MAY 2015

Bill Garrison (2012)
President of the Clay County Economic Development Corporation

Bill Garrison

Each week, St. Johns River State College will honor one of its own in an alumni salute, celebrating the career milestones, community contributions and personal reflections of those who began their collegiate journey as SJR State Vikings.

Bill Garrison was a successful real estate developer for 25 years until the economic recession forced him to reconsider his career options. Knowing he needed to sustain his marketability during the financial crisis, Bill enrolled at SJR State to further his education and graduated cum laude with his Associate in Arts degree in 2012.

That same year, Bill was presented with an opportunity to assist the Clay County Board of Commissioners in finding a candidate for the director of economic development. It did not take long for Bill to convince the Board that he had the intimate knowledge of Clay County as well as the education needed to take the position himself. Bill now works with county leaders, using his experience in real estate development to serve Clay County. “It doesn’t even seem like a job - that’s how much I enjoy it,” he said. “I have the pleasure of working to help grow the economy of my home county.”

Bill is currently enrolled at SJR State, pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management with a specialization in public administration.

An active member of the community, Bill serves as president of the Clay Hill Community Association. He also serves as a board member for the Clay County Housing Finance Authority and previously served as the chairman of the Clay Builders Council. In 2010, he was awarded the Northeast Florida Builders Association Clay Builder of the Year Award.

Bill said he feels a deep appreciation and gratitude toward SJR State for the impact his education has had on his life. “Without my A.A. degree, I would not have even been considered for my current career position,” he said. “With my degree, years of related experience and current enrollment at SJR State, I was successful in competing for the position. The classes at SJR State have been genuinely instrumental in my understanding of management theories and practices. Even after 20 years in the business, I learn something every time I go to class . . . I’ve been constantly impressed by every aspect of my education here. Clay County is fortunate to have such an excellent educational institution.”

SJR State Highlights:
- Graduated Cum Laude
- Member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

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Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4021