn’t go into politics. I listened to all those phone calls he got as a city commissioner at night about that the streetlights were out at 12 o’clock at night.
Heidi Otway: Wow. So when he was a legislator, who was the governor?
Frank Rudd: Bob Martinez most part I think-
Heidi Otway: Really?
Frank Rudd: Yeah, it was a big part of it and it was always a funny story. I remember my mother, who was a school teacher for many years, she went to the Governor’s mansion and she always used to go, “Oh, you’re Hurley’s wife.” So Governor Martinez’s wife was there. She goes, “Oh, you’re Frank’s mom.” I was always so proud of that day and it’s just such a silly story, but I just remember that day, which was kind of a neat thing.
Heidi Otway: Yeah. I mean what was life like with your dad being a legislator and a commissioner and growing up in Tallahassee and being that kid?
Frank Rudd: Tallahassee is a small town and it wasn’t a big deal, truthfully. The only time it ever really got me, I was at Florida State and Joel Haynes was my marketing professor, and early on he found out I was the mayor’s son. So we had this class of 400 and whenever nobody answered a question, he goes, “Well, let’s let the mayor’s son answer that.” So I spent a semester dealing with that but, for the most part, it was not a big thing. It was nice to know … Tallahassee a lot of people know a lot of people. It was a lot smaller town back then and it was not really that big a deal.
Heidi Otway: One of my producers, Claudia, she wanted me to ask you how has Tallahassee changed since you were a little kid?
Frank Rudd: Absolutely, it’s grown tremendously. I just remember just silly the things that we used to do that I wouldn’t even think of now let my kids do. I remember we’d go to the Elk’s Club in the summer, which was right across the street from the Tallahassee Democrat, and we’d get bored and we’d walk all the way downtown to a friend’s mom’s office there, just walking with no shoes and just take off walking and do those type of things.
I always remember the Apalachee Parkway, the YMCA was the last thing on the Apalachee Parkway, which it’s right there near [inaudible 00:29:28] and it’s just amazing. So it’s grown a tremendous amount. It’s still got a lot of the same charm, still a lot of those same people who I know who I see at church and these ladies who still, “Your dad would be proud of you,” which always makes me feel … It just makes you feel good, but it has grown tremendously. It’s neat to go from a football team that was 0 and 11 when I was a kid to winning a lot of national championships. I think that brought a lot of notoriety to Florida State and to Tallahassee and those type of things.
Heidi Otway: That’s awesome. That’s great. So what is a person, place or thing in Florida that deserves more attention than it’s currently getting now?
Frank Rudd: The seafood industry. It disheartens me to know what’s going on with that industry. It’s just getting absolutely beat up by growth, by different things. I love spending a lot of time down near the coast here outside of Tallahassee and it’s always disheartening to see what goes on with that. I think with this pandemic, what’s going on, the hotel industry needs a lot more attention. I know they’ll come back at some point, but that’s another one that just breaks my heart as far as I think people need to pay attention to what’s going on in that world.
Heidi Otway: Yeah. And with the seafood industry you’re talking about the impacts, environmental impacts?
Frank Rudd: The loss of employment for these guys and the loss of fishing grounds and those type things. The oyster industry used to be so abundant. There’s a lot of great, wonderful aquaculture things that are coming along and those things. It’s changing but it’s just a way of life is dying down there for sure.
Heidi Otway: What is your favorite Florida location to visit?
Frank Rudd: Speaking of the coast down there, we have a little house in Saint Teresa, which I just love to spend as much time as I can down there. And my favorite answer is “Where’s Saint Teresa?” Because I don’t want everybody to know where it’s at. I love going to Captiva. I have friends down in Captiva down in Southwest Florida and the beautiful islands and the fishing they have down there. I love Safety Harbor. It’s a little town that’s near Tampa. It always reminds me the movie Cocoon and I just think it’s just the coolest little town. I just used to love going there and go jogging around there and look at it all and see those things. So I like small towns, I like seeing things the way that I can walk down the street and I can see how Florida looked 40 years ago and it still [inaudible 00:32:04].
Heidi Otway: Then my last question is do you have a favorite Florida sports team and which one is it?
Frank Rudd: I’m a Florida State man, so I love Florida State, all things Florida State. Here’s one you probably don’t hear much. The Florida State College in Jacksonville, the Blue Wave, only because my nephew is playing baseball there now. He’s playing baseball, playing outfield and a lead off hitter. I sit there and watch this podcast, his little shows or watching all of the games on the computer a lot. I just enjoy those and enjoy that, but I’ve gotten to where I can’t … Professional sports is just kind of, you know, I guess life changes when you have an 11 and 13-year-old, so you start paying a lot more attention to things internally than looking at ESPN and different things.
Heidi Otway: Right, or you have them with you while you’re watching ESPN.
Frank Rudd: Right.
Heidi Otway: All right. Well, Frank, thank you so much for being a guest on the show. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about you and the work that you do, and you’re truly Fluent in Floridian. Thank you for being our guest.
Frank Rudd: Thank you so much, Heidi. Thank you all.
Chris Cate: Thanks for listening to the Fluent in Floridian Podcast. This show is executive produced by April Salter with additional support provided by Heidi Otway and the team at SalterMitchell PR. If you need help telling your Florida story, SalterMitchell PR has you covered by offering issues management, crisis communication, social media, advocacy, and media relations assistance. You can learn more about SalterMitchell PR at saltermitchellpr.com. You can also learn more about the Fluent in Floridian podcast and listen to every episode of the show at fluentinfloridian.com or by searching for the show using your favorite podcast app. Have a great day.
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