FLORIDA CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER ALEX SINK'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Volume 5, Number 25, June 20,
All across our state, Floridians are dealing with pain at
the pump. As the price of gasoline continues to increase,
families are struggling to do more with less and are
understandably looking for real solutions to solve this
CFO Alex Sink addressed the price at the pump this week,
demanding that more be done to help Floridians reduce prices
through alternative energy sources and new technologies. By
investing in sustainable and renewable energy, the beauty
and appeal of our state’s most vital natural resources will
remain untainted for generations to come. Florida’s beaches
are among our nation’s finest, and our economy is dependent
on keeping it that way.
As Chief Financial Officer, Alex Sink is committed to
long-term, fiscally responsible solutions to our state’s
most pressing issues. Standing up for everyday Floridians
means staying focused on what is best for our state, putting
BUREAU OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY RETURNS $12,000 IN HEIRLOOMS
Bureau of Unclaimed Property today returned nearly $12,000
in unclaimed family heirlooms from a safe deposit box to an
Philip Humber of Mary Esther drove to Tallahassee Friday to
retrieve the possessions of Mrs. Humber’s mother's safe
deposit box. Family heirlooms in the box included military
ribbons, jewelry and a coin collection.
considered one of the nation's most effective and efficient
unclaimed property programs, returning nearly $172 million
last fiscal year to Floridians on more than 254,000 approved
claims. Currently, there are 85,800 unclaimed property
accounts for a total of $10.2 million in Leon County and
24,608 unclaimed property accounts for a total of $2.8
million in Okaloosa County.
Unclaimed Property can be claimed free
of charge, at any time, by visiting
www.fltreasurehunt.org, or by calling 1-88-VALUABLE.
CFO SINK PRESENTS AWARDS AT FLORIDA INSURANCE
FRAUD EDUCATION COMMITTEE CONFERENCE
Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee Conference (FIFEC) in Orlando,
CFO Sink thanked attendees for their help in fighting insurance fraud in
Florida. Insurance fraud has been estimated to cost Floridians as much as
$1,400 a year per person. CFO Sink’s Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF)
investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life,
auto, property and workers' compensation insurance.
At the event,
the CFO also highlighted two new pieces of legislation – a Public Adjuster
and Annuities bill - which
her office pursued during the 2008 Legislative session in an effort to
strengthen regulations and protect seniors. She also recognized the
department’s Detective Steve Firestone for his outstanding achievements as
winner of the Law Enforcement Detective of the Year Award.
the estimated loss amount, the department will pay up to $25,000 for
information directly leading to an arrest and conviction of fraud. Anyone
with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call the
department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445 or log on to
Complaints can be tracked online.
Idea of the Week
Learn smart food shopping skills
Food eats up 14 percent of your household budget
on average - up 5 percent from a year ago. Shopping smart at the
food store can save big over the year.
Stores use all kinds of marketing tools to get you to buy
more than you need and more than you ever intended to buy.
The supermarket is set up so that you will buy on impulse.
The more you see, the more you purchase, thus necessary
items, such as milk,
are located in the back of the store so you must traverse
the long aisles.
Make a list of what you need and stick to it. Try not to
shop when you are hungry or tired as you'll find it harder
to resist those tempting treats and non-essential goodies.
Search high and low as the cheapest items often occupy the
top and bottom shelves. Companies pay for prime space
on middle shelves and aisle ends.
You could realize potential savings of up
to $1,200 a year by cutting out just half of unplanned
purchases. Be disciplined in your shopping habits.
When staples items go on sale, stock up. Get the weekly list
of items at your local store and buy in bulk when
deep discounts are on. Your potential savings could be more
than $1,000 a year.
Try a little home cooking. A homemade meal on the table five
nights a week may seem difficult, but taking turns with the
planning and sharing the duties will make the task easier.
Get the knack for the day-to-day basics by following a
cookbook loaded with recipes for quick and simple meals.
Plan menus with overlapping ingredients and buy everything
for the week at once, then you can save money and put a
dinner together in the time it would take to pick up
Tip provided by
CFO SINK LAUNCHES
“A.L.Ex.” - ACADEMY OF LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE PROGRAM - AND
ANNOUNCES 2008 INAUGURAL CLASS
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink,
Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU)
President Dr. James H. Ammons, and Florida State University
(FSU) President T.K. Wetherell today announced the launch of
the A.L.Ex., the Academy of Leadership Excellence program
within the Florida Department of Financial Services.
“I commend the 2008 inaugural class of the A.L.Ex. program
for their academic achievement and their commitment to
public service,” said CFO Alex Sink, who oversees the
Department of Financial Services. “As a state, we need to do
everything we can to encourage and mentor our young people,
providing a pathway for public service and a lifetime of
The Academy of Leadership and Excellence program will
provide real-world work experience, professional
development, and career opportunities in public service for
Florida’s best and brightest university students. Students
will receive substantive and challenging work assignments
from their assigned mentor and have their work evaluated on
a professional level.
“This is a great opportunity for our students to gain experience that will
help give them a competitive edge,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons.
“The students recognized today by CFO Sink are some of our best and
brightest. We are hoping that they will seriously consider careers in
Florida and in state government. These are students who have the potential
to become the future leaders of our state.”
