Florida NEXT appoints George Gordon new chair



George Gordon, a former Silicon Valley business executive who provides strategic consulting services to early stage high growth companies, has been named chairman of the board of the Florida NEXT Foundation.

Mr. Gordon, President of Anthem Ventures, takes over for outgoing chair and foundation founder Alex Sink, who has stepped down to focus on her race for U.S. Congress.

“I am thrilled and honored to lead Florida NEXT with the same passion and commitment carried out by Alex over the past two years,” Mr. Gordon said. “I look forward to helping Florida NEXT build a vibrant tech community for our children and grandchildren and ensuring Florida’s best and brightest are given the opportunity to remain in the state.”

Ms. Sink founded Florida NEXT in 2011 because she believed small business owners, entrepreneurs, and young talent deserved support from an organization that helped them succeed and prepare for tomorrow’s challenges; one that advocated for them and pushed them toward readiness and success by helping them execute their innovative ideas and initiatives to position Florida for a stable and thriving future.

“I have enjoyed interacting with amazing groups of people who are enthusiastic about the work the foundation is doing,” Ms. Sink said. “However, I am excited for the future of the Foundation because George brings robust energy, a wealth of knowledge, and endless passion wherever he goes. The Florida NEXT Foundation and Florida’s community of entrepreneurs are fortunate to have George at the helm.”

Mr. Gordon relocated to Tampa in 2001 to become Chairman and CEO of Enporion, a business-to-business electronic commerce company. He acquired Enporion in 2009 and sold it in 2011 to Global eProcure. Currently, as President of Anthem Ventures, he provides strategic consulting services to early stage high growth companies.

Since his arrival in Tampa, Mr. Gordon has provided leadership to the region’s technology community, mentored scores of entrepreneurs and colleagues, and inspired youths to pursue a STEM education and careers in technology.

Mr. Gordon served as chairman of the board of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum for four years. He also served on the Board of the Tampa Bay Partnership and continues to serve on the boards of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Tampa Bay Innovation Center, and the Tampa Bay WaVE, and the TechStart Foundation.

Prior to joining Enporion, Mr. Gordon was president and CEO of FastParts.com, a B2B trading exchange for electronic components.  Before his tenure with FastParts.com, he co-founded and was chairman and CEO of Datamatix, an e-commerce trading exchange company specializing in public-sector procurement services.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Gordon was Chairman and CEO of SPD Technologies, a company he created by leading a management buyout from Gould, Incorporated.  Mr. Gordon and his management team established SPD Technologies as the world leader in advanced shipboard electrical distribution, monitoring and control systems for the U.S. Navy’s fleet of combat ships.

Mr. Gordon is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served for 26 years in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve. He holds the rank of Captain, US Navy Retired.

Mr. Gordon is joined by three new board members:


Beth Conway is vice president of human resources at CA Technologies (Nasdaq: CA).  CA Technologies is a global Fortune 500 enterprise IT software company that serves the majority of the Fortune 1000.  She and her team work closely with the global business units to design and execute a talent strategy that aligns the right engaged talent with the right business opportunities, at the right time, to advance CA’s goals.

Randy James currently serves as the Hillsborough Representative to the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations. Mr. James has been active in the civic affairs of Tampa serving as President of the Tampa Bay International Business Council.  He has served for many years as a Board Member of the Hillsborough Education Foundation serving as chairman of several of its committees.

Bob Francis is a serial entrepreneur and seasoned industry professional with extensive management experience. He specializes in working with entrepreneurs, investors and boards for financings, turnarounds, mergers, acquisitions, and start-ups in high technology fields.

Current board directors include: Alex Sink, Jim Cassady, Liana Fox, Sean Shaw, and Chris Marlin.