The Ellsworth G. Simmons Good Government Award honors a current or former government official or civic leader for improving government through leadership and vision. The award is typically presented at a regular Board meeting in April.
About the 2023 recipient
A native of Tampa, Clara Reynolds worked for Hillsborough County Public Schools as a social worker for the Youth Services Program and as a project manager for the Multiagency Network for Severely Emotionally Disturbed Children/Youth (SEDNET). Additionally, she was co-founder and executive director for Success 4 Kids & Families, a nonprofit corporation that uses system-of-care values and principles to provide children and their families with a comprehensive array of services. Since 2015, she has served as president and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, a nonprofit organization that provides help to people facing challenges or trauma due to sexual assault, suicidal thoughts, domestic violence, financial distress, or emotional or situational problems.
About Ellsworth G. Simmons
A respected government civic leader, Mr. Simmons was a School Board member who went on to serve 21 years on the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners - 18 of those as chair. Through his leadership and guidance, new institutions - University of South Florida - and new communities - Sun City Center - were created in Hillsborough County. He was a central figure in the construction of Tampa International Airport, the founding of University Community Hospital, and the expansion of the Hillsborough County Health Department.
Each winter, a Good Government Award Committee examines the significant events, leadership opportunities and outstanding achievements of nominees and selects an individual or group. The committee submits its recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for approval.
The Good Government Award Committee consists of nine members, two members representing the Simmons family and one member chosen by each commissioner.
- 2023 - Clara Reynolds
- 2022 - Julianne M. Holt
- 2021 - Lesley "Les" Miller, Jr.
- 2020 - Arthenia Joyner
- 2019 - Betty Castor
- 2018 - David Gee
- 2017 - Rubin E. Padgett
- 2016 - Jan Kaminis Platt
- 2015 - Former Governor Bob Martinez
- 2014 - Doug Belden
- 2013 - Former Mayor Pam Iorio
- 2012 - Dr. Judy Genshaft
- 2011 - Dottie Berger MacKinnon
- 2010 - Pat Frank
- 2009 - Dr. Earl J. Lennard
- 2008 - Judge E.J. Salcines
- 2007 - Cal Henderson
- 2006 - Louis E. Miller
- 2005 - H. Lee Moffitt
- 2004 - H. L. Culbreath
- 2003 - Former Mayor Dick Greco
- 2002 - Save Our Bays, Air & Canals
- 2001 - Former State Sen. Malcom E. Beard
- 2000 - State Sen. Tom Lee
- 1999 - James L. Redman
- 1998 - Nettie Mae Draughon
- 1997 - Sam M. Gibbons