2007 Commencement Speaker Announced

Representative Garrett Richter, District 76 Representative for the state of Florida, will deliver the keynote speech at Hodges University’s 17th Annual Commencement Ceremony, June 10th, at Germain Arena in Estero.

Representative Richter resides in Naples, Florida. Representative Richter was elected to the House in 2006 and represents the City of Naples, the City of Marco Island and portions of both Collier County and Everglades City.

He is a founder and former President and CEO of First National Bank of Florida. At one time First National Bank of Florida was the largest publicly traded, commercial bank headquartered in the State of Florida. The bank was acquired by Fifth Third Bank in 2005.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Representative Richter began his banking career as a janitor for Mellon Bank in 1969. His banking career was interrupted when he joined the U.S. Army. Garrett was awarded a Bronze Star medal while serving in Vietnam with the 75th Ranger Company. Returning home in 1971 he resumed his banking career.

Representative Richter is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin. He has been active in the American Bankers Association serving on its Government Relations Council and chairing the Bank PAC committee. He was also an active member of the Florida Bankers Association and has served on its Board of Directors.

Aside from his public service as a state representative, Representative Richter serves as a Trustee of the Youth Development Foundation in Naples and a Director Emeritus of the Collier County Education Foundation. He is a past director of the Naples Area Chamber

of Commerce and the Collier County Economic Development Council. He is also a graduate and a past chairman of Leadership Collier.

Education is very important to Representative Richter, and he has instilled the importance of education to his three grown children. He has a daughter who is a graduate of Davidson College, another daughter who graduated from Elon University, and a son who is a graduate of Wake Forest University.

Representative Richter and Hodges University President Terry McMahan are well acquainted. "I’ve known Garrett for many years," recalls McMahan. "He is an excellent choice to speak to our graduates because he embodies the true mission of the University. He possesses and has lived the qualities that we instill in our students: hard work, determination, achievement, accomplishment, and an outstanding professional career. And all of these qualities have been marked by class and integrity, and we are honored to have him impart these values to our graduates this year."

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