“The real-world experience and instruction acquired through this program
will give our students a great opportunity to succeed in either the public
or private sector” said FSU President T.K. Wetherell. “I thank CFO Sink and
the mentors throughout the department for investing in the future.”
The inaugural class of 2008 consists of 18 university students from FSU and
FAMU within 11 divisions of the Department of Financial Services. Students
have paid positions and are required to work at least 20 hours a week. All
students must maintain above a 3.0 GPA and be a junior, senior or a graduate
student. This class’s average GPA is 3.5. Future classes will be open to all
state university students.
CFO ADDRESSES GIRLS STATE IN
Florida Girls State
visited the Florida Capitol this week for the annual meeting
in Tallahassee. CFO Sink spoke to about 300 high school
girls in the House of Representative’s chamber about the
important role finances play in a woman’s career. She also
addressed the large
gains women have made in politics – citing the many women
who now hold public office - and challenging the students to always
stand up for what they believe.
Girls State is a practical
application of Americanism and good citizenship. The entire
program is a non-partisan, non-political attempt to teach
and inculcate in the youth of America a love of God and
The purpose of Girls State is to provide citizenship
training for girls of high school age in every Department of
the American Legion Auxiliary; to afford them an opportunity
to live together as self-governing citizens; to inform them
about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of
American citizenship, in order that they may understand and
participate in the functioning of their government; and to
help them grasp the meaning of some of the responsibilities
which they must assume when they become adults.
The 2008 Session of Florida Girls State was held June 12 -
CFO SINK ADDRESSES FLORIDA’S COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE WOMEN OF ORLANDO (CREW)
CFO Alex Sink shared her views on Florida’s commercial real estate market with
the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) of Orlando at their June luncheon
meeting. CFO Sink acknowledged that Florida’s economic slowdown has spilled into
the commercial real estate markets and challenged members of CREW to apply the
unique principles of CREW to reinvent their industry.
“I believe that Florida is uniquely positioned to reinvent itself once again,”
said Sink. “The challenges our economy is facing with real estate are not new,
for those who’ve been around awhile, they’re part of our history. Florida’s
entrepreneurial spirit will prevail, and long-term indications are that the
market will normalize going into 2010.”
With vacancies on the rise and absorption falling, warehouse and industrial
space is showing stability and sustaining the commercial real estate market
thanks in large part to Florida’s strong growth in exports and international
CFO Sink encouraged attendees to look to the international markets where the
weaker dollar makes investment in the U.S. more attractive than ever, as
evidenced by the recent announcement that a London-based company representing
foreign investors and funds is purchasing distressed ocean-front condos and
undeveloped land in Sarasota.
CFO SINK VISITS AMERICA’S OLDEST CITY’S FIRST ROTARY CLUB
The St. Augustine Rotary Club, one of Florida’s oldest
Rotary Clubs, hosted CFO Sink this week at the restored Casa Monica
CFO Sink shared with the Rotarians the current challenges
with property insurance. She also discussed her proposal to reduce the
amount of hurricane assessments - taxes - that Floridians pay should we have
a bad storm.
CFO SINK SPEAKS TO NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
INDUSTRIAL AND OFFICE PROPERTIES IN JACKSONVILLE
CFO Alex Sink was the guest speaker for the Northeast Florida National
Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). The CFO addressed the
issues of commercial insurance availability and rates, urging NAIOP members to
contact their agents as prices have decreased by double digits during the year
as Florida has been spared through two consecutive hurricane seasons.
“The reinsurance markets have softened and the big reinsurers are interested
once again in Florida’s business,” said CFO Sink. “I’ve been hearing that rates are
falling as much as 10 to 20 percent, so if you haven’t heard from your agent, I
suggest you give them a call.”
The CFO also challenged the group to leverage the bright spots in Florida’s
economy today, the growing international exports and trade, by marketing the
state’s excess real estate to international buyers who would still find Florida
property a bargain.
“Jacksonville is recognized as being one our state’s most livable cities and is
poised for additional growth,” said Sink. “With the expansion of your port
facilities, Jacksonville should be in good position to attract even more
investment from Europe and Latin America. Jacksonville’s excellent
transportation network and housing choices, combined with the weakness in the
dollar, makes the area attractive to international investment and a target for
investors interested in U.S. real estate.”
AMSTERDAM CONFERENCE FEATURES CFO SINK ON
BBC WORLD DEBATE
CFO Alex Sink
attended the Amsterdam Global Conference on Sustainability
and Transparency in May, sponsored by
the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the City of Amsterdam. Her
trip was sponsored and supported by the non-profit organization GRI. Climate change is topping the international agenda and fueling debate
about sustainability, particularly the role of business in mitigating
The diverse and engaging program culminated in a BBC World News Debate
that was broadcast on the BBC World News channel,
moderated by BBC presenter Nik Gowing. As a member of the panel, CFO
Sink discussed the financial risks of climate change for investors. The
debate is available for viewing at
CFO SINK ADDRESSES THE EXCHANGE CLUB
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink addressed the
Tallahassee Exchange Club, the oldest civic club in Tallahassee, today at
their weekly lunch. CFO Sink spoke to the group of community leaders about
her role as CFO and emphasized the important role of civic clubs throughout
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