Paul Adkins, CEO of Florida Peninsula Insurance Co., is surrounded by family photos and a gadgety gift at his office in Boca Raton. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star
By Faran Fagen
Trustworthiness and caring are key characteristics that drive a lot of successful business leaders. So says Florida Peninsula Insurance Co.’s Paul Adkins, whom the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce has named as Business Leader of the Year.
Adkins has made outstanding contributions to the business world and significant changes to the communities he serves, said Troy McLellan, the chamber president.
“A leader in his industry, Adkins, along with the other recipients, has created jobs, contributed to our overall economic growth, and has set the bar high for those to follow,” McLellan said.
Adkins was excited, honored and humbled to receive the award. “The reality is that I have a great group of partners and a great team so I view this as recognition for all of us,” he said.
Adkins started Florida Peninsula — one of the 10 largest homeowners insurance companies in the state — 17 years ago with five partners, all veteran insurance professionals.
What started as a modest idea has grown into an iconic business that has 190,000 customers in Florida. Adkins is chairman and chief executive officer.
“It’s been a lot of hard work but it has also been a lot of fun,” Adkins says. “Florida Peninsula has also made it a priority to give back to the community and it’s a critical way to stay connected.”
A company group called Florida Peninsula Gives Back offers employees the opportunity to donate their time and money to different charities every month. These include building homes for Habitat for Humanity, helping stuff Thanksgiving boxes for Boca Helping Hands and working with the Wounded Warriors Project.
“It’s a win for both our company and community, and our employees love it,” said Adkins, 59.
The 30-year Boca Raton resident volunteers for several causes in the community, including Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, In The Pines and, of course, the
Chamber of Commerce. However, the YMCA of South Palm Beach County is the place with which he feels most connected.
“I’ve worked with them for over 20 years, including two years of being chief volunteer officer,” Adkins says. “I’m constantly amazed at how much the Y does for the community. If you consider the breadth of services it provides, it touches over 30,000 in South Palm Beach County every year.”
In addition to Adkins’ award, the Boca chamber will recognize the Business of the Year (Palm Beach State College) and Small Business Leaders of the Year (Bonnie and Jon Kaye) during a May 19 luncheon at Boca West Country Club.
Adkins was also recognized by South Florida Business & Wealth magazine as a 2019 Apogee Awards honoree. The awards recognize distinguished leaders for dedication to their industries and communities.
Adkins and his wife, Kathryn, grew up in Salisbury, Maryland. He went to Dartmouth College and majored in computer science, and then got his master’s in business administration at Harvard.
Prior to cofounding Florida Peninsula, he cofounded Seven Seas Communications, which sold satellite phone service to yachts and fishing vessels throughout the world.
“From that point forward, I knew I only wanted to work in entrepreneurial businesses,” Adkins says.
He served as a strategy and operations consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and general manager for the Americas for the Stratos Global Corp.
Golf is his favorite hobby, and he enjoys hiking and skiing. He has two daughters, Lauren, 26, and Caroline, 23.
“Between raising two wonderful girls, working in a company with people that love to come to work every day, and helping out local charities, I really feel blessed,” he says.
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