RFB Florida Home Builders honor veteran lobbyist Richard Gentry
PHOTOS: Courtesy Florida Homebuilders Association, FLGOV.com (Bowling)
Karen Bowling heads med-tech start-up with a focus on artificial intelligence RICHARD GENTRY, chief lobbyist for the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) from 1983-2006, was inducted into the association’s Florida Housing Hall of Fame this November. The honor is given to men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to housing in Florida, the building industry, and the FHBA. The recognition, a tradition for 25 years, was presented to Gentry and three others during the FHBA Fall Leadership Conference at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa in Miramar Beach. As the association’s head lobbyist, Gentry “championed legislative, regulatory, and political initiatives that to this day continue to result in millions of dollars in savings on development, operational, and construction costs for Florida developers and builders,” the group said. “His advocacy efforts fueled significant and ongoing funding for affordable workforce housing.” The Florida Home Builders Association, established in 1949, is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders and Florida's local/regional homebuilder associations.
Karen Bowling, formerly a lobbyist with Foley & Lardner, now is CEO of Jacksonville-based WiseEye AI, a health care tech company developing artificial intelligence to read medical scans. Bowling, who has a lengthy background in health care, will be focusing on the startup’s business development. She joined the company this fall. It will use technology similar to that in “self-driving cars or (to) identify people on Facebook through photos posted on the site” to help physicians “diagnose disease earlier and faster,” a press release said. “These advances are called ‘deep learning’ and consist of training computers to identify the patterns found in pathology slides, X-rays, MRI's, and CT scans through many repetitions presented to the computer,” it said. Bowling is known for being the co-founder, with now-Gov. Rick Scott, of the Solantic walk-in urgent care centers. They sold the company in 2011. She later served as chief administrative officer for then-Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown before joining Foley & Lardner, where she lobbied in the areas of health care and transportation. Bowling was appointed by Gov. Scott to the board of Florida State College at Jacksonville through 2018. WINTER 2016 INFLUENCE | 51
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