Michael Cantrell, Account Executive at Coca-Cola Refreshments, received the Chairman of the Year Award presented at Florida Citrus Sports’ 2014 Member Celebration.
Before Cantrell became a member in 1998, Coca-Cola had worked with Florida Citrus Sports (FCSports) for over 50 years. Upon joining, Cantrell sought to become more active and establish a more personal relationship with the organization. In 2002, Cantrell developed an extreme passion for the organization and began to focus on how FCSports helped the Orlando community and underprivileged youth, which inspired him to become more involved.
Throughout his membership, Cantrell’s leadership and passion have earned him many accomplishments. Among other contributions this year, Cantrell chaired the Orlando Mini Open committee, which supports the FCSports foundation and is its biggest fundraiser. He showed tremendous leadership with the board of directors and members to rally support, financially and physically. With a sold-out crowd at the Mini Open, Cantrell helped break records by raising over 60,000 dollars, one of his top fundraising accomplishments within the organization. His contribution of time, heart and drive ultimately helped Cantrell earn this recognition.
FCSports’ 2014 Member Celebration was not the first time Cantrell was noticed for his hard work and dedication, however. He was first honored in 2006 as Volunteer of the Year. Although Cantrell has dedicated years to the organization, the award was not expected and he considered it extremely humbling.
“I encourage all members to fulfill their duties to this organization– don’t just financially contribute, but also become actively involved and physically contribute as well,” said Cantrell.
Along with other FCSports staff and members, Cantrell is excited about the new stadium reconstruction and hopes it will bring national spotlight in the future.
“I’m a proud member. We all have a lot to be proud of because of this great organization,” Cantrell said.
Cantrell’s love for college football and desire to help underprivileged children is what drives his passion for the organization but he also likes to stress how FCSports has affected his personal life. Through the organization, Cantrell has made life-long friendships and uses those friendships as another reason for coming back each year.
As for his personal goals within the organization, Cantrell is determined to continue having a strong partnership and relationship with FCSports. He also has aspirations of becoming an Executive Committee member one day.
According to Cantrell, any college football fan in the Orlando area “would be crazy” not to become involved with FCSports, a one-of-a-kind organization.
Favorite thing about FCSports: The focus and drive the FCSports staff and members have for helping kids in the community.
Favorite bowl/event memory: Being in the locker room after Michigan upset Florida while witnessing Lloyd Carr give his last victory speech.
Advice to current members: Become more involved because we are privileged with many opportunities and have so much access to college football such as scouting.
Advice to new members: Use this organization to become leaders of the community and to create lifelong friendships.