Jacksonville real estate leader to be inducted into Bergstrom Hall of Fame

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville businessman and community leader Peter Rummell will be inducted into the University of Florida’s Kelley A. Bergstrom Real Estate Center’s Hall of Fame on Feb. 24 during the research center’s annual Real Estate Trends & Strategies Conference at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

The Bergstrom Center Hall of Fame was established in 2008 to honor leaders whose lifetime of service has shaped the real estate industry for the better. Deserving nominees are considered each year by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Real Estate Advisory Board.

“It is an honor to be inducted into the UF Bergstrom Center Real Estate Hall of Fame,” Rummell said. “Anyone who has stepped into the world of real estate knows it has an always evolving landscape of peaks and valleys.  In order to be prepared for the journey, you need to have a solid foundation of knowing how to navigate yourself through it all.  The Center’s focus provides the knowledge necessary for leaders to enter the business prepared, and equipped for the challenges and opportunities that await them.”

Rummell has been active in the real estate development industry for over 40 years creating some of the most recognized and interesting projects in the world.  In a recent presentation, Rummell was quoted as saying, “In this new world economy, management’s purpose has to be to bring together the three components of the creative process – resources, talent and ideas – in order to build new and better realities.  This is the challenge of any process.”

Peter Rummell

Peter Rummell

His career began in real estate in 1971 with the Sea Pines Company, developers of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Amelia Island, Florida.  In 1977, he became general manager of Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for the Arvida Corporation.  He joined the Rockefeller Center Management Corporation in New York as vice chairman in 1983, leaving in 1985 to become president of Disney Development Company.

At the time Disney Development Company was responsible for The Walt Disney Company’s non-theme park land, directing hotel and related development at the company’s theme park locations in Orlando, Anaheim, Paris and Tokyo.  During Rummell’s 12-year tenure, Disney produced over 20,000 hotel rooms.  The new town of Celebration, Florida was also a product of his focused development efforts.  Disney Development Company and Walt Disney Imagineering, the company’s design and creative division responsible for theme park development, were later merged and Rummell became chairman of the combined group, Walt Disney Imagineering.

From 1997–2008, Rummell was chairman and chief executive officer of The St. Joe Company (NYSE:JOE) where he led the transition of St. Joe from a regional manufacturing conglomerate focused on paper making to a dynamic real estate company and place maker in Florida.

Today, Rummell leads creative and real estate projects focused on bringing together resources, talent and ideas.  After leading a two-year global conversation about building healthy communities as the chairman of the Urban Land Institute, Rummell is now creating a development model built around building healthy communities—the first of which is being designed and developed along the St. Johns River in Jacksonville.

As the founding board chair and chief patron of One Spark, the World’s Largest Crowdfunding Festival, Rummell’s vision and leadership has evolved a community endeavor into an economic engine connecting creators with capital –seeding ideas and helping them become companies.

Rummell is on the board of AvalonBay Communities, the largest publicly traded apartment REIT in the United States, Haskell, a design build industry leader and Kitson & Partners, a Florida-based real estate firms.  He is also active in real estate advisory work for several clients.

Rummell is currently active and is past chairman of the Florida Council of 100, a nonpartisan organization of Florida’s leading CEO’s.  He is also past chairman and on the board of The Alliance for World Class Education, an advocate for public education in Northeast Florida. He is the past chairman of the Jacksonville Civic Council, a CEO-based civic group dedicated to long-term growth and community betterment and serves on the board of the Foundation for Florida’s Future, an organization created by former Governor Jeb Bush to establish Florida’s education system as a model for the nation. Rummell was co-chairman of the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee, which hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.

Rummell graduated from The Hill School, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In 1971, he received a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Rummell and his wife, Lee Ann, have two children; Mahala Hunter (23) and Harry Stevenson II (20).  They reside in Jacksonville, Florida.

About the Bergstrom Center

The Kelley A. Bergstrom Real Estate Center at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business has been cultivating the exchange of education and information among real estate researchers, academics, students and industry leaders for more than 30 years. The Center was named after Kelley A Bergstrom, who in 2006 created an endowment to support the Center for years to come.