Founded in 2003, the Fort Lauderdale Forum produces City oriented topics designed to update the knowledge of participating attendees by offering a platform for reasoned discussion of current issues affecting the residents of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County. To that end, the Forum features acclaimed subject matter experts, entrepreneurs, executives, authors, and politicians.

Each Forum is an hour long program. The program starts with a brief introduction followed by a 25-30 minute address by the speakers/debaters/panel members. Spirited, insightful and often challenging questions from the audience fill the final half hour of the program. Programs end promptly at (the latest) 9am.

Since our 1st meeting we have been dedicated to the task of establishing the tradition of debate and discussion. We endeavor to select speakers who enjoy the benefits of an open exchange.  All speakers answer unfiltered, unrehearsed questions directly from the audience.

The Fort Lauderdale Forum is non-partisan, Florida, not-for-profit corporation. We do not take positions on issues, and is open to the public. There is no cost or obligation associated with attendance. We do have volunteer sponsors who contribute $100 per year to offset the costs of meeting refreshments. Please click on the “Our Sponsors” tab on the Forum website to review the 2014-2015 list of our Sponsors.

The Fort Lauderdale Forum, Inc. is a Florida, not-for-profit corporation, (# N09000010777).


President: Alan L. Gabriel
Alan is a Partner at Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L. concentrating in matters of land use, zoning, communications law, administrative law, transportation and local governmental law. In addition to his private clients, Alan serves as General Counsel for the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization and as special counsel to the School Board of Broward County in matters concerning concurrency and zoning. Alan is also a member of the City of Fort Lauderdale Northwest Progresso Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Rotary Club.

Vice President Programs: Lloyd Rhodes   
Lloyd is President at The Rhodes Insurance Group, a broker/consultant firm offering sole representation for their customers resulting in increased leverage with insurance carriers, concise communication and consistent direction toward corporate short-and long-term objectives. In addition Lloyd is active in many community activities such as Broward College Foundation, Downtown Fort Lauderdale Rotary Club, and the Tower Forum.

Secretary: Katie Dressler
Katie is a Senior Public Relations Specialist at Randstad, the second largest global provider of HR and staffing services. Katie and her team manage and execute all content development and PR initiatives for the Randstad US brand. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from Loyola Marymount University. Katie is also an active member of Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale and a contributing writer for Go Riverwalk Magazine.

Treasurer: Howard Elfman
Howard is a Broker-Associate and Director of Luxury Sales for Douglas Elliman Real Estate. He is the immediate past president of the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale, 2018 District Vice President for Florida Realtors and a National Director for the National Association of Realtors. Howard currently sits on the Fort Lauderdale Planning and Zoning Board and is past chairman of the Fort Lauderdale Code Enforcement Board. He also sits on the Board of Directors for Riverwalk Trust & The Broward Housing Council, along with other organizations.

Community Outreach & Social Media: Carolyn Burns
Carolyn Burns is a Broker-associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Las Olas, with over 30 years experience. She serves on the Advisory Council of Mission United - United Way of Broward County,  and is dedicated in serving several non-profits in the Broward County area  - Broward Partnership for the Homeless, 211 Broward, the American Cancer Society Making Strides against Breast Cancer, American Cancer Society Jail & Bail, MADD; and also a member of Tower Forum.  Carolyn is an occasional contributing writer of real estate articles to various trade publications.

Membership & Sponsorships: Barry Max Levy
Barry Max Levy, QKA is a Pension Consultant and President of Levy & Associates, providing professional counsel in the design, installation and administration of employee benefit programs.; and has been recognized in federal and state court as an expert in the area of qualified retirement plans. He serves on ASPPA's (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries) Board of Directors. Locally he is President of the ASPPA Benefits Council of South Florida (ABC South Florida). Barry remains active in many community events, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Tower Forum, and non-profits, including American Cancer Society (among others).

Forum President Emeritus: Rob Dressler
Rob was elected Mayor of Fort Lauderdale in 1982, re-elected in 1985 and is a former six-year term member on the Board of Regents of the State University System of Florida. He is a native of Fort Lauderdale and a retired private practice attorney.

The Forum Founder: Jack Latona
Jack was a Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner from 1991 through 2000 and is currently an attorney in private practice.

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