Inaugural Workforce Legacy Awards honor past board members

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – CareerSource North Central Florida (CSNCFL), formerly FloridaWorks, will honor three past board members for their dedication to the advancement of workforce development in Alachua and Bradford counties. The awards presentation will be held Monday, January 26 at 3 p.m. at Starke Golf and Country Club, 15501 Northeast 14th Avenue, Starke, FL 32091, prior to CSNCFL’s full-board meeting.

“This is an opportunity to recognize board members for their volunteer service – the invaluable time and effort they contribute to the advancement of workforce development,” Executive Director Kim Tesch-Vaught said. “The Workforce Legacy Awards allow us to acknowledge their community impact and say ‘thank you.’”

The first award recipients are former board members Cris Andersen, Tom Coward and Pat Farnsworth (posthumously).

Cris Andersen, who served in the Marine Corps Reserve, has lived in Bradford County for more than 30 years. He retired from Clay Electric in 1999 and also worked at the Jacksonville Electric Authority. Andersen served on multiple committees and is credited with developing the Board’s mission statement: “Everybody works. Growing business and jobs through a skilled workforce.” Andersen is being honored for his leadership and hard work, including many years as chair of the Finance Committee.

Gainesville native and World War II veteran, Tom Coward, will be recognized for his statesmanship and passion for improving the lives and careers of those in the community. Coward is a former teacher, administrator and district supervisor of Alachua County Public Schools and served on the Alachua County Commission for 18 years. He founded Thomas Coward Realty in Gainesville. During his service on the workforce board, Coward aimed to bring board resources to everyone in the community, especially those who needed help the most.

Pat Farnsworth, a US Navy Reserve veteran, will be recognized for his dedication to educational development and investment in tomorrow’s workforce. Farnsworth, who passed away in 2004, also served as chairman of the Santa Fe Community College board of trustees, co-founded the local Communities in Schools and Take Stock in Children programs and was actively involved in many civic organizations. Farnsworth was an accountant who founded two prominent financial services firms in the area. His son, current CSNCFL Board Member and Bradford County Superintendent Chad Farnsworth, will accept the award on behalf of his father.