Community Programs

Michael Brown, Retired CEO of Harbor Community Bank, Named 2019 Entrepreneur of The Year

Michael Brown


2019 – Michael “Mike” Brown, Retired CEO Harbor Community Bank

and Director, CenterState Bank


     Mike Brown has been active in the banking industry since he was 24 years old.  He was born in the Midwest and graduated from St. Louis University in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science of Commerce and major in Finance.

     In 1972, after visiting Florida on vacation, he applied for a position at a bank in Miami and was hired. In 1974, he relocated to Fort Pierce after accepting a position as Chief Financial Officer at First Federal Savings and Loan. The bank’s name was later changed to Harbor Federal Savings and Loan, with Mike eventually becoming the Chief Executive Officer at the age of 34.

     A period of strong growth followed, with Harbor Federal eventually having numerous locations spanning 10 counties in Florida.

     In 1993, Harbor Federal’s stock was first sold publicly through the New York Stock Exchange, making it the first publicly-traded business that was headquartered in Fort Pierce.  At that time, 49.9% of the bank was valued at $44 million.  In 1998, the second half Harbor Federal’s stock was valued at $166 million, or $320 million overall.

     In 2006, Harbor Federal was sold to National City Bank and Mike retired.

     A few years later, the original management team joined forces and established a new bank, Harbor Community Bank.  Mike served as its Chairman and CEO from 2001-2018. Harbor Community acquired banks in Palatka, St. Augustine, Sebring, Sarasota, Tampa, and Fort Pierce. In 2018, Harbor Community, which was valued at several billion dollars and employed more than 400 employees throughout Florida, was sold to CenterState Bank.  After retiring from Harbor Community, Mike remained on the Board of CenterState Bank.

     Throughout his six-decades long career in the banking industry, Mike was active in numerous state and national organizations, including serving as a member of the Federal Reserve Thrift Institution Advisory Council from 2003-04.  He served as Chairman of the Florida League of Financial Institutions and Florida Bankers Association Board of Directors from 1991-92.

     Mike, along with his wife Mimi, are actively involved in serving and supporting countless non-profits and community organizations in Fort Pierce, including Fort Pierce Rotary, St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council, Treasure Coast Hospice, Lawnwood Hospital Board of Directors, Harbor Branch Foundation Board, Hands Clinic, and the Sunrise Theatre.


2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Celebration Event

Community Support

The Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program

To promote awareness and appreciation of our free enterprise system, the Indian River State College Foundation, Lambert Foundation, and thirteen other founding members have joined together to create the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program. This multi-faceted program is funded through a leadership contribution from the Lambert Foundation in honor of Mr. Dan K. Richardson, former Chairman of the Board of Gracewood Groves, Gracewood Fruit Company, and the Richardson Family Foundation.
Founding members include Mr. Edward W. Easton, Mr. and Mrs. Carter Hopkins, Indian River State College Foundation, Kahle Foundation, Lambert Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Gary W. Lindsey, Judge and Mrs. Robert L. Pegg, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson E. Peters, Proctor Construction Company, Richardson Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Riley, Mr. Walter E. Smith, Jr., Sorensen Real Estate, Mr. Andrew W. Williams.

The Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program encourages entrepreneurship through education with community lectures and instructional programs. Each facet of this program supports and reinforces the principles of free enterprise that have made our nation great. Business leaders who have helped to build our community are honored through the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Entrepreneurs of the Year

2018 - Allen Osteen, East Coast Lumber

2017 - Timothy Girard, Girard Equipment

2016 - Scott Deal, Maverick Boat Group

2015 - Bobby and Marygrace Sexton, Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Company

2014 - Ronald L. Edwards, Evans Properties

2013 - Thomas L. Corr, George E. Warren Corporation

2012 - Jim Coffey, Commercial Realtor and Developer, Earman Oil

2011 - Dr. Richard A. Houghten, Torrey Pines Institute of Molecular Studies

2010 - Alma Lee Loy, Alma Lee's Children's Clothing Center

2009 - Frank "Sonny" W. Williamson, Jr., Williamson Cattle Company

2008 - Vernon D. Smith, Riverside Bank

2007 - Donald C. Proctor, Proctor Construction Company

2006 - Sidney M. Banack, Jr., Sid Banack Insurance

2005 - John J. Schumann, Jr., Press Journal

2004 - Barnette E. and Hariot H. Greene, Greene Groves and Ranch

2003 - Alto "Bud" Adams, Jr., Adams Ranch

2002 - Raymond J. Oglethorpe, America Online

2001 - Robert L. Brackett, Credit Data Services

2000 - Dan K. Richardson, Gracewood Fruit Company


Entrepreneur of the Year Award Nomination

Entrepreneur of the Year Award
We invite you to submit a nomination for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This award honors outstanding business founders or leaders who exemplify exceptional commitment to the free enterprise system. Recipients have records of community service and "giving back" to the community, have strong leadership skills, and have made a positive impact in both their personal and professional lives. Previous recipients of this prestigous award are listed above. Nominations are accepted throughout the year. The annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award ceremony is held in March.


Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning

IRSC Employees: Join Team IRSC 2019!

Performing Arts Shining Stars Campaign

Submit a Nomination for Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Special Thanks to our 2019 Sponsors

Dr. Heather Adams Named 2019 Faculty of the Year!

Michael Brown, Retired CEO of Harbor Community Bank, Named 2019 Entrepreneur of The Year

IRSC Scholarships

Planned Giving