Hodges University has selected long-time Naples attorney and community leader J. Dudley Goodlette as its 2014 Humanitarian of the Year. The award will be presented during a luncheon event on Thursday, February 6, 2014, at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.
“The Humanitarian of the Year Luncheon has become a highly anticipated, respected and celebrated event,” said Philip M. Memoli, Vice President of University Advancement for Hodges University. “The annual award recognizes those citizens who exemplify the spirit of benevolence and public service in the Naples community. This is the 18th year in which Hodges University has bestowed the award upon a local individual or couple.”
Born in Hazard, Ky., Goodlette moved to Naples with his family in 1954 when his father was hired to get radio station WNOG-AM (Naples-on-the-Gulf) on the air. After graduating from high school, he served for a period in the West Point Military Academy. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Political Science from Eastern Kentucky University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida School of Law.
After earning his law degree, Goodlette returned to Naples to serve as a real estate attorney practicing in land use and zoning law. There were few attorneys in Naples at the time and Goodlette quickly earned a reputation as a business and community leader. Over the years, he guided the Collier County Bar Association, Kiwanis Club, Economic Development Council of Collier County and the Naples Area Chamber of Commerce.
Goodlette also is widely respected for his charitable service in the Naples area. He has served many years on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Collier County and currently serves as a member of the Emeritus Board. He also established the Goodlette Leadership Fund at the Community Foundation. Other local organizations that he has supported include the YMCA of the Palms, Boys & Girls Club of Collier County, Children’s Trust of Collier County, and Boy Scouts of America and Southwest Florida.
Goodlette also served four years on The Florida Bar Board of Governors and was chosen to serve on the 20th Judicial Circuit, Judicial Nomination Commission from 1986 to 1990.
Goodlette’s desire to help the community led him into public service. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1998 and subsequently re-elected until term limits caused him to step down in 2006.
During his tenure in Tallahassee, he earned numerous high posts including service as Special Counsel on Rules and Procedures to the Chairman of the constitutionally mandated Taxation and Budget Reform Commission (TBRC). He later was Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2009 to 2010.
It was his passion for continuing education that led Goodlette to serve on the Board of Trustees of the former Edison Community College, now known as Edison State College. From 2011-2012, Goodlette served as the school’s
interim president during the hiring of a new president. Goodlette also served two years on the board of the predecessor to Hodges University – International College. Goodlette also served on Florida Gulf Coast University’s presidential search committee in 2008 and currently remains on the board.
Goodlette, 65, remains very active in community service and provides legal counsel to clients on both public and private matters. He also is Chairman-Elect of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and will serve a
two-year term beginning in May 2014.
In honor of his countless contributions, Goodlette has earned many accolades and awards, including being recognized as the Economic Development Council of Collier County Outstanding Volunteer of the Year in 2001; Junior Achievement Business Leadership Hall of Fame in 1999; Boys & Girls Club of Collier County Man of the Year in 1996; and Naples Daily News Citizen of the Year for 1993-1994. He also was awarded Edison State College’s Holland T. Salley Leadership in Fostering Education (LIFE) award in 2009.
“Throughout his more than 60 years in Southwest Florida, J. Dudley Goodlette has generously given back to the local community, always in a professional and cordial manner,” said Jeanette Brock, President of Hodges University. “We
are pleased to honor him for all these years of service by naming him as our 2014 Humanitarian of the Year.”
Goodlette joins a growing list of local business and community leaders honored as Humanitarians of the Year. Previous award recipients include John R. Wood (2013), William and Nancy Lascheid (2012), Dolph and Sharon von Arx (2011), Juliet C. “Judy” Sproul, Katherine “Katie” Sproul and Jennifer Sproul Sullivan (2010), Terry and Christine Flynn (2009), Jerry and Arlene Nichols (2008), Truly Nolen (2007), Michael Watkins and Ellin Goetz
(2006), Clyde Butcher (2005), Peter Thomas (2004), William Schoen (2003), Frances Pew Hayes (2002), Earl Hodges (2001), Corbin Wyant (2000), Jack Humphrey (1999), Myra Janco Daniels (1998), and Lavern Norris Gaynor (1997).
For his enduring support of the local community, for fostering hope in those afflicted by despair, for proving that the promise of tomorrow’s future never means forsaking the past, and for demonstrating the degree to which a family can make a positive difference when times most demand it, Hodges University is pleased to recognize J. Dudley Goodlette as Humanitarian of the Year. Goodlette will be formally recognized at a luncheon event on February 6, 2014, at 11 a.m. at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.
The 2014 Humanitarian of the Year media sponsor is Gulfshore Business. Individual tickets cost $175 per person. For additional information on ticket reservations or sponsorship opportunities, call Alyssa DeLora at 239-938-7826
or visit www.hodges.edu.