Launched in 2008 with Tom Brokaw as our speaker, this series invites legendary speakers to share their stories to educate, inspire and motivate us toward excellence of character, a spirit of innovation, and a sense of purpose.

We typically feature speakers who embody the core values of the original “uncommon friends”—Fort Myers businessman Jim Newton and his friends Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Charles Lindburgh. These friends shared a mutual spirit of adventure, as well as a passion for the advancement of science and technology, business and industry, the visual and performing arts, and ways to improve quality of life.

In recent years, the Foundation has been privileged to hear from famous authors such as Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Reeve Lindbergh, as well as from former U.S. Congressman and CIA Director Porter Goss, former U.S. Congressman and Senator Connie Mack III, broadcasters Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw, Keni Thomas, the national spokesperson for the Hero Fund and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and Harlan Twible, who was one of the last living survivors of the USS Indianapolis that was sunk on July 30, 1945, by a Japanese torpedo.

“It would be my greatest wish that my ‘uncommon friends’ would speak to today’s generation and inspire them to carry this country to new frontiers with vision, courage and creativity.” – James Newton

If you or someone you know is interested in being a speaker or if you want to suggest a topic or speaker, please contact Jennifer Nelson, Executive Director at heather@uncommonfriends.org.

Porter Goss  •  Walter Cronkite  •  Connie Mack III  •  Keni Thomas • Tom Brokaw

(L to R) Major Gray Davis, Colonel Gary Peppers, Captain Wayne Smith, and General James Dozier

On April 10, 2019, we hosted “An Evening of Heroes and Inspiration” that featured three courageous military heroes who had 77 years of military service among them. Honored speakers were retired Army MG James L. Dozier, retired Air Force Lt Col Gary L. Peppers, and retired Air Force CPT Wayne O. Smith. Each officer related his own story of strength and courage in the face of intense enemy combat to eventually return home to their families and continue serving their country for good. They were each awarded numerous medals and commendations for their bravery and service. Uncommon Friends Foundation board member and past president Gray Davis, Agency Executive and Senior Vice President of McGriff Insurance Services moderated the panel discussion. Major Davis retired after 21 years in the Navy and Marines, earning the Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

Uncommon Friends Membership Meeting 2011
Business Ethics Luncheon 2012
2016 Scholarship Recipients
2019 Business Ethics Luncheon at FGCU
2019 Uncommon Evening: Pearls of Wisdom
Business Ethics Award Recipients
Champion Teachers
Historic Images
Honorary Lifetime Membership Winners
Royal Palm Yacht Club Ladies Visit Burroughs Home
Scholarship Recipients