Jeb Bush to be Champions for Education Conference keynote speaker

March 14, 2013

By PGA TOUR staff

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- THE PLAYERS Championship will welcome former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as the keynote speaker during the second-annual Champions for Education Conference on April 30 at TPC Sawgrass in advance of THE PLAYERS Championship.

The Champions for Education Conference will reconvene leaders from the Northeast Florida business and philanthropic community to discuss the state of public education in Duval County and review the recommendations of The Bridgespan Group study. Commissioned by THE PLAYERS, The Chartrand Foundation, The Community Foundation and The David Stein Family Foundation, The Bridgespan Group has conducted an in-depth analysis of the current state of public education in Jacksonville, examined how private investment could have the biggest impact, and will provide recommendations for the future.

THE PLAYERS returns to TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., May 6-12.

“Jacksonville has been recognized as one of the top cities in the nation poised for school reform,” said Bush. “I hope all business and community leaders recognize that the time is now to advance public education in this community. We have an opportunity to come together and ensure that every student in Jacksonville graduates high school equipped for success in college or a career.”

"We’re at a watershed moment in Jacksonville that will have vast impact on the social and economic viability of our community,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “We are proud to use THE PLAYERS to continue to bring the community together and help direct private engagement on critical issues facing our youth. Jeb Bush’s involvement in our second-annual Education Conference lends tremendous support and highlights not only the importance of this ongoing discussion, but also the incredible momentum we’ve already achieved.”

The Champions for Education conference will take place at TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse just days before the start of THE PLAYERS. Other conference panelists include Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti; State of Florida Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett; Chair of the Florida State Board of Education Gary Chartrand; Chairman of Duval County School Board Fel Lee; and Executive Director of Teach for America Jacksonville Crystal Rountree.

In 2011, Finchem announced a commitment to support area youth by generating $50 million over 10 years for education, character development and health and fitness programs in Northeast Florida. To date, more than $11 million has been raised toward that goal.

More information about THE PLAYERS is available at PGATOUR.COM/theplayers.