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state sponsor message

State Sponsor Message

Smith Mike GER

What a fabulous time in Elkdom – membership is booming, grants are growing and community activities are expanding! Come join us at the Florida State Elks convention in Orlando, Fla., and our national convention in St. Louis. The Florida hotel is a great property and is at the base of the Gateway Arch where the Fourth-of-July fireworks will be featured. Feel the excitement to be an Elk, especially a Florida Elk! Attend, enjoy and absorb the information.

To the new officers and committee members, in the words of Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful businessmen, “Surround yourself with people that push you to do and be better. No drama or negativity. Just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy. No jealousy or hate. Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.” We all should work to achieve. Best wishes for a record-setting year of success. Enjoy the trip.

Be sure you show your appreciation of State President Frank and Sally Malatesta who led us to “Making the Best Better.” They are exceptional ambassadors for the FSEA and Elks. The future is bright as we look to Tom and Joyce Ludwick to take the challenge and set a new benchmark.

Are you aware that our Children’s Therapy Services has 28 full-time therapists? They treat over 500 children every week. Take time to thank Colleen Gallant, Therapy Services Director, for her leadership as well as our therapists.

Are you aware that our Florida Elks Youth Camp had its best summer camp ever? We had 2,355 children during our summer camp and this is only for the summer. Please show your appreciation to Nick Miller, Camp Director, and his entire staff for the enjoyment they spread to our children.

Are you aware that our new Smith Conference Center hosted 91 groups this past year and we are constantly booking new groups to share our “Diamond in the Forest”? Be sure to thank Dana Beatty, meeting and events coordinator, for her effort and energy she gives to promote our retreat.

Extend a special appreciation to Rachael King, magazine editor, for this great publication. Thank Laz Suarez for our public relations.

I hope you are aware that the BPOE is in an accelerated growth mode. Going into the 60-day reinstatement period beginning April 1, the Florida State Elks Association is at a +456 in membership growth for the year. What a fantastic reflection on our proud membership. We owe an enormous thank you to Rod O’Connor, FSEA Membership Chairman, and his team.

You must be aware of the service the Florida State Elks administrative offices offer all our membership. We continue to grow and manage the growth thanks to Carl Seibert, COO/State Secretary, and his efficient and friendly staff. We are very fortunate to have the leadership and attitude to answer the challenges. Please make sure you extend your appreciation. They recently finished orchestrating the Elks officer training, and Bob, Val, and I were overwhelmed by the progress and participation. The information delivered is a valuable asset to the lodges.

Be loud, be proud and be visible!



Michael F. Smith, PNP

State Sponsor

Florida State Elks Association




Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:


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