Insurance giant Brown & Brown celebrated its new campus construction Tuesday, April 30, with a host of dignitaries and a ceremonial flag-raising event.
“On behalf of Brown & Brown and its 10,000 teammates across the world, we are glad to have you here, said Bob Lloyd, company general counsel and master of ceremonies. “We come here to celebrate something that is historic for our community. This is about the Brown family and the future. This is about creating career opportunities in the town where we grew up and that we love. Old skeptics have a saying seeing is believing. Stick around a few months and you will be believers, too.”
Mr. Lloyd’s grandfather founded Lloyd Buick Cadillac in 1934, five years before Brown & Brown appeared on the local scene, on the same spot the new headquarters is being built.
The invitation-only event was at Riverfront Park at Beach Street and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd. in Daytona Beach across from what will become the Brown and Brown headquarters.
The flag was signed by more than 1,000 Brown & Brown employees.
The event was kicked off by the Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats drumline, followed by remarks from Brown & Brown executives and local government dignitaries, including Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry and Volusia County Chair, Ed Kelley.
“I dare not attempt to express to you the colossal difference this is going to make in downtown Daytona Beach,” Mayor Henry said. “Since 1939, Brown & Brown has been an integral part of Daytona Beach. Brown & Brown could have gone anywhere. This says more about how we should feel about ourselves. We have every reason to believe in our future because people who have been here for a long time were willing to invest in us, willing to say this is a place where we are going to build this magnificent facility to show to the world. All of Daytona Beach joins you in this celebration in expressing our gratitude and appreciation for making this choice, for this choice will make a difference.”
Council Chair Ed Kelley also expressed his thanks to Brown and Brown for its vision and action, stating they will be reinvigorating the entire downtown, which will have residual effects in other parts of the county.
Powell Brown, CEO and President of Brown & Brown, stated he anticipates the company doubling in size in the future.
“We will always be committed to this community,” Mr. Brown said. “We are excited that this building will be part of the redevelopment of downtown. This is a big step for Brown & Brown, but it’s not the only step. We have lots of big plans for the future.”
Mr. Brown's father and company Chairman Hyatt Brown stated, “It is and will be an iconic sight and we think it is going to do nothing but grow.”
Mr. Brown's mother, Cici Brown, added she was “grateful the company and community came together to make this happen, the coming together of so many pieces and parts to make it happen, and there will be lots of repercussions that are going to be positive in the downtown area.”
Once complete, the 10-acre campus with its 11-story, 225,000-square-foot building will bring more than 600 new jobs to the area.
The ripple effect already has begun with Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. planning luxury apartments, a multi-story parking garage, retail shops and a grocery store, just a few blocks away